Consumer loyalty is one of the most important goals an advertiser can have. It ensures that a brand can withstand economic troubles, competition, price increases and more. The problem is consumer loyalty is becoming more of a challenge. Consumers are significantly less loyal to brands than they were in the past and there has been a steady decline in loyalty toward brands, even brands that were previously immune.

As a business owner, marketer or employee there are things you can do to increase the loyalty that customers have with you. Here are four tips to further your relationships with your customers and work toward better customer loyalty.

  1. Give your customers an experience worth coming back for. What extra can you do to ensure that your customer has an experience that encourages them to return? This goes beyond meeting their basic expectations. Look at what value you can bring to a customer and then deliver. This is the staple to customer loyalty and is essential in garnering repeat business.

  2. Connect with your customers. Stay in continuous contact with your customers through social media, email marketing, text messaging and updated website information. This allows customers to create a relationship with you beyond the sale and also for you to become a consistent part of their lives beyond just when they are spending money with you.

  3. Make it easy for customers to connect with you. Your business hours might be 8-5 but your customer might be researching you at 7pm. Make sure you have a website (and a mobile site) and make it easy for them to contact you from the site. You don’t need to sit by your email and wait for their questions but at least your customer can check “contacting you” off their to-do list. This is where a lot of business is lost—customers can’t get information easily at the time they need it so they move on to the next business.

  4. Make it easy for people to air out their issues with you. Don’t wait until they get home and write a poor review on Google, Angie’s List, etc. because now you’ve got twice the cleanup. Give them an opportunity to clear the air before they leave your establishment. It shows you care about their business and also saves you from bad reviews. Hotels are a good example of this—they often have signage indicating that if something isn’t right, give us the chance to fix it.