No matter the size of a business, building brand loyalty is incredibly important. Acquiring new customers costs 5 to 10 times more than selling to a current customer – and current customers spend 67% more on average (Inc).
These days, businesses are short on time and oversaturated with marketing from hundreds of brands, so it’s important for your software company to stand apart from the crowd and start building genuine connections that will be vital to your future success.
Benefits of turning customers into fans
Customer engagement and advocacy form the best strategy for software companies to deliver commercial value and growth. This is because building brand loyalty helps to:
Increase revenues without increasing marketing budget
Make it easier to sell new products and services
Gain a competitive edge
How do you do it?
With more than 75% of people changing their buying habits over the last 2 years (McKinsey & Company), it’s no surprise to see that many are increasingly willing to change brands. So, how can you avoid this and, in turn, capture your customers’ attention to turn them into loyal fans who actively champion your business?
To start, you need to engage with your customers and develop a strategy that connects and resonates with them. Here are a few ways you can do it.
Responsive customer service
Valuing a customer’s time is one of the most important things a software company can do; they want their questions concerns or issues answered right now – not tomorrow or even an hour from now.
Research consistently shows a positive correlation between faster response times and higher customer satisfaction. In fact, according to a survey by NM Incite, 33% of respondents said they’d recommend a brand that offered a quick but ineffective response, nearly double the number (17%) who’d recommend a brand that provided a slow but effective solution. Even “no company response” (19%) scored higher!
One of the most important things to remember is to keep your service and support nimble. If your team doesn’t have an answer to a query, try to avoid bouncing the customer around multiple people; keep one person as the point-of-contact so that it maintains a more human and personal experience.
Determine the best communication channels
Frequent communication will keep your brand fresh in the minds of customers and enables you to share important information. Different forms of communication will work for different businesses, so it’s about finding out what is best for you. It could include:
Make your customers feel appreciated
Good customer service isn’t always enough. If you want loyalty, you’ll have to show your customers that they are appreciated. Fortunately, this can be easy to do.
How you share your appreciation will need to be reflective of your brand’s personality, but it could include perks and extras such as loyalty plans, free software upgrades or pre-sale notifications. Doing so will demonstrate that your relationship with your customers is more than just transactional.
Reward customers for referrals
Referral programmes provide an organised and effective way for customers to recommend a business while incentivising them with benefits. For example, you could offer discounts or cash-equivalent prizes for every successful referral a customer provides.
Statistics from Annex Cloud suggest that referral marketing is an extremely powerful tool for businesses, generating 3-5x higher conversion rates than any other channel.
Offer personalised experiences
According to research from McKinsey & Company, customers now view personalisation as the default standard of engagement, with companies that excel at personalisation generating 40% more revenue from those activities.
By taking the time to understand who your customers are, you will be able to develop a series of profiles based on their typical wants, needs and expectations. To then deliver a more personalised experience you should:
Address customers by their name in all communications (use personalisation tools within your marketing software to enable this)
Recognise and reward loyalty
Offer several customer service channels to provide a range of choice
Leverage data and segmentation to share content that is relevant to the customer
Listen to your customers
For customers to keep returning, you need to gather data on how they actually feel about your brand. Some of the best ways to collect these insights are through customer surveys and reviews, which will allow you to determine what actions you need to take to make improvements.
When you receive positive feedback, find a way to creatively showcase these. Whether it’s through video testimonials or website graphics, sharing your customers’ messages is a great form of marketing for targeting prospects. Even one positive review can lift conversions by 10% (RevLocal).
Investing in your customers now will lead to successful and sustainable growth
Turning customers into loyal raving fans can’t be done overnight. It requires putting in the effort to slowly build sound and personalised relationships with them. However, when done right, it will play a crucial role in driving more sales and referrals in the future.
To find out how Vesta supports our family of software companies, and how we could do the same for you, get in touch.