What’s customer loyalty?

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Customer retention involves keeping customers happy through programs and incentives such as quality products, guarantees, discounts, and excellent customer service. The goal is to build loyalty and profitability by encouraging repeat business and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

The term customer retention is used to describe the behavior of repeat customers as well as those who offer good ratings, reviews or testimonials. Some customers do a particular business a great service by offering favorable word-of-mouth advertising for a product, telling friends and family, and adding them to their loyal customer base. Customer retention includes much more, however; it is a process, program, or group of programs geared towards keeping a customer happy so that they provide more business.

A company can help build loyalty in some cases by offering a quality product with a solid guarantee. Others offer free deals, coupons, low interest rates on loans, high-value trade-ins, extended warranties, discounts, and other rewards and incentive programs. The ultimate goal is satisfied customers who will come back to buy again and convince others to use the company’s products or services. This equates to profitability and happy stakeholders.

Customer retention may involve a one-time program or incentive, or a group of ongoing programs to attract consumers. Buy-one-get-one-free programs are very popular, as are shopping with discounts or giveaways. Another good incentive is to offer a risk-free trial period for a product or service. Also known as brand loyalty, these types of incentives are meant to ensure that customers come back, not only to buy the same product again and again, but also to try other products or services the company offers.

Excellent customer service is also key. If a customer has a problem, the business should do whatever it takes to make things right. If a product is faulty, it should be replaced or the customer’s money should be refunded. This should be standard procedure for any reputable business, but those wishing to develop customer loyalty on a large scale can go even further than the standard. They can offer even more through free giveaways or discounts to appease the customer.

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