Loyal customers are customers of the best kind. Brands are always on the lookout to find their ambassadors. Why? Because these are the type of customers who shout from their rooftops because they love your product, they will defend you on social media, will buy all of your products, and will even get gift cards from your store for their friends and family on special occasions.
81% of customers say that they trust recommendations from friends and family than from companies. That changes everything, doesn’t it? Your prospective customers trust the words of your existing customers. That’s why we are going to discuss in this article how you can build long-lasting brand loyalty.
Who doesn’t want a loyal customer?
Loyalty is one of the most valued attributes of a customer. If you are a marketer, you need to ask yourself if you are worthy of your customers’ loyalty? If the answer is no, then you need to work on it.
Do you want to know how to build long-lasting brand loyalty, here are 7 steps to do exactly that:
- Engage with your customers:
- Understand why customers like you:
- Incentivize purchases:
- Share customer stories:
- Close the feedback loop:
- Find your brand voice:
- Up your customer service game:
Create a sense of belonging and community for your customers by engaging with them. Share the latest developments in the brand’s space. Are you working on a new product? Give them a sneak peek of its making. Make your brand manager or someone who is developing the product talk about it on your social media handles. While this will create excitement for your customers regarding your latest article, it will also make them more loyal to your brand as they feel more connected with it.
Make your customers feel involved in your company by asking for their opinions on the latest Instagram post or a funky colour that you want to introduce on your product.
Figuring out why some of your customers want to stay is as important as knowing why some of them leave. One of the main reasons why most customers leave is because they don’t feel connected to the brand. If you are a medical device equipment manufacturer, customers will not necessarily feel the need for intimacy. But if you were a laptop or a sports drink manufacturer, you not only need to have brand recall but should also have an allure that makes them keep coming back.
Meet your customers in person. Conduct in-depth interviews to understand what made them buy from you in the first place. Why did they leave you for a competitor or why did they purchase from you again? Have a discussion with them about what worked, what didn’t, and what can you consistently do to keep them happy.
Do you want brand loyalty? Then give your customers the opportunity to profit off that loyalty. This is where introducing loyalty programs are of great benefit. While monetary rewards are attractive, it is mostly a one-time thing. If you want true loyalty, then you need to give more than that. Loyalty is built on a value exchange between the customer and the brand.
Offer exclusive access to your loyal customers. Give them free tickets to events. Make your most loyal customers compete with each other (albeit in a friendly way) for a high-value reward.
Create a community for your most loyal customers, and offer entry based on specific criteria so that it isn’t a free-for-all. Instead of telling the world about why your brand is the best, focus on the varied incentives that you can offer to your customers.
What better way to include your customers into your brand than showcasing their stories? Show the human side of your company by involving customers as a part of your branding strategy. Ask your customers to share their stories with your audience. It could be with the use of a hashtag where they could tag your brand on a social media channel, or there can be more involved participation from the customers.
When you conduct brand audits, you will have an idea about the kind of resources that are already available at your disposal. Is it possible to come up with riveting user-generated content that doesn’t burn your pockets? Then get ready to work on such customer stories. You can also increase brand loyalty by sharing the story of your employees. Brand loyalty cannot be earned by steep discounts or by offering the perks of free shipping. There is more to it than a mere transactional reward.
When trying to increase brand loyalty, you need to work on your retention by giving your customers a number of reasons to stay with you. One of the simplest methods that you can employ to keep your customers’ stay is by asking for feedback. Just asking for feedback will only fetch you brownie points. If you want true loyalty, you need to respond to the feedback by working on making the changes requested by the customers.
You can even ask a customer who is leaving you about why they are moving to a competitor and what you could have done to keep their patronage.
For all of the above to happen, brands need to be open to criticism and comments. By showing your commitment to change, you are showing customers that you are worthy of their trust. Track audience sentiments to see if there have been any changes in customer loyalty after regularly closing the feedback loop.
You need to create a unique voice that is representative of your brand. Make sure that your brand voice is consistent across all channels. You cannot sound young and fun on social media but be completely dull when a customer talks to your support team. That will create a sense of confusion and it will further alienate your customers. Add inspirational and aspirational elements to your brand to make your audience become invested in your brand.
One of the most important things about brand loyalty is that your customers need to have unwavering trust that you will be right in all your dealings. One such brand that is known for its world-class customer service is Zappos, an online shoe retailer that was eventually acquired by Amazon.
Zappos’ customer care agents can take as much time as they need to resolve a customer’s queries. They even include personal topics in their conversations. They don’t have to follow any scripts and are available 24*7. The customer support agents are even given the authority to provide solutions to customers in any manner they please. That’s how much they value customer service.
If you have a no-holds-barred ‘Let me take care of my customer’ attitude, your customers will return the favour by buying more from you and staying with you.
Loyal customers are your most valuable customers. Brands need to do everything in their power to make them stay. No matter the size of your business, having a sizeable chunk of customers who are loyal to your brand is increasingly important for your brand’s sustenance. If you have fewer loyal customers, it means that there is something inherently wrong with your customer service, product, or your whole company. You cannot afford to lose customers just because a competitor is offering a cheaper product. Loyalty goes beyond pricing.
If you are looking for a customer loyalty program that will increase loyalty towards your brand with the help of a rewards program, then you have come to the right place. Check out the plug-and-play loyalty program from 99minds.