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How mid-market companies can build (and increase) customer loyalty to drive growth

You never miss seeing your favorite band—even if it means buying overpriced tickets and driving seven hours to see a sold-out stadium show in the pouring rain. And for days after the concert, you tell everyone you can’t wait to do it again.  

That’s the kind of customer loyalty you dream about, whether you’re a product manager (PM) at a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company or a digital marketer for an ecommerce store. You want to build or increase your customer loyalty so people can’t stop talking about—or purchasing from—your company.

How to improve customer experience

Last updated

4 Jun 2024

Reading time

7 min


True customer loyalty isn’t easy to achieve. The market’s saturated with similar products or services, and one of those offers is likely on sale at any given time. To maintain shoppers’ engagement and loyalty, you have to think strategically. 

This article explores why gaining loyal customers is an essential way to drive growth, with five ways to build and increase your customer loyalty.


At its core, customer loyalty is about building strong, lasting relationships with your existing customers. When customers feel an emotional connection with your brand, they purchase from you instead of your competitors. 

Try these five ways to build customer loyalty: 

  1. Get to know your customers even better by monitoring metrics, collecting qualitative feedback, and using product experience insights tools like session recordings and heatmaps

  2. Lean into your identity and values to attract right-fit customers who relate well to your brand and encourage like-minded friends to do the same

  3. Ask for (and implement) feedback to continue improving your offers and experience in a customer-centric way

  4. Build a community to provide opportunities for networking and connection with other loyal fans of your brand

  5. Provide exceptional service and support to show customers you care enough to create a delightful experience for them

Improve customer loyalty with data-driven insights

Hotjar’s tools show you how to optimize your website or product to create happy customers that return for more.

5 strong strategies to build customer loyalty 

Acquiring new customers isn’t easy. You have to capture their interest and carefully guide them through your funnel to the point of conversion. Ensuring your existing customers are satisfied enough to make another purchase? Also tricky.

But creating customer loyalty is the ultimate challenge—and dream. Loyal customers not only return to purchase from you, but also recommend you to friends and family, steer clear of your competitors, and rave about their experience on social media.

Let’s look at five ways to improve customer loyalty and drive company growth.

1. Get to know your customers even better

As with any other relationship, the company-customer connection evolves over time. That means getting to know your customers isn’t a one-and-done thing. 

Preferences, pain points, goals, and desires change as your customers enter new life stages, technology advances, and the economy changes. To build lasting relationships, you need to dig deeper into current data about who your current customers are and what matters to them. 

Collect information from several sources to paint a complete picture, including 

  • Heatmaps to discover what works—and doesn’t—for the typical user. (For example, Engagement Zones, a type of heatmap, show the parts of your page that people interact with most. On the flip side, rage click maps point to the most problematic spots for user experience.)

  • Surveys for continued market research, demographic data, and user persona info—we have free ready-made templates for all three! 🙌

  • Recordings to see how individual users behave on your website or product

  • Metrics like customer lifetime value (CLV), how much a customer spends with you over time, and repeat purchase rate, the percentage of customers who return for another transaction

Keep all your essential metrics in one easy-to-monitor spot with your Hotjar Dashboard. Create custom key performance indicators (KPIs) and charts using Trends and add them to your dashboard. When you notice an issue, investigate and resolve it promptly for your customers.

#The Hotjar Dashboard lets you monitor essential customer experience data
The Hotjar Dashboard lets you monitor essential customer experience data

How CadoMaestro uses customer data to drive satisfaction and loyalty 

CadoMaestro, a gift-giving service based in France, aims to increase its customer retention and loyalty. The company uses the Hotjar Feedback and Surveys tools to let customers weigh in on potential new products and optimize the gifting process.

In addition to this qualitative data, they also use quantitative data to improve the customer experience (CX). When users leave a rating on an on-page feedback widget, these scores automatically appear on a graph. Clicking on dips or low points on the graph lets CadoMaestro dig deeper into user sentiment to see relevant comments—and figure out how to improve their website to create happy, loyal customers.

#CadoMaestro uses Hotjar’s feedback score graphs to see which product pages they could improve for users
CadoMaestro uses Hotjar’s feedback score graphs to see which product pages they could improve for users

2. Lean into your identity and values

In a poll, 82% of shoppers say they want a company’s values to match their own. And 75% say they’ve taken their business elsewhere over a conflict in values.

To keep customers from jumping ship, you need a consistent, well-communicated brand identity, which is like your brand’s personality—it’s the sum of your visual elements, products or services, communication style, and core values.

Transparency is important to Hotjar, so we show our core values on our About Us page. (And a handy feedback widget sits nearby in case customers want to share what they think!)

Don’t be afraid to let your values shine through in your messaging and marketing campaigns. While making a statement may put off some prospects, you connect more strongly with right-fit customers, the kind who stick around and sing your praises to others.

Your values need to be more than a sign that you hang on your office wall—they should guide every decision your company makes, from customer support to product design. Your customers will notice, and your consistency and transparency will create a sense of trust and loyalty.

Reusable water bottle company S’well makes a splash with its brand identity centered on sustainability and a commitment to ensuring safe water worldwide

3. Ask for (and implement) customer feedback

The best way to give customers what they want—the products and experiences that hook them for life on your brand—is to ask them what they want. One way to do that is with Hotjar Feedback. Add a feedback widget to any website page to allow customers to tell you their thoughts.

#Hotjar Feedback lets users tell you what they enjoy about your website—so you can improve their experience
Hotjar Feedback lets users tell you what they enjoy about your website—so you can improve their experience

Hotjar's feedback tool allows us to capture customer sentiment incredibly easily. The customer can essentially indicate how happy they are by clicking on it. Obviously, we like to see as many happy icons as possible!

Brett Orr
Lead Product Owner, Reed

Ensure you hit the mark by launching customer surveys. When working toward improving loyalty, focus on these two types:

  1. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys let your customers rate their experience on a scale of 1–5. (Shoot for the moon—strive for fives!) 

  2. Net Promoter Score® (NPS) surveys measure how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service to a friend. (Look for scores of nine and ten on this one. These are your ‘Promoters’, the loyal brand ambassadors who drive business growth.)

No matter which survey type you choose, provide your customers with at least one open-ended question for additional comments. These yield rich qualitative insights (the ‘why’) to back up your quantitative rating scale data (the 'what’).

💡 Pro tip: get customer feedback faster with Hotjar AI for Surveys.

You may put off sending a survey because deciding which questions to ask seems daunting. The wrong questions could introduce bias into your surveys—or you might forget to ask something important.

In situations like these, our AI-powered survey creator becomes your trusted assistant.

In Hotjar Surveys, click ‘Create it for me’, and type in your survey’s goal. For example, you may aim to explore a unique facet of customer loyalty. You could type, "Learn what current customers think of our new loyalty program." In seconds, AI has a list of questions ready for you.

Hotjar’s AI-powered survey generator creates customized questions for you

4. Build a community

Human connection is a powerful thing. Giving your customers a chance to chat, build relationships, and help each other solve problems can be the difference between a good experience and an incredible one. 

For many, community brings to mind a social media presence on a third-party site, like Discord, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or a self-hosted forum. While these are terrific, they aren’t your only options to provide a place for discussion and support.

Other ways to build a community include

  • Blogs: get even more mileage from your content marketing by using blog posts to jumpstart conversation. Keep your comments open—or add a ‘share’ button so loyal fans can move the discussion to their preferred social media platform. 

  • Webinars: hosting live events like webinars lets you provide helpful content in an alternative format and fosters a sense of community. Make time for a question-and-answer session at the end, or choose a hosting platform that allows chat and poll features to boost engagement. 

  • Newsletters: encourage communication by posing questions, and create a sense of community by including a ‘customer spotlight’ section or user-submitted content. (For example, our Hotjar Love to Grow newsletter has more than 100,000 subscribers! ❤️) 

  • In-person events: offering conferences and conventions builds your company’s visibility and reputation. These events also help your customers connect with your brand and each other in new ways—sparking a sense of fun that inspires loyalty.

Hotjar’s first-ever conference HOTSAUCE encourages relationship building

5. Provide exceptional service and support

Whether you’re a SaaS company or an ecommerce retailer, your company’s reputation hinges on service and support. What’s more, 61% of buyers say they would switch to a competitor after a single bad customer service experience.

Providing consistently good customer service and support—say, resolving issues in a professional and timely way—improves customer satisfaction and increases trust. 

Go above and beyond by showing customers that you don’t just listen—you care. One way to do this is to take the time to respond to feedback, whether it’s negative or positive. This level of empathy and attention makes people more likely to forgive your missteps and stick around longer.

#Hotjar Feedback gives users the option to provide their email address. Following up personally with customers—whether to answer a question or just say thank you—encourages loyalty.
Hotjar Feedback gives users the option to provide their email address. Following up personally with customers—whether to answer a question or just say thank you—encourages loyalty.

Another tip? If you see a trend in feedback or survey responses about your customer service, investigate further with one-on-one interviews. For example, say your survey responses (or rage click maps) show that people struggle with your customer knowledge base. You could conduct interviews to see how people interact with it and ask follow-up questions on how to improve.

Hotjar Engage lets you connect with a pool of 200,000+ potential participants and schedule and record your interviews. You gain empathy for the user experience—and learn new ways to replace friction with delight.

💡 Pro tip: show your dedication to customer service with the Hubspot–Hotjar integration

Get Hotjar session recordings—playbacks of exactly what your users do on your site or product—sent directly to your customer support team’s HubSpot contact timeline. When troubleshooting with a customer about your software product, for example, your customer support team can quickly pull up and watch the relevant session and resolve the problem more quickly.

Get Hotjar session recordings sent directly to HubSpot for faster problem resolution times

Put your customer first to unlock loyalty

Customers notice when you invest time and energy into getting to know them and improving every possible touchpoint they have with your brand. By gathering insights from real customers, you discover new ways to make their lives easier and more delightful. In the process, you create loyal customers who help you grow your business.

Improve customer loyalty with insights

Hotjar tools show you how to optimize your website or product to create happy customers that return for more.

FAQs about building customer loyalty