Building a loyal customer base these days is not an easy task. A good place to start is offering a habit-forming product or service that customers can't pry themselves away from. Throughout the years, many companies have been looking for ways to change customer behaviors, though they weren't fully engaged with the products or services. But before we start thinking about change, we first need to better understand customer behavior. Ask yourself:
- How do products create habits?
- How do other companies draw customers back again and again?
- How do they do so without expensive advertising and marketing tactics?
Habits are good for the bottom line. Think of products and services that have become a habit in your life. Mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, have millions of users with routines and dependencies around their use. These customers continue to come back. So how do we apply these theories to other businesses? One effective way to get your customer base into a habit is by creating a compelling mobile app. The latest research by Forrester and RetailMeNot show that 79% of consumers have at least 1 retail app on their mobile phones. Use a daily trigger, such a reminder notification, to keep your customer aware of your company and wanting to use your app. Find ways to reward and thank your customer for using your app, both in and out of your store.
Rewarding the Loyal Customer Base
Repeat customers spend 67% more on purchases than new customers do. Studies show that repeat customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty. Customers that feel appreciated are more likely to speak positively about your company and recommend it to friends. So create a loyalty card or loyalty based program on your mobile app. Loyalty cards and mobile apps allow you to track just how your customer is being loyal, making it simple to reward the loyal customer base. Ways to reward:
- Offer select discounts on products consumers typically purchase
- Give away free items
- Team up with other businesses to offer reciprocal discounts
- Offer gift cards
Nir Eyal, author of
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, spoke at Retail’s BIG Show 2016.