So many businesses, new and established, spend the majority of their time, efforts and budget on gaining new customers. While attracting new customers is important, loyalty is in many cases more important and yet it’s not a place where a lot of focus goes.

Consider the following statistics from Rymax Marketing Services—repeat customers spend more money and cost anywhere from five to 25 times less to retain than obtaining new customers. Repeat customers also spend 300 percent more than new customers, make significantly more referrals than first-time buyers, and are generally easier to sell to.

There’s also something called the Pareto Principle. According to this concept, 80 percent of the future revenue of your company will come from 20 percent of your current customers.

With that being said, what builds a sense of brand loyalty among your customers so you can reap these benefits?

The following are some of the things that in a modern economy, have been shown to help build essential brand loyalty which can then translate to repeat customers.

Customer Engagement

When so much of our society revolves around things like social media and the digital world, creating a sense of customer engagement can be more challenging and often involves a different approach from what it did in the past.

However, it is still certainly possible to build a sense of connection that leads to engagement. Create channels for sharing news and updates from your company. Create a conversation around your brand that involves more than just trying to sell to your customers all the time.

You want customers to feel like they’re in some way involved in your business and your brand. Think about sharing employee profiles, and regularly letting them know where your business is headed for the future.

Be Authentic

Customers, especially in today’s world where transparency is so valued, want a sense of authenticity. They want to feel a genuine connection with a brand, and they want that brand to deliver consistency as well.

Building an authentic brand relies on ensuring that you’re driven by a mission and a sense of purpose and that you stay true to that. Don’t create a brand based on what you think people want to hear in terms of your purpose, because then you’ll never be able to convey a sense of authenticity and customers are going to see through what you’re trying to do.

As a side note to the importance of authenticity—you will have to be willing to accept not just the good feedback from your customers but also the bad. If you’re a brand that doesn’t allow negative comments on your social media or bad reviews on your website, customers are going to notice that and they’re not going to like it. It’s okay to show the good and the bad, and to use it to your advantage by making it clear that you’re always working to get better at what you do.

Corporate Responsibility

Savvy, modern customers want to see not only authenticity but corporate responsibility as well. Businesses are increasingly being held accountable, and customers also want to see that they’re supporting their employees, their communities and the environment.

People are more likely to remain loyal to a brand that they see as being in line with their own morals and belief system.

There is something called the Noble Edge Effect that you can refer to for guidance here. This indicates that sharing your charity work, or your sense of corporate and social responsibility can resonate with customers, but you need to share it with them authentically.

Provide Loyal Customers with Real Value

You want to reward your customers’ loyalty, but you want to do so in a way that really is going to provide them with value. You want to give your customers special discount or offers that really are worthwhile and aren’t available to everyone. You want those customers who continue to show with you to feel as if they’re appreciated.

A lot of companies make the mistake of introducing various loyalty programs, but they’re not significant enough to build brand loyalty, and they’re just not that appealing to customers.

With a customer loyalty program you can start small for newer customers and then the longer and more someone shops with you, continue to add value to what you’re offering them.

Finally, never let customer service slip from your priority list. Your customer service is one of the most important things you have in terms of being a strength for developing loyalty.