Customer loyalty is a vital part of growing a business. It reduces churn, boosts retention and increases referrals.

The best way to build loyalty is through exceptional customer support. This includes implementing strategies to listen to feedback, personalize interactions and celebrate customers. Here are six cost-effective ways to do so:.

1. Be Honest

A company that prioritizes customer satisfaction and trust will cultivate loyal clientele. This type of business is not afraid to risk a profit margin for the greater good of its customers.

If you make a mistake, let the customer know right away. Hiding behind errors or ignoring them will only cause them to lose trust in your business and move on to your competitors.

Even if it’s a small thing like a long wait for service, just let them know you are aware and are working on the problem. This shows that your team is committed to making sure the customer is satisfied and makes the extra effort to communicate this with them.

2. Listen

Typically, people who reach out to customer support are irate and angry, so it’s important for your team to be skilled at listening. Listening actively is more than hearing their conflict and confirming your understanding, it’s avoiding inflammatory language and making sure that all the facts are being presented so that the problem can be resolved.

This will help customers feel genuinely cared for and appreciated. As a result, they’re more likely to do repeat business. This also makes it easier to forecast and plan for your company’s growth, as customer retention outweighs the costs of acquiring new customers. This is why companies like Patagonia focus on building campaigns and a culture around environmental responsibility, sustainability and other values that resonate with their audience.

3. Resolve Issues Quickly

One bad experience can tarnish a customer’s opinion of a brand for a long time, but one exceptional interaction can turn them into a lifelong evangelist. So, it’s important to prioritize resolving customers’ issues quickly and effectively.

When an agent doesn’t have an answer, it’s essential to be honest and respectful and explain that the problem will be addressed as soon as possible. This will show the customer that their issue is being taken seriously.

It’s also helpful to offer self-service options so customers can easily find answers to their questions without the need for a support representative. Providing useful troubleshooting content on your website, like Help Scout, is one way to do this.

4. Make It Easy

The best customer loyalty strategies involve a comprehensive approach that leverages multiple communication channels. This may include a community forum, email surveys, text messages, and a dedicated 800 number.

Customers who are loyal to your brand are typically less price sensitive and will help you bolster your bottom line in challenging economic conditions. Keeping customers around is about 25 times cheaper than recruiting new ones, according to research.

Make it easy for customers to contact support by displaying your phone number in an intuitive place, such as on the Pay Bill page. Be sure your employees can answer calls promptly to keep customers happy.

5. Be Flexible

Customer loyalty is a big boost for businesses. Loyal customers tend to spend more, are less price-sensitive and bring in new customers through word of mouth referrals. In addition, retaining loyal customers costs significantly less than recruiting new ones.

Providing flexible interactions is a key aspect of building customer loyalty. Companies should give employees the freedom to make decisions on-the-fly without having to constantly refer back to a manager or flatly deny requests.

Companies can also be proactive in their support by proactively communicating solutions to common problems. This can dramatically reduce the number of customer calls and keep customers feeling informed and valued.

6. Be Honest

Taking customer feedback seriously can be an excellent way to build loyalty. Providing customer testimonials and reviews on your website, social media, and other online forums shows that you are engaged with customers and want to hear what they have to say.

Offer personalized benefits to increase customer loyalty. This can be as simple as a bowl of candy for repeat customers, or having once-a-month donut day.

Be consistent with your products and services so that consumers know what to expect from you. It will help to minimize any misunderstandings or miscommunications that can lead to negative customer experiences and dissatisfaction. Be honest when you can’t answer questions and be sure to tell customers where to find the correct information.

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