Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question is:
First, some crucial context: loyal customers are not acquired. They are nurtured, served and delighted, and then they become loyal customers.
Nobody is a loyal customer from day one. It’s up to you to make that happen through a great customer experience, and excellent customer service.
With that said, there’s some variation, among acquisition channels, when it comes to how likely a certain audience is to become loyal customers in the long run.
This will vary greatly depending on your specific business, but in general, we’ve found:
- A majority of our most loyal customers come from our blog. They’re long-time readers before they ever buy, and so we’ve already built something of a relationship by then.
- Organic search traffic is a great way to get customers who will become loyal. They’ve found you because you’re promising a solution to the specific problem they’re looking to solve, so the product/customer fit is already there.
- Third-party integration partnerships also produce customers that are likely to become loyal. If a customer is deeply loyal to a product that you have a seamless integration with, they might choose to try your product based on that integration. If you deliver a great experience, they’ll already have a great reason to love you beyond just your product.
- “Viral” posts that bring in massive influxes of traffic from Hacker News, Twitter, Facebook and other social sources are great for rankings, but almost never lead directly to high-quality customers. These aren’t highly qualified leads, and if they sign up, they’re typically just kicking the tires to see what you’re all about.
- Customers who are incentivized by discounts and low prices (“price shoppers”) rarely become loyal. They tend to choose whatever is cheapest, rather than whatever is best.
But above all, it’s important to note that no channel is a fishing hole for already loyal or high-value customers. That’s on you.