Customer retention vs customer loyalty: what’s the difference? – Part 2

10 November 2021 Myra Knoesen

In part one of the article Taylor Landis, contributor on Outbound Engine, highlighted the difference between customer retention versus customer loyalty.

In part two of the article, she discusses how to take a customer and turn them into a loyal customer.

A loyal customer

One downside to the simplicity of the NPS survey is that it doesn’t allow customers to elaborate on why they voted the way they did. Learning the “why” is more important than ever with countless options at the fingertips of every unsatisfied buyer.

What can help the unhappy customer think twice before searching Google for another business is excellent customer service and a positive buying experience.

The “why” is more difficult to find out, but worth the effort. Your customers may say they wish your marketing emails were more helpful and less about selling, and that is something you can fix. If they thought you called too much or not enough, you can work with that.

With the answers to these questions and other information like whether these clients have provided you testimonials, sent you referrals, and engaged with your marketing communications, you’ll have a list of your loyal customers.

How do I get referral business?

This final question may be the most relevant to business owners. If a loyal customer shouts your business from the rooftops, there isn’t much for you to do but thank them.

But that often doesn’t happen without a little prompting. Keep in mind that even loyal customers do not always realize the impact that referrals have on your business. In most cases, the best way to get help with your referral business is to ask. Yes, it sounds simple, but it does take a little effort on your part, and it’s worth it to your business.

Bottom line: be sure you are tapping into your network of happy customers for referrals.

Use the power of your network

Knowing the difference between customer retention and customer loyalty means you won’t miss opportunities within your existing network. Customers that already know your value and can give a personal account of how great you are to work with allows you to instantly stand out from the crowd.

A loyal customer will buy from you again and encourage others to do the same. This often results in quality referrals and positive word-of-mouth reviews. Loyalty goes beyond spending money. Loyal customers will vouch for you and serve as advocates for your business.

As every small (or medium or big) business owner knows, the backbone of their success is people working hard to make customers happy. A customer that sticks by your business through positive and less than positive experiences is a truly loyal customer.


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