Today’s consumers are spoiled for choice, with essentially limitless options in the marketplace. Brands are faced with a significant challenge when it comes to standing out from the crowd and getting attention. But once they’ve connected with a customer, the focus then has turned to getting them to come back again and again. Long-term success is based on cultivating and rewarding customer loyalty.
Earning the trust of your customers and using it to build loyal communities is easier said than done. What can you do to build and gradually increase the trust of those who buy your products or services?
Awaken a feeling
First of all, pay attention to customer feelings about your brand. This is particularly important because well-informed and satisfied customers are more likely to buy again. Research shows that acquiring a new client can be up to six or seven times more expensive than maintaining a current one. Paying more attention to the satisfaction of existing customers is more than just common sense, it literally costs a fraction of what you need to spend to bring a new customer to your brand.
A satisfied customer becomes an advocate of the brand. The involvement of such a person is so high that they recommend the products to family and friends and even to strangers online. This is free advertising and an opportunity to put your message in front of potential clients. More importantly, advocates are able to pay more for products, and more often decide to buy premium products.
Crowdsourcing is the next step to success. It takes place when you engage your community in decision-making processes in your company. Loyal consumers are happy to suggest interesting solutions for the improvement or expansion of the brand. When a company uses a community’s ideas, the loyalty and commitment of those in the group grow even more.
It is worth noting that consumers with high loyalty tend to ignore unfavorable information about the brand and don’t acknowledge the advantages of other brands. This factor is very important when a market is saturated with companies with a similar profile.
Many factors influence a customer’s engagement with a brand, starting from personal satisfaction, positive emotions during the first contact with the brand and moving on to the values that the company communicates.
According to Gartner Surveys, 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience and organizations that take customer experience seriously will stand out from the noise and win loyal customers over. When a customer has a bad experience on a website, that feeling is transferred to the whole brand. This causes negative associations and consequently may mean permanently losing the customer. Maintaining satisfaction is one of the keys to success, so it is worth focusing on the best approach to the customer.
What’s more, consumers tend to attach themselves to the values that a company represents. This is especially important for people who do not like to get involved directly with the brand (they avoid social media, do not comment etc.), but they prefer to be emotionally involved with it. A clear transfer of value is a good way to create a solid bond on the client-brand line.
Create a unique customer experience
Dedication to collecting stamps or stickers on physical cards slowly but surely fades. When building a community, it is worth focusing primarily on the gamification and personalization of loyalty programs and personalized messages sent to customers by the company.There are many great tools in this platform that are useful in building an unusual and engaging customer experience.
Start loyalty programs
Loyalty programs add an element of competition to marketing activities. When creating a game, remember that it should not be too easy or too difficult. They have to be perfectly balanced and not discourage players with complexity while at the same time not boring them with simplicity. Competition should give them personal satisfaction (e.g. first place in a public ranking), or a measurable benefit in the form of, for example, a discount coupon.
When creating programs, it is also worth giving customers some kind of benefit. People are more involved in collecting stamps or points if they get a small advantage. Instead of eight fields to fill on the card, give them ten, but let the first two be already filled in.
Sending coupons to motivate customers who hesitate is a good way to reach your goals. Nothing convinces you to buy or make another purchase like free shipping or a small discount on your favorite product. Personalized vouchers based on the most frequently purchased items are often used to encourage customers to buy another product.
Coupons are also a great way to reactivate old customers, especially those who have left the company for a while. A small discount, based on their needs, may be a reason to return.
Deliver personalized messages
Personalizing marketing messages is no longer a cutting-edge trick. Customers have become used to personal contact and have even begun to require it. This kind of marketing not only directly impacts sales but also on the company’s image and its ability to stick in the minds of customers. This is important because over 1,700 advertising banners can be displayed to a given user in one month, most of which are ignored and don’t stay in their memory for a long time.
Content personalization can have many forms. In the era of advanced personalization, however, you have to go further than simply using customer names in your communications with them. Now, you have to tailor your message according to their online behavior, including products they’ve viewed and carts they’ve left behind.
Based on the pages a customer has already visited, you can create a message with suggested products that might interest them. In addition to recommendations, websites can also display dynamic content based on the history of pages visited. When consumers return to the site, depending on their location or purchase histories, an appropriate message will display.
Wrapping up: customer loyalty pays off!
Switching the focus from bringing new customers into your “garden” to keeping the ones who are already there comfortable and engaged can pay big dividends.
The same situation applies to remembering, as well as for the use of non-standard customer needs in future marketing activities. Does your client have an unusual shoe size? Or maybe they prefer a rare kind of tea? Clear identification of the individuality and uniqueness of the client is the key to success.