This is what AIB say about Customer Loyalty

 While every customer is important, those customers who favour your business over your competitors and return again and again to buy your product or service are an invaluable asset and an investment in the future of your business. 

With today's consumers faced with ever-increasing choice, building up and holding on to a core group of loyal customers will mean developing and nurturing a relationship with each individual customer. Time and effort spent on existing customers through a good customer relations policy coupled with customer loyalty incentive programmes will be an investment in the future of your business. 

Keeping Your Customers 

A customer's decision to make his or her first contact with your business will often depend on key components of your business being right for that customer's needs. 

These decision-making factors will include: 

  • Location and convenience
  • Price
  • Value for money
  • Selection
  • Quality
  • Effective advertising 

While these factors will attract new customers to your product or service, what prompts the customer to return to your business again and again is more often a decision based on how successful you are in contributing to the customer's feeling of being valued and important. This loyalty can be engendered from the outset and can instill in your customer a feeling of trust that will have a lasting effect. 

After getting the key factors right, customer loyalty can be won by: 

  • Staff attitude
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Consistency of quality
  • Reliability
  • Delivering on advertising promises
  • Good after sales service
  • A fair and efficient complaints resolution policy 


A customer's decision to return to your business rather than a competitor's will often depend on his or her first impressions. More often than not it is the front line staff member who holds the key to making this first impression a positive one. A negative experience or the bad attitude of a staff member will often contribute to a customer's decision not to avail of your products or services again. 

Front line staff should: 

  • Receive comprehensive initial sales training
  • Receive regular on-going training
  • Be honest in all dealings with customers
  • Be patient and listen to the customer in order to find out what the customer wants
  • Try to convey to the customer that he or she is a valued client
  • Be fair and equitable in all dealings 
  • Be courteous and professional at all times
  • Treat complaints with empathy and as opportunities to improve 

Customer Loyalty Programmes 

Customer loyalty schemes are a tried and trusted method for building customer loyalty and repeat business. These can range from the simple "buy three get one free" method to the more sophisticated swipe-card technology. 

Many methods will require that you keep a database of customers’ details (name, address, buying history, etc.) so that each customer can be accurately targeted. The database can be used to: 

  • Offer incentives
  • Offer discounts
  • Distribute coupons or vouchers
  • Request more details of buying preferences
  • Offer a personalised reward based on the customer's buying history. 

Frequent Buyer Schemes 

Frequent buyer schemes can be an efficient method of building customer loyalty and generating more business. To get the best from your frequent buyer scheme: 

  • Make it easy for the customer to quickly understand how it works and identify it. Start by giving the programme a name. For example: " XYZ Ltd. 10% off for every EUR 150 spent"
  • Make it clear that you value the customer's loyalty and their business
  • Where possible, try to get the customer's names and addresses and record each purchase made
  • Look into the possibility of co-operation with suppliers to market key products
  • Provide additional incentives such as seasonal offers or incentives for certain targeted products or services
  • Review the scheme on a regular basis to find out how effective it is
  • Regularly review with cost/benefit in mind to ascertain whether the scheme is financially viable


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