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The business world is evolving rapidly, but there’s one crucial element of business strategy that never changes: the importance of forging a lasting bond with customers. When the customer feels that connection with a business, they reward the company with loyal repeat orders. As the saying goes, the best customers are the ones you already have. In this article, we will review some important tips for building and strengthening customer loyalty in the digital age.

 

Marketing Meets Support
If there’s one mistake that a lot of businesses make, it’s neglecting to view the entire customer relationship at once. Customers who have already purchased the product still need attention. Some managers think of marketing and sales as the exciting areas where the business acquires new customers and support as the cleanup department. In reality, support is just as important as sales and marketing, because the entire customer experience determines loyalty. A poor interaction with support will end a relationship, even if the sales department did a great job converting the lead. That’s why it’s a good idea to unify sales, marketing, and support as much as possible. They are all customer-facing departments that create an experience. Try using customer relationship software to build an interconnected interface and let all three groups pool information.

 

Use More Automation
Automated marketing tools, especially email tools, have become extremely useful for businesses as they scale up. One of the main elements in building loyalty is just keeping track of the right customers over their lifetime of engagement with the brand. Automated tools can notify customers about new deals based on their past purchases or remind them to re-subscribe all without any direct input from you. This can save a considerable amount of time and reach a much larger potential audience than if you tried to do the same job without automation. These tools work best when they are hooked into customer tracking software of some kind, so these two tips are synergistic. The more data you can collect and retain about customer habits, the better you can target your mailings and other contact to people who are most likely to buy again. Plus, they will appreciate the fact that you are providing them with better value customized to their needs.

 

Enhanced Training
At some point, it will come down to a conversation, and you want that conversation to go well. It might be over email, the phone, a chat, or social media, but even for online businesses, customer interaction with a brand representative is often a major determinant in total customer experience. That means you need to invest in training for any staff member who could interact with customers. You need to build that connection so that the customer feels welcome and valued on a personal level. It shouldn’t take much- you do indeed value customers that way. It’s just a matter of letting it shine through and delivering value to them quickly and efficiently.

 

All of these tips help improve loyalty, but they also take a lot of time, effort, and money to implement. Many small businesses have trouble getting access to funds, especially in the beginning. That’s where services like Advance Funds Network come in handy. AFN is an online lender that is ready and willing to help businesses grow by feeding them the capital they need to operate and expand. Because they aren’t a big bank, AFN is free to loan to more businesses and fund more ideas than otherwise, and they have many different types of loans and credit products available. Improving loaylty is a critical business goal, so don’t fall short because of a lack of capital.