Customer Experience

5 Ways To Make Your Startup Addictive

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When you can turn a prospect into a repeat customer, your acquisition efforts can pay off for months or even years. But how do you get to the point where your clients are clamoring for more of your product or service every month?

Here are a few tips to make your offerings addictive:

Related: 4 Reasons Why Customers Vanish Without a Word

1. The first one's free

Everyone loves free things, right? When you allow people to get a taste of your product without having to part with any cash, you build good will. (It goes without say that your product should be awesome enough to make them want more.) And, science shows that the force of reciprocity will spur many of them to buy from you. For instance, in his book InfluenceRobert Cialdini details a study in which experimenters who gave subjects a can of soda sold more raffle tickets than those who didn't. We are hardwired to repay those who have done a kindness for us. Use your generosity to open up theirs.

2. Make your clients feel good

Treat every prospective and current client like royalty. Great service makes clients feel special, and they will develop loyalty to you and even become an advocate on your behalf. Train every team member who has customer contact to be unfailingly friendly. Listen to client issues and solve them rapidly. This sort of service makes people customers for life.

3. Make using your product an easy-to-adopt behavior

Everything about your product should be intuitive. When a visitor comes to your site, they should see where and how to order in seconds. Whether your product needs installation, assembly or some other set up, make the process painless and the instructions easy to understand. Hire people to try your site and your product to ensure that everything works exactly as it should. By eliminating aggravations and pain points, you make it more likely that someone who has bought from you once will come back to do it again and again.

Related: Want to Attract More Loyal Customers? Focus on This Marketing Strategy.

4. Reward longevity

The cruise line Holland America's Mariner Society program provides perks to people who have traveled with the cruise line before. They get a monthly magazine, access to special sales and an invitation to a special luncheon on their next cruise. As you accrue more travel-time with the cruise line, the perks get sweeter including free meals in the premium on-board restaurant, complimentary spa service and priority access to boarding, check-in and more.

The extra freebies and perks are, of course, just part of the appeal. The other comes from the beneficial feeling of status. When you demonstrate that your most loyal customers earn high status, it gives newer users something to crave.

5. Build a sense of identity and membership

Apple doesn't just sell computer products, they sell a lifestyle and a self-perception. People who buy iPhones, MacBooks and iPads consider their OS and phone choice part of their identity.

This is not accidental. Apple has built this identity by design. Their marketing gives their products a certain cache and cool that people can access simply by purchasing. Their devices have intuitive and friendly interfaces that are just different enough from others in their category that it dissuades people from defecting. And the physical products themselves are designed to be beautiful. People who buy them buy membership in a tribe, and that sense of belonging can be highly addictive.

By not only giving customers what they want but also paying close attention to the ways that you make them feel, you can achieve that same sort of addictive nature. Be deliberate, thoughtful and detail-oriented about every part of your customer experience. With a lot of care and a little luck, you can develop the strong following that will keep customers with you for years and allow your company to continually grow.

Related: 4 Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back