Customer LoyaltyIt costs less to sell to existing customers than it does to sell to prospects. This marketing adage holds true when you stop to think about it. Good experiences with your brand lead to greater customer loyalty. Greater customer loyalty leads to increased sales. Here are six ways to build customer loyalty.

1. Say thank you, and mean it. It takes effort to make sure that each “thank you” sounds genuine and heartfelt, but it’s worth it. Your employees should be mindful of what these words should sound like every time they are said.

2. Abandon a script. If your customer service team uses a script when handling issues; make sure that you realize that one script doesn’t fit every situation. Communicating effectively is an art; encourage your employees to use a script as a starting point and to really listen and communicate with your customers. Over time, the difference will be noticed, and your brand will develop a reputation of being truly helpful.

3. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you make a promise, keep it. If you can’t keep it, don’t make the promise. This can be on social media, in advertising and in what you say to a customer face-to-face.

4. Create a customer loyalty program. Put some thought into this because you want it to be meaningful. Ask your customers what they want. Talk to your employees about their ideas. Think through the process from start to end and be willing to change it up if your first attempt isn’t a success.

5. Make sure that your customers can communicate with you. You want your customers to easily reach you when they have a question or concern. If you make it easy, you and your team can be more responsive to their issues and you can avoid things escalating out of your control. This means making sure you are monitoring phones, email and social networks.

6. Acknowledge customer milestones. Do you have a customer that has been with you since you started your business? Or a customer that has used your product or service in a unique way? Acknowledge them! Whether it’s a social media post, a blog feature or a thoughtful gift!