Loyal customers are the first step to success. As a web design business owner, not only can you rely on these customers to help cash flow, but also to help spread the word about your services to other potential clients. It is important to engage with your customers on a regular basis, both professionally and emotionally.
What does this mean? Well, if you only engage with customers when there is money involved, they will quickly realise this and perhaps choose to move on. However, if you engage with them at all times, even when there is no money-making involved, it will be appreciated by your clients and they will stay loyal to your business.
There is no denying that customer loyalty takes a tremendous amount of hard work and effort, and it most certainly does not happen overnight. Even though gaining this loyalty seems like a mammoth task, it will pay off in the long run of your business success.
In short – Loyal customers benefit your web design business in the following ways:
- Word-of-mouth marketing to other potential clients in need of web services
- Will seldom consider other companies
- Will be more eager to purchase a premium package
- Will be more likely to update any software right away as it is released
- Be willing to pay more if, for some reason, you must increase your prices
Now, let’s take a look at 6 ways to earn and maintain customer loyalty.
- Customer Service MUST Be a Priority
Providing your clients with unbeatable and on-demand customer service is perhaps the best way to gain customer loyalty. If a customer can have the peace of mind that you will be there to help when things don’t go as planned or there is a technical issue, it is priceless for your business. In this day and age, customers look for the quickest way to contact you; be it by phone, email, webchat or social media.
Having a social media presence, especially for customer service, is critical. It doesn’t have to be followed by a million people or anything crazy like that (although that would be nice), but just enough presence so customers know that you will read their messages and reply accordingly and promptly.
Customers love when businesses go the extra mile, and doing so can almost guarantee loyalty. Further to a reliable and prompt customer service base, providing a service that not only assists customers when something goes wrong via a message, but a follow-up phone call so they can actually speak to a person, or if there is a technical issue or query, organising a video chat to run through why the particular issue is happening. This shows genuine care towards your clients and they will appreciate this as well.
- See Your Clients Thrive
As a web design business owner, knowing that your services have helped another business succeed is one of the main reasons you provide web services, right? For a business to place their trust in you to create a platform to help them thrive and succeed, is a daunting task and prospect at first, but it is also incredibly humbling. Being able to put your expertise into a project that will provide cash flow for you and the other business is your job, and what a job it is!
Seeing businesses succeed because of your services is a great feeling, but it doesn’t stop there. Continuously following-up with the business to see how they are tracking will help you gauge if they require further assistance, promotes customer engagement, and serves as a chance for that particular business to refer another business to you, meaning you’ll have more work.
There is no downside whatsoever to following up with businesses you have helped. You make money from them, they generate a cash flow as a result of your services, and keeping in contact with them will retain their loyalty, keeping your cash flow moving as well.
These success stories seen in the image below are a prime example of the business helping its clients achieve success, and then following up with them to see how they’re going. All it takes is one simple email to check-up on their progress, and you will be the first thing that comes to their mind should they need any further services.
Below is an example from Sainstore, a marketing agency focused on Shopify merchants who dedicated an entire page to talk about different case studies from existing customers:
- Easy To Understand
Clients are more likely to become loyal if your policies, pricing and legalities are easy to understand. As soon as a customer has to search your website, any fine-print, or social media for information, alarm bells will ring and they may not bother to move forward with your services. Keeping a transparent approach will help you and the customer maintain a positive and confusion-free relationship where they will know what you say is exactly what you mean and there are no loopholes or hurdles to consider.
Very few businesses, especially nowadays, achieve transparency with policies, so get on the front foot now and move ahead of the pack!
Outlining policies and copyrights just as project management tool Range has makes it easy for the client to read and understand what they’re signing up for. Take a look:
2. Collect Information
It is no secret that customers are not the most enthusiastic when companies take their data and use it to personalise advertisements for the next time they visit their website, but it doesn’t have to be all negative. Collecting and using clients’ information can be turned into a positive experience. For example, if you have their phone number, giving them a call to see how they’re doing, or if you know their birthday, you can send them a personalised birthday card.
If your data collection is showing any specific services your client is purchasing from you, another idea to promote loyalty is to create a pop-up that suggests that particular service, or streamlining the checkout process so that your client can add the service in just a few clicks. Ease-of-use goes a long way in enhancing customer loyalty, and if prices do increase for any reason, they are likely to stick around because they can rely on your services to provide great results.
It is little things like these that help customers become loyal. Turn a negative situation into a positive one, and serve your clients like a human, rather than just another number or account.
Keeping in contact with your clients will also give you the opportunity to ask if they would like to provide a testimonial. You can feature these on your website and social media pages so new and potential clients can know exactly what to expect with regards to value for money and services. The presence of testimonials will automatically and instantly show new clients the credibility of your business and might even capture them to become loyal to your business.
You may choose to send an automated email to clients after they have purchased a service, or personally reach out to them and touch base, if you have the time and resources. Not all clients will want to provide a testimonial, but consistently engaging with clients so they know you care about them and their business will increase your chances. See how testimonials add an impact:
4. Running A Loyalty Program or Promotions
If your customers are paying a premium for your services and keep coming back, they are likely to stick with you if your prices increase. It is only fair that you reward these clients in some way, as it will help them realise that you are aware of their loyalty. Rewards don’t always have to involve money, for example, offering to promote their business on your online platforms and vice versa is one way to collaborate with clients to ensure both businesses can gain more attention and make money from new clients.
Another great idea is to offer loyal clients a discount on some services, or promotions on certain services. This could be something like an SEO package, like a 12-month subscription for the price of 10. Any promotion that has an incentive for the client to purchase the package is sure to create loyalty. If you are offering these promotions, it is important to keep in mind not to market this publicly; instead, personally reach out to these loyal clients.
Enticing clients to shop and stick with you will help your business see a steady profit, especially as your client base increases. We see with the ‘Marriott Bonvoy Benefits’ loyalty program below, the benefits that guests can experience with an elite status.
Customer loyalty must be part of an overall customer-centric strategy. Your customer support efforts must be at the center of it, making sure that your clients are happy — even if they encounter any problems during the process. Proactively reaching out to customers, gathering feedback and testimonials, as well as rewarding returning clients for their loyalty will help you keep the customer retention machine up and running.