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How to 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.
Last updated17 Aug 2023
Reading time7 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:
Get to know your customers even better by monitoring metrics, collecting qualitative feedback, and using product experience insights tools like session recordings and heatmaps
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
Ask for (and implement) feedback to continue improving your offers and experience in a customer-centric way
Build a community to provide opportunities for networking and connection with other loyal fans of your brand
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.)
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.
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.
2. Lean into your identity and 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.
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.
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'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!
Ensure you hit the mark by launching customer surveys. When working toward improving loyalty, focus on these two types:
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys let your customers rate their experience on a scale of 1–5. (Shoot for the moon—strive for fives!)
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.
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.
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.
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.