10 Easy Ways To Retain Customers By Showing Them More Love
Aah…love. Is there a better word in the English language? True love is one thing every human being on the planet (yes, even those mean bosses) yearns to experience in one way or another. And whether consciously or subconsciously—that yearning for love impacts every facet of the human experience.
From the clothes we wear. To the people that we chose to spend our time with. Even down to the music we listen to—it’s all tied to our yearning for love.
In fact, according to Billboard, 9.6% of all songs that reached no. 1 on the Hot 100—include the word “love” in the song title. It’s also that same quest for love—that is often the main determinant of whether a customer continues doing business with your company—or chooses to defect and take their business to one of your competitors that showered them with the love your business fell short of providing.
Here’s 10 easy ways your business can keep customers from defecting by showing them what they’ve been searching for all their lives—more love.
1. Shout them out
Speaking of Billboard and love songs, the publication recently released its list of the Top 50 Love Songs Of All Time. No.1 on that list, is the song, Endless Love by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross. In the song's lyrics, Richie sings, “I want to share all my love with you, no one else will do.” Great lyrics, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to your customers and their business—if you’re not showing them enough love—someone else will do.
And that someone could be your competitor. Which is why it is imperative that your business shows consumers the love they seek.
One way to do that is by shouting them out. In other words, acknowledge them publicly. Imagine just how you’d feel if your favorite shoe brand shouted you out by name on Twitter. The social capital you’d receive from that shoutout would likely lead to you thinking more fondly of that brand forever. Well, that’s how your customers would feel if your company shouted them out by name on social media for their support.
It costs your company absolutely nothing to shout your most committed customers out on social media. But it sure would go a long way with them.
2. Random giveaways
Whether it’s your significant other or your customers—providing random gifts is a great way to make people feel more loved. Think about it—have you ever frowned at being given something randomly that you deemed cool or useful? Didn't think so.
One brand that does a great job at conducting random giveaways for their customers is American supermarket chain Safeway.
Customers that download Safeway’s "Safeway for u" app are often rewarded with weekly discounts and free store items. The giveaways create anticipation—often incentivizing customers to constantly check the app for Safeway’s latest discounts and free offers. Which leads to an increase in foot traffic when customers head to the store to redeem those offers.
How many people you know go grocery shopping and only purchase the items they came for? Exactly! (who said giveaways aren't a great marketing tactic?)
3. Allow them to include a friend
Research shows that nearly half of adults really go to the gym to socialize with friends. Which is information that has been known to gym chains like LA Fitness and 24 hour fitness many years prior to the results of that research being revealed. It's why most gym chains offer their members the opportunity to add a friend to their membership for a price lower than what their friend would pay for a membership of their own.
Think of ways to show your customers love by allowing them to include a friend in something that your business offers. That inclusion could come in the form of:
The sharing of a subscription to your app (e.g., the previous Netflix approach to users streaming content).
Allowing your customers' friends to also use special discount codes.
Letting your customers add one person to certain programs.
The oldest form and most effective form of marketing is word-of-mouth. By allowing your customers to include a friend to interact with your business—you’ll be able to show love to your customers—as well as turn customers into marketers for your business.
4. Birthday presents
Inherently, people from all walks of life want to feel special in their own way. And one of the best ways to make someone feel special is by acknowledging days and events that are special to them. And when it comes to most people—no day is more special to them than their birthday.
One company that’s known for showering their customers with love on their birthday is family-style restaurant chain Denny’s.
Customers that sign up for “Denny’s Rewards” receive a free birthday slam on their special day. How has showing birthday love worked for Denny’s so far? While some popular American restaurant chains went out of business in 2022—Denny’s Q4 revenues for the year are expected to be $120.67 million, a 12.1% increase from the year-ago quarter.
What are some of the things your company could give customers on their birthday as a present for providing their contact information? Here’s a few suggestions:
A free meal.
A free T-shirt.
A free item.
A free subscription for a few months.
When it comes to showing your customers love by way of a birthday gift—as the old saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” So, your gift doesn’t have to be extravagant in order to be appreciated. The gesture alone will go a long way.
5. Throw a party
Even if it’s not your customers birthday—as rapper 50 Cent famously stated, they can still party…like it's their birthday! Help them do that and show them love by inviting them to a live event thrown by your company with the only cost of admittance is simply having shown their support to your company.
As is the case with most party invitees—even if they don't actually attend the party—they'd still appreciate the invite.
6. Take requests
Speaking of parties, what’s one thing that all great parties have? A great DJ, of course. And what does a great DJ do? Take requests from their audience! You could do the same with your business by taking polls on social media in regards to what customers would like to see next from your company. Those questions could be along the lines of:
Which product should we bring back?
Which product should we get rid of?
What type of service would you like to see us add?
Which feature needs the most improvement?
Customers love having input on which moves a company decides to make. So, show your customers love by allowing them to have a say in certain decisions regarding your business.
7. Keep in touch
Historically, and even more so these days—marketing professionals make the mistake of only contacting customers when presenting them a sales offer. The reason why that’s a mistake is this: Who enjoys only hearing from someone when they want something?
“We are at our very best when we see the world through the eyes of the person we’re trying to matter to.” Writes author Bernadette Jiwa, in her book, Marketing: a Love Story: How To Matter To Your Customers.
In order to truly matter to your customers—be empathic and view the world through their lens. This means not only reaching out to them to make a sales offer—but also contacting them just to let them know you appreciate their patronage and to have a nice day. Remember, it’s often the small things that mean the most in a great relationship.
8. Grant exclusive access
Located in Big Sky, Montana, The Yellowstone Club calls itself the “World’s only ski and golf community.” With a membership fee starting at $300,000—the club is one of the most exclusive clubs in America (which might be because some of its members include Tom Brady and Bill Gates).
Members of The Yellowstone Club are often the envy of their social circles.
The thing that makes the club most special to its members is the fact that the club is extremely selective. Which gives its members bragging rights in their social circles for being able to get in.
You can also make your customers the envy of their social circles by creating an exclusive membership community for only your most committed customers to join. There’s not many things people enjoy more than being able to brag about themselves. So, grant them exclusive access to a club that’ll allow them to do just that.
9. Follow them back
Am I the only one that finds it ironic that companies often hire digital marketers to install tracking cookies on their websites to follow the online activities of their site's visitors—which is something most customers dislike.
But those same companies do not follow their customers back that follow them on social media—which is something most customers would love.
Avoid being one of those companies by following customers back that follow your company on social media.
10. Free shipping or waiving fees
Oftentimes, the difference between customer churn and customer commitment—simply comes down to a business's ability to eliminate obstacles that makes it difficult for customers to receive what they want for the cheapest price possible.
Case in point, in a global survey, 84% of consumers said they made a purchase from a business specifically because it offered free shipping (see Amazon Prime).
Help keep your customers committed to your company and show them more love by offering free shipping for your items. And if your business is SAAS—waive any unnecessary fees that may cause your customers to look elsewhere for a cheaper price. Do all this—and your loving relationship with your customers could truly last a lifetime.