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Companies can get so caught up in bringing more people into their store that sometimes only new customers get all the love. It’s easy to forget that keeping a customer you’ve already earned is a lot easier (and sometimes cheaper) than chasing new ones.

Here are three example of how companies earn their loyalty:

1. Help them make friends
2. Invest in great customer service
3. Show some goodwill

1. Help them make friends

Lots of apartments help their current residents feel at home by holding happy hours, giving away treats for kids on holidays, and offering stuff like yoga classes. But the Riata Apartments in Austin take it a step further. They have a full-time Event Coordinator on staff who plans party buses to take residents downtown, trips to sporting events, poker tournaments, and a bunch of workshops. In a market where you have to do more to compete than just have nice amenities, Riata helps their residents make friends.

2. Invest in great customer service

When one customer reached out to Simplicity Sofas about how to remove a chocolate stain on their couch cushion, they didn’t just say “Let me Google that for you.” They gave them detailed cleaning instructions and offered to replace the cushion cover at no extra charge. Why? Because helpful advice costs them almost nothing. A cushion cover doesn’t cost them much. And a return customer is worth a bunch more than both of those costs combined. According to I Love You More Than My Dog author Jeanne Bliss, companies like Simplicity Sofas do this because they trust their customers.

3. Show some goodwill

Boston had a tough time this winter. And with their record snowfalls and bad weather, it’s caused plenty of transit issues and delays. So to lift the town’s spirits, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority didn’t charge passengers for one day on all of their subways, buses, harbor ferries, and rail lines. Dunkin’ Donuts, Cumberland Farms, and Alltown also jumped in to hand out donuts and coffee to people with their reusable MBTA card. The MBTA obviously can’t help the weather, but this big gesture shows their customers and passengers that they care anyway.

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