Happy customers are the foundation of any thriving business. Whether a customer is new or has been around for years, they expect the best experience possible in exchange for their money and loyalty. But while most companies are aware that customers are necessary for business growth, not every brand is taking steps to meet customer expectations and convince them to stay.

Actively working toward greater customer happiness matters more than you may think. Thanks to the internet, consumers have access to thousands of your competitors. As such, having a great product or service is no longer enough for businesses to thrive.

To keep your new and existing customers engaged, you need to show them that you care. By using the tips we provide in this article, you can do exactly that.

What is customer happiness?

Customer happiness is the degree to which customers feel content with your brand, its products or services, and the experience it provides as a whole. The term is almost synonymous with customer satisfaction, as it gauges how well your brand meets expectations or goes the extra mile.

However, the difference between happy customers and satisfied customers is an emotional connection. People who are happy are more than satisfied. They’re also excited about a brand, confident in their choice, and believe that your brand cares—a powerful combination that can make them influential advocates for your company in the future.

Why happy customers matter

Happy customers become loyal customers, and greater loyalty leads directly to measurable business results. Loyal customers are five times more likely to repurchase from a brand, as well as four times likelier to refer new customers to your business. This makes them powerful marketing tools for your brand, often leading to better return on investment (ROI) than some of the campaigns you may put together from scratch.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Happiness is a feeling that drives people to make decisions. Just as you would go to Disneyland to have fun and experience “the happiest place on Earth,” customers flock to brands that can provide a customer experience that evokes positive emotions.

Instead of staying passively satisfied, happy customers are often the first to tell their friends about their great experience and look forward to returning to the brand again. Think about how often Disneyland visitors post pictures to social media, and how thousands of people hold annual passes to the park. 

On the flip side, if you have unhappy customers, you may end up having a problem with your online reputation. Although shoppers are more likely to share the positives, 30% will still share bad experiences with their networks—and 74% will stop doing business with you altogether. If you don’t want to turn your leads and buyers over to your competitors, it’s imperative to give them a favorable experience.

How to make customers happy

There’s no single path to customer happiness. Every business has a unique customer base, each with its own needs and desires. However, there are many proven strategies that your brand can build on to make customers happy and, just as important, keep them happy.

Here are four ways you can ensure your buyers become loyal, happy customers.

1. Provide great customer service

In the United States, companies lose out on $62 billion each year because of bad customer service. By contrast, consumers will spend 17% more money at companies that deliver excellent customer service.

Great customer support can include many elements, but here are the most critical factors to consider:

  • Fast responses: While not every company can have real-time service available around the clock, customers appreciate a timely response and at least a confirmation that their message has been received.
  • Convenience: Today’s consumers expect to reach your support team no matter where they’re located. In addition to a basic email and phone number, you may consider adding convenient support channels like SMS and social media.
  • Friendliness: This isn’t anything new, but customers will only be happy with your company if your team members are helpful, kind, and positive representatives for your brand. Making sure you have well-trained and pleasant employees can help you create a desirable service or product.

2. Personalize your marketing

When a shopper chooses your brand, they don’t want to feel like just another stranger that’s giving you money. Happy customers feel recognized and valued.

To show that you value your consumers, focus on personalization. Gather data about your buyers—including their name, birthday, past purchases, and more—to create marketing campaigns that are specifically designed for them. This customized approach is key to developing an emotionally-driven customer relationship.

For example, a clothing store may segment their audience based on the departments they most frequently shop. Then, instead of sending out a coupon for 15% off anything to their entire customer base, the coupon may specify “men’s shoes,” “women’s clothes,” and so forth.

3. Reward customer loyalty

Creating a customer loyalty program is one way to encourage customers to return to your brand (and perhaps become advocates).

Such a program can take many forms, but to help you brainstorm, here are a few common loyalty program models that you can implement in your business:

  • Offer a free product or service after every 10 purchases
  • Provide gift cards in exchange for referrals or online reviews
  • Send special offers that are exclusive to loyalty program members

4. Listen to customer feedback

Customers who reach out with a question or complaint (or even a compliment) will feel heard if you provide a response to their query. But you still need to show the rest of your audience that you’re interested in meeting their needs, too.

By keeping an eye on what customers are saying about you online—and actively gathering feedback with quick, texted surveys—you can get an accurate view of your strengths and weaknesses. 

You can then use this feedback to make changes in your organization and share these updates with your customer base. Customers will appreciate that your brand is taking action, especially if it’s part of an ongoing commitment to improving their overall experience.

As you gather feedback, don’t forget to respond to reviews to ensure customers feel heard even before any changes are implemented.

Create happy customers

To boost your customer retention rates and profit margins over time, it’s crucial to foster a base of happy customers who remain loyal to your brand. As a business leader, aim to provide value to your customers with excellent customer service, personalized marketing, loyalty programs, and constant improvement. By doing so, you demonstrate that you value the people who purchase your products and services and prioritize customer satisfaction.

As you enhance your ability to listen to your buyers in an effort to build happiness, get these customer feedback strategies for local business owners.

Nico Dato
Nico Dato Executive Vice President of Marketing

Nico Dato is the EVP of Marketing at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers. He fuses his passion for statistics, design, and digital marketing to produce measurable results.

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