by Alex Keats, Rewards Marketing Specialist at Smile.io
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a very important metric to help determine whether or not your business is in good health. CLV is an estimate of how much a customer is worth to your business from the day that they make their first purchase until the day that they make their last from you.
One of the largest influences on customer lifetime value is how loyal your customer base is. This is because loyalty directly impacts the factors that are used to calculate CLV. Since loyal customers increase both average order value and purchase frequency, we are going to help you focus on retaining more loyal customers and, as a result, improve your CLV.
Focus on Customer Experience
Although increasing CLV may seem like a daunting task, it can actually begin with simple things like improving your interactions with your customers. Great customer service can have a lasting impact on all areas of your business and trickle down into repeat purchases, increased purchase frequency, and brand advocacy.
You can enhance your customer experience by focusing on making your customers smile at every point in their interaction with your store. This could mean sending a thank you letter with their order or shipping their products as fast as possible. The happier the customer experience, the more likely they are to return for more. These repeat visits are what provide more value to your brand.
A company that has put a huge focus on customer service is Amazon. From day one, Amazon has been what they call "customer obsessed." Everything they do is focused on making the shopping experience more convenient. With their new Amazon GO grocery stores, you don’t even need to checkout! Simply walk in, grab what you want, talk to a friendly associate if you want, and leave the store.
By focusing on customer service and convenience first, Amazon has gathered an incredibly loyal following. When you make your customers happy, you encourage them to come back over and over, increasing the value that they provide to your store.
Encourage Brand Advocacy
Not only are your happy customers your most profitable ones, but they are also your greatest marketers! Your most loyal customers will often want to share your store with friends, especially if they're incentivized to do so.
You can encourage referrals through a variety of ways, but one of the best is by implementing a customer referral program. This program will work to provide your most loyal customers with credit towards your store that keeps them coming back. Additionally, a referral program provides newcomers with an incentive to shop at your store for the first time. This is the perfect way to increase how long your most loyal customers stick with you, and a good way to find new repeat customers.
Klova, a sleep and wellness company, has done a great job at encouraging their loyal customers to get their friends and families on board as well. They do this with a referral program that gives $10 of store credit to a customer who refers one of their friends. The person being referred also gets $10 in store credit.
By providing this value and rewarding their best customers, Klova is ensuring that these customers will want to come back. Now that the customer has $10 in credit, they are much more likely to return and make another purchase.
Create Personalized Experiences
People love to feel cared about and paid attention to.That’s why Starbucks puts your name on your coffee cup and why baristas will often try to remember your order. We would all rather go to a store that knows our names and makes us feel like we belong than one that makes us feel like just another customer out of the thousands that they serve every day.
Creating a personalized experience for your customers can range from sending customized email messages to including a handwritten note in their package or even specifically tailoring product listings to that individual customer. Whatever it is you choose to do, it’s important to understand that the more appreciated your customers feel, the more invested and attached they are going to feel towards your brand.
A perfect example of this is actually the wildly successful “Share a Coke” campaign. Targeting the millennial population, Coke printed the most common names from that generation on all of their Coke bottles. With that small detail, Coke made itself a much more personal brand and saw amazing successes. Over 500,000 photos were shared with the #ShareaCoke hashtag, and over 25 million people followed the soft drink giant on Facebook.
Making things personal turns your brand into a more approachable company, and can go quite far in getting your customer to return time and time again.
Increase Brand Engagement Through Email Marketing
Even if you’ve got loyal customers, you still need to make sure that you remain top of mind. As much as people may fall in love with your brand, humans are fickle beings and we need to be reminded every once and a while of the things that we love.
Email remains one of the best ways for you to position yourself in front of your customers (if you don't believe this, check out Constant Contact's data on CTRs, then compare that to your PPC campaigns). You can send out periodic emails regarding a promotion, a sale, brand new products, or whatever it may be. Remember that these are your best customers, and they want to hear from you! Sometimes they just need a little prompt.
A really great example of this is Airbnb, who keeps you involved once you’ve booked a stay with them. Airbnb does a great job of reminding you that you’ve got a vacation coming up by sending you personalized content based on where you are going. This brings you back to the site to check out all of the cool attractions that they are recommending, while also getting you excited to use their product. This in turn increases the enjoyment of each guest’s stay and the chance that those travelers will book with Airbnb again.
Increase Customer Value Through Loyalty
Loyal customers should be a very important part of increasing your customer lifetime value. By focusing on treating these customers with the highest possible service, creating experiences tailored to them, giving them a friendly reminder that you exist, and rewarding them when they share you with their friends, you’ll be well on your way to a sky high CLV.
Alex Keats is a Rewards Marketing Specialist and ecommerce enthusiast at Smile.io. He’s passionate about growing businesses, following his favorite YouTubers and solving Rubik’s Cubes.