According to Howard Schultz, the man who turned a regional coffee brand, Starbucks, into one of the leading brands in the world, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”
Irrespective of the size of your business, brand loyalty is crucially important.
A survey result claimed that repeat customers spend as much as 67% more than new customers.
And also, that it is 10% more costly to acquire a new customer than retaining existing customers.
Now there are many books available in the market that talk about how to build a brand but almost all the books escape the talk about how you can maintain loyalty towards a particular brand. This is because the concept of brand loyalty is both rational and emotional.
6 Ways To Maintain Long-Lasting Brand Loyalty
Customers today have access to a wide range of information that helps them make informed decisions about their purchases with a brand. In fact, the plethora of choices and evolving expectations leave the customers with fewer options and scope to be loyal to a brand.
Hence it doesn’t come as a surprise when a significant percentage of customers opts to buy from a competitor and the reason could be anything – better quality of product, customer service, or pricing.
You cannot actually make the mistake of even expecting a customer to be loyal to you for a lifetime. What makes the concept of brand loyalty even more challenging is the fact that customers do not prevent themselves from sharing their disappointment in a brand with their families and friends.
Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do right to ensure your target customers remain loyal to your brand.
Improve your customer experience
This might sound like a cliche but customer satisfaction is the topmost way to build and maintain brand loyalty. For this, you need to understand whether the customers are aware of your brand and how they perceive it. There are a number of brand management tools available in the market to make this task easier. They are a great way to understand how your brand is performing in the market.
Customer experience has become the topmost priority for all businesses post the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent survey stated, “86% of customers are ready to pay extra in exchange for better customer service.”
Customers remember very well when they are treated well and even when they are not attended to or cared for by the customer service staff. In either cases, they talk about it with their families and friends and that can either mean more profits or lost opportunities. As a business, it’s always important for you to listen to what they have to say and go beyond what is obvious to enhance their overall experience.
According to a research by the Temkin Group, “Companies that earn $1 billion on an average can expect to earn an additional $700 million within three years of investing in customer service.”
Hence it doesn’t come as a surprise, when customer service or satisfaction comes as the top priority for all businesses today.
Know and utilize the best communication channels
It’s very important for your customers to keep thinking of you even when they are not shopping with you. For this reason, you need to determine the communication channels that work for your set of users and then pass along important information.
- Emails: This medium is helpful for those brands who do not have a social media presence but still want to connect with their audience and keep them updated on a regular basis or respond to their queries or concerns through emails.
- Phone calls: A good call can make a lot of difference. The experience of connecting with a real human responding to your queries or concerns and not having to go through the endless loop of automated responses can be a huge relief and drive significant customer traction.
- Social media platforms: This medium has almost become the go-to method of connecting with a brand or calling them out in a public forum to seek their attention with just an @brandname mention. And if the brand provides an instant response, then it’s perceived as a reliable brand who cares for their customers.
- Web chats: It’s definitely another helpful way of connecting with your customers. This medium requires an integration of a chat bot feature that answers the most commonly asked questions and also directs them towards additional support as required.
>>>Read More: How to Create Customer Loyalty Program ?<<<
Develop a reward program
Yes, it’s true you cannot buy loyalty, but you can definitely develop a reward program for your loyal customers when they purchase a product from you. In fact, a reward program is one of the best as well as the cheapest ways to reward loyalty displayed by your customers.
A few of the common reward programs that businesses develop for their customers include:
a) Point reward program: This is the most simple and popular reward program. As a part of this program, the customer makes a purchase and earns points. When they accumulate the required number of points, they can exchange it for some reward, either cash or kind.
b) Spend reward program: In this kind of a reward program, the customer is rewarded based on the amount they spend with a business. For example, if a customer spends $1 on their purchase, then they get 1 loyalty point. And the customer may get rewarded once they are able to accumulate 200 loyal points.
c) Tiered reward program: This program is designed in levels based on the customers’ spending habits. Through this reward program, you can make the customer feel inclusive based on how much they are able to spend and then reward them accordingly. The more they spend, the better they are rewarded for their purchases.
d) Exclusive loyalty program: There are a few organizations that offer exclusive loyalty programs. These rewards are limited to a few individuals who pay a monthly or yearly fee to enjoy special discounts or rewards. By setting up this program, you make sure these customers stick around and also serves as an incentive for other customers to join the program.
>>>Read More: Standard Cost to Develop The Loyalty Rewards App in India<<<
Share success stories with customers
Take for example, success stories from the Airbnb community. These are some of the honest portraits by the Airbnb hosts and do a great job in enhancing the market value of the organization.
Not every customer will come across these campaigns or need to be convinced enough to book an accommodation with them, but these certainly help the brand in showcasing to the world how it has made an impact with its presence.
Another example would be the Salesforce community.
The fact that influencer marketing is not just a substitute for any solid business strategy, it can help augment your brand messaging. The metrics related to influencer marketing should not be limited by the high conversion numbers, but rather the emotional connect the influencer is able to make with your target audience with their message and communication.
Over the period of the last five years, many popular brands have collaborated with these social media darlings to create awareness about their products and services, and the influencer marketing grew multifold from a supplemental marketing strategy to a 5 to 10 billion dollar industry.
Take for example, the case of Adidas.
This brand boasts of one of the most popular influencer marketing examples. Adidas wanted to get a winning edge over its competitors and launched a campaign – #MyNeoShoot contest, on the popular social media platform, Instagram, and for this they roped in the high-profile celebrity pop-star, Selena Gomez.
The success of the campaign was evident in its results – an increase in overall sales by 24.2% between the span of January 2015 and 2016 while their top competitor reported a drop in sales by a little over 9% during the same period.
Let’s face it – it’s now or never. In any business scenario, customer loyalty is of crucial importance. Customers do have the knowledge that a true brand stands for more than their products and services.
Leaving a great impression on your customers is not just important for customer satisfaction, but also for spreading good reviews about your brand and ultimately strengthening your brand loyalty. The tips mentioned above will ensure a positive experience for your customers.
Also, let us know in the Comments section below what you have done differently in 2020 and 2021 to ensure customer loyalty for your brand.
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