Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty: How to Keep First-Time Customers Coming Back for More

Ashley Scorpio
February 2, 2022

If you’re in marketing or if you run any type of business, you’ve probably heard the statistic: it costs roughly five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. And that crucial stage between a customer’s first purchase and their second purchase represents a critical juncture to create brand loyalty.

Roughly 50% of repeat shoppers make a second purchase within 16 days of their first, according to How you treat your customers immediately following their original purchase can determine if they come back.

Fortunately, there are some tactics marketers and business owners with any size company — e-commerce or brick and mortar — can use to turn first-time customers into brand evangelists. Delivering exemplary customer service, offering personalized product recommendations, and providing easy access to product protection plans are some of the best ways to keep first-time customers coming back for more. Let’s look at how you can implement some of these tactics to drive repeat business.

Repeat Business Starts with Good Customer Service

From the moment of their first purchase, you can begin nurturing the relationship with your customers to turn them into loyal customers. Often, retailers think of customer service in terms of fixing problems or addressing complaints. But you can begin to deliver on customer satisfaction before there’s ever an issue.

Leverage Email Marketing to Elevate Your Service Experience

Often, a welcome email is enough to deliver the “warm fuzzies” to a new customer. You can incorporate a survey to show that you care about their customer experience. A welcome email may also include information on how to get the most out of their new purchase. And if you really want to endear your company to new customers? Include a coupon for 10% off their next purchase or offer an incentive like free shipping.

If you offer a product protection plan, you can share additional information in an email about how the program works, the peace of mind it offers, and how customers can make a claim, should the need arise.

Personalization Is Key to Building Loyalty

Today’s consumers are, understandably, concerned about protecting their personal information. But at the same time, 71% of consumers say they feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. Consumers understand the trade-offs. In one survey by Accenture, 83% of consumers said they are willing to share their data if it leads to a more personalized shopping experience.

Your existing customers already know you have access to a certain level of information — including their purchase history. Use that information to craft a personalized email with relevant product or service recommendations for the future. And make sure the email includes the customer’s first name in the greeting; this is a basic tenet of successful email marketing that many brands forget.

Connect through Social Media

Small and boutique brands that use social media as a way to connect with their customers on a more personal level often thank those customers directly on social media. For larger businesses, it could be challenging to establish that level of personalization.

However, companies of any size can connect through social media by soliciting customer feedback and then sharing the best reviews of their products or photos on social platforms. You can also start a campaign to encourage user generated content (UGC) with a catchy hashtag. Use your customers' word of mouth to your advantage; let them share  experiences and photos and then amplify their content and stories by sharing them through your brand’s social channels as well. If you choose to go this route, you should get the creator’s permission before reposting.

Also take advantage of paid social and retargeting campaigns to reach customers with personalized product recommendations, sales, or coupons.

Purchase Protection Plans Build Loyalty by Delivering Peace of Mind

An important facet of building customer loyalty is generating positive feelings around your brand recognition and products. Customers want to know that your brand commits to the following:

  • Caring about their long term experience with your products. (Solution: post-purchase surveys and follow-ups)
  • Understanding what they expect in terms of product recommendations. (Solution: personalization)
  • Availability if there’s an issue with the product. (Solution: connecting through social media)

When a customer purchases an expensive product — from consumer electronics to a home gym — they want to know that they won’t be on the hook for an expensive repair or replacement costs if something goes wrong. Easy-to-use, accessible product protection plans to help customers feel the peace of mind that you will stand by your product if there is ever an issue. Filing claims should be fast and simple, with options for online messaging and phone support.

Although this can be complicated for a brand to set up on their own, Extend makes it easy by offering tailored protection plans for brands in virtually every industry. Extend offers product protection with no hidden fees or deductibles and fast claims processing — with most claims processed within 90 seconds. Extend can help you land repeat customers after their first purchase and help you build brand loyalty and customer retention for years down the line.  

Want to learn more about upgrading your business? Hawke Media is an award-winning digital marketing consultancy and full-service agency founded on the idea that every modern business needs a CMO-level expert to lead digital marketing efforts. Our comprehensive à la carte menu of services and month-to-month contracts mean you get only what you need, when you need it. Get a free consultation here.

Ashley Scorpio
Ashley Scorpio is Vice President of Partnerships at Hawke Media.

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