These are tough times. We are sure that there are thousands of blogs highlighting how crucial customer loyalty is. The world is on the brink of a recession. Pockets are going to be tight. Spending will be frugal. People will have their guard up, thanks to the uncertainty associated with the global recession.
Your loyal customers will most likely stay with you and spend more on each transaction than others. Essential products will be sold more than ones that are nice to have. With people displaying prudent spending behavior, your brand needs to remind customers that you value their association. Thankfully, there are a few steps that you can take to drive customer loyalty during times of recession.
- Create an emotional connection:
When a customer feels that they are being valued, the chances of them choosing a competitor is less. During times of recession, brands should show loyalty to their customers. They can do this by offering unique experiences and offers to loyal customers that emphasize how much you value them.
- Here are a few ways you can create an emotional connection:
- Engage with customers even if they aren’t actively purchasing from you. It will make them feel that they are a part of “your” community.
- Allow customers to earn points without even having to buy anything from you.
Send push notifications to customers and encourage them to interact with your content for incentives.
Offer free returns to loyal customers during tough times.
Heard of the 1% rule? It is a theoretical concept where you strive to improve every day by 1%, and you become drastically better after a significant period. The rule can be extrapolated to businesses as well. Become better by reducing friction. Remember, your customers have plenty of options. Every time they face friction when dealing with your brand, you give them another reason to leave you.
Maintain loyalty during a recession by offering them the following:
- Make it easy for them to get help from your customer service agent.
- Improve the readability of your website copy and remove jargon.
- Reduce the number of steps necessary to complete a transaction.
- Provide all the information necessary on the same page.
- Optimize the buyer’s journey.
One of the easiest ways to increase the customer-brand relationship is by rewarding customers. 75% of customers expect brands to contribute to their well-being and quality of life. Brands should be vying to one-up each other by rewarding loyal customers. There is no better time to find better rewards than now.
Rewards make your customers keep coming back for you, instead of exploring cheaper options during an economic downturn. You can take up the services of a customer loyalty program partner. They would help you set up a system that lets you reward your customers for a variety of activities. Keeping them hooked to your brand should be your biggest priority, and a good loyalty program software has several features, including the incredibly popular gamification option.
Leveraging social media, even during normal times, is a no-brainer. Hear us out. Use social media sites to engage your customers, answer their queries, respond to concerns, ask for recommendations on your products and services, and so on. You will be sitting on a goldmine of data if you learn to use social media effectively. Conduct extensive customer surveys where you ask them specific pointers on what can be improved. Find out what motivates them to buy from you.
You can even engage in pointless banter. Even frivolous updates end up going viral, and as long as it isn’t anything offensive or bigoted, it will only help your brand. Talk about a cause that your brand cares about. It is as much a tool for brand engagement as it is about forging deeper relationships with customers.
Again, this one is as straightforward as using social media, but there’s a twist. A recession is when emotions are high because people are pushed to the brink of desperation, thanks to many losing their jobs. A newsletter is a great way to stay on the radar of your customers. It is also a fantastic tool for showing empathy.
Yes, you can share product updates and recommendations. Look at the bigger picture. Humanize your brand by sharing stories of your employees, customers, vendors, C-suite executives, and so on. Everyone has a story. Write it with utmost empathy. Create a wave of emotions with each word. Make it something that people will look forward to.
When a customer buys something from you, sweeten the deal by offering something more. It doesn’t have to be a monetary benefit; it could also be an experience. For example, Walmart’s loyalty program added access to the streaming platform Paramount+ for its 16 million members. The objective is to provide enough value to your customers to make shopping with your brand a worthy affair.
If you are unsure about the kind of rewards your customers want, you can solve this problem by asking them directly. All you need to do is prepare a set of questions to understand the type of rewards that will motivate them. Send them in the form of a survey, collect the responses, and analyze them using an online survey tool. The survey tool’s dashboard will generate reports, using which you will be able to zero in on the best rewards possible.
- Here are a few ways to sweeten the deal for your customers:
- Add a bonus service and let the customers know about it. It could also be a product at the same price point or lower—for example, free installation.
- Let people know how exactly they should use the product. Offer a free call to assist.
- Offer free post-purchase service for some time.
Customerswill believe in your brand and values when they feel understood and valued. Offering personalized experiences is one way to make them feel valued. Here’s how you can offer personalized experiences:
- Use customer data effectively to understand your customers and anticipate their needs by building an easy path to conversion.
- Communications and incentives to customers on highly personal dates like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
- Introducing customers to more relevant products after a certain point of time post-purchase.
- Empower your support reps to go above and beyond what is necessary.
- Collect feedback from customers regularly to understand what they are looking for.
Make customer experience a focal point. Businesses that keep prioritizing customer experience will always be well-liked and frequented by their customers and will be able to create loyal ones who will stay with you, recession or not. If you are a business that is aware of the global business scenario, you must come up with strategies that will help you build and develop trust that will result in lifelong loyalty.
If you are looking for an online loyalty program to increase the number of advocates for your brand, you are in the right place. With the threat of a recession looming large, you are better off choosing a program that will bring cheer to your customers. Let the team at 99minds help you with it.