Build a Trusted Brand

The key elements of customer loyalty

Tuesday 19 March 2024

What is customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty is the positive, solidified relationship between business and customer. It drives repeat purchases and encourages existing customers to choose your products and services over competitors.

At Trustpilot, we are fully aware of the power of customer loyalty. It produces the most informative reviews. A long-time customer’s testimonial will have a depth of experience that new prospects can trust.

In many ways, customer loyalty is the fuel of business success. Studies show existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than new customers.

Many variables contribute to customer loyalty, but for us, a positive customer experience is the direct cause of customer loyalty. So, how do you create one?

Cultivate repeat customers

Repeat customers are a clear indicator of a great customer experience. These customers are the segment that reduces customer acquisition costs and boosts retention rates. Increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% can increase your profits by a minimum of 25%, according to research from Bain & Company

Focusing on cultivating your relationship with repeat customers helps create an environment of satisfaction. Customers who come back tend to spend more over time. They become familiar with your brand, trust your offerings, and are likelier to make larger purchases or try new products/services. It takes less effort to sell to repeat customers than new ones. 

Even better, these customers are prime candidates for brand advocacy. They spread positive word-of-mouth and promote referrals, create user-generated content, and, according to Gartner, 75% of B2B buyers consult at least three “sources of advocacy” before they make a purchase decision. 

New customers are equally crucial to the loyalty equation. Every customer, new or repeat, is an opportunity to create a lasting, beneficial relationship. As we discussed, repeat customers are essential brand advocates and often fuel referrals, drawing prospects into the mix. Brand advocates are 50% more likely to influence a purchase decision than a regular customer.

How do you create a positive customer experience for repeat customers?

  • Use brand advocacy as a tool for business development. Be sure to include advocates in focus groups, as gathering feedback from this portion of your audience will offer insights sourced from extensive experience with your product. 

  • Start a loyalty program if you don’t already have one. A Loyalty Lion survey found that 77% of respondents stated loyalty points would make them feel good, 72% preferred early access to sales, and 70% said early access to new products. 

  • Use their feedback as free UGC (user-generated content). Publish their reviews on social media and your website. Examples of advocate UGC include La Roche Posay’s skincare routine program, where users fill out a questionnaire and share their skincare routines using La Roche Posay products on the website. 

Invest in excellent customer management

Keeping existing customers satisfied requires consistent effort. Proactive communication, personalization, and excellent problem-solving are crucial elements. This is where robust customer management steps in.

Customer management isn’t only about encouraging repeat purchases (though that’s very important). It fosters long-term customer relationships built on trust and satisfaction. Statistics say it all: 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. 

Effective management goes beyond just ensuring customer satisfaction. It serves as a significant risk management tool that protects business interests, controls costs, and mitigates setbacks before they occur.  

How do you create a positive experience with excellent customer management?

  • First-class customer service matters. Outstanding service can transform first-time buyers into long-term advocates, and 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.

  • Communicate consistently with customers and maintain the human touch. Don’t automate every step of customer interactions; 84% of consumers prefer to be treated as individuals rather than numbers waiting in line to be served. 

  • Make sure you have the right tools to remain agile. Customer management for large or growing organizations requires CRMs or Customer Relationship Management systems to stay on top of multiple client requests.

Manage reviews better

Opening yourself up to online reviews is a strategic move and an essential tool in reputation management, primarily when 52% of a company’s market value is attributed to its reputation. 

Nearly all consumers (98%) actively seek reviews for local businesses, and reviews are a great way to build brand awareness. 

Regularly requesting and collecting reviews offers a dual benefit: firstly, it expands brand reach. Positive reviews appear prominently in search results, attracting new customers who rely heavily on online recommendations. 

Secondly, genuine customer feedback fosters trust with potential customers, and trust is a core element of a positive customer experience.

A review management platform can streamline the process (we may know one); successful review management requires proactive engagement from your business. This translates to actively encouraging customers to share their experiences. 

How do you create a positive experience through good review management?

  • Respond to reviews consistently. Responding to reviews leads to better ratings overall. We recommend responding to reviews to answer questions, resolve issues, offer gratitude and build a better relationship with your customers. Don’t wait more than 24 hours to respond to a negative review. 

  • Use integrations and a review platform to avoid disrupting the customer service workflow. Trustpilot integrates with CRM platforms like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Slack, and Hootsuite so teams can stay on top of customer queries and responses. 

  • Don’t wait to resolve issues or flag fake reviews. At Trustpilot, we pride ourselves on excellent review management and eradicating fake reviews. Every review platform should offer a fraud detection tool. According to the UK Department for Business and Trade research, “well-written fake reviews distort consumer decision-making—consumers were 3.1% more likely to purchase a product with well-written fake reviews.”

 Customer loyalty is the cornerstone of a thriving business. It fosters a mutually beneficial relationship where satisfied customers become repeat buyers and brand advocates. However, building this trust and loyalty requires a foundation of customer care with regular customer engagement through reviews, client management and existing customer focus. Eventually, loyal customers become the growth engine, creating a cycle of repeat purchases, referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. When done right, a positive customer experience leads to a positive experience for all. 

Key takeaways

  • Positive customer experience is the key to customer loyalty. Creating that experience requires cultivating relationships with existing customers, establishing a solid reputation in trust and encouraging transparent communication with customers through reviews. 

  • Repeat customers are crucial for business success. Increasing retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25%. 

  • Excellent customer service matters. Outstanding service can transform first-time buyers into long-term advocates. 

  • Reviews are an essential tool in reputation management, with 98% of consumers actively seeking reviews for local businesses.

  • A good review platform is the best way to manage reviews effectively, especially ones that include fraud protection like Trustpilot. 


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