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The lifetime value of a customer is one of the most important factors in sustaining the long-term growth of your business. Customer loyalty is a strategic practice for businesses to attract and retain customers through great service and marketing tactics. Loyal customers will become your business’s strongest brand ambassadors, spreading word of mouth marketing. Providing a memorable service builds a bond between your business and your customers. Essentially, building customer loyalty is like hiring a team of marketers for free. 

The vast majority of businesses are in highly competitive markets, meaning every transaction has one winner and lots of losers. For that reason alone, they have to consistently get better and smarter at creating customers than their competitors. The smart way to handle this is to follow these steps. 

Step 1: Focus on solving one problem

The key is to find the right problem and work it out. A trial and error approach works best in this scenario, if one solution doesn’t work, opt for another. 

Take Apple iPod and iTunes, for example. MP3 players had been around for a while and so had music-download services. But the two hadn’t been combined and that’s where Apple found their problem. That pivotal combination is what took Apple into the consumer electronics business. 

Step 2: Determine your unique value proposition

One of the main reasons for a business to fail is if they didn’t segment the market narrowly enough to come up with a unique niche. Ironically enough, focusing on a smaller group in the initial stages allow businesses to scale and flourish. As with so many things in business, when it comes to market focus, less is more.  

Step 3: Engage your core target customers

Generating popular content that goes viral on social media will be irrelevant if it doesn’t get across the one and only reason why customers should engage with a particular business. Instead of overly focusing on building personal brands and trying to make a name for themselves on Twitter and Facebook, the only thing businesses should be communicating is their unique competitive advantage. Jumping onto the bandwagon is easy, but the most effective way is to come with a unique marketing technique and hitting the bulls-eye. 

Step 4: Deliver the goods 

Credibility and an outstanding reputation cannot be built unless the organization exceeds the expectations set in the customers’ minds. The big picture goal is to win and keep customers. By giving the customer exactly what they need, a business can build an army of loyal customers and it turn, keep their business thriving. 

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