Ultimate Guide to Customer
Loyalty

by Mercer Smith-Looper, 2019

T here are so many podcasts, blog articles, tweets and LinkedIn posts about customer loyalty out there that we could probably print them all out and create a series of books the length of the Encyclopedia Britannica. But what is customer loyalty, really? And why do people care so much about it?

A loyal customer is a brand advocate—they talk about your company and what you do to all of their friends and are willing to brag about you as needed. Not only that, but they will provide you with valuable constructive insights about your brand, not because they are angry about it but because they care genuinely about the future of where you are going. Your company can depend on a loyal customer like you would a good friend: they’re there when you need them, honest while still being kind, and they are open with both their praise and their criticism.

Here’s what a typical “loyal customer” might look like:

  • They have bought into your company or service offerings and may even be part of your beta program, or subscribe to early release notifications. Perhaps they have helped to crowdfund your products or ideas.
  • Your product or service is deeply embedded in how they run their business or life—what they do every day would be much harder without you.
  • Loyal customers have consistency over a set period of time, so they’ll have been customers for long enough to gain measurable value from your company, service or product.
  • While it can feel cold, these types of customers will often fulfill metrics that are defined by your company, such as frequency of use, the total amount of spending, volume of users or team members, or even profitability. The metrics used here depends on your company and your marketing team.

So, now that we know an overarching image of what a loyal customer should look like, let’s do a deeper dive into the psychology behind building loyalty, building and measuring customer loyalty, and how things like a customer loyalty program may impact your company and customers.