Keeping the customers you have is cheaper and more productive than seeking new ones. Many companies find about 80% of their sales come from 20% of their clients. However, brand loyalty doesn’t just magically happen. You must strive for it and encourage your customers to keep coming back to you repeatedly.
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer took a look at the unique year business owners and consumers experienced thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trust is at an all-time low, dropping 5% between May 2020 and January 2021. The high level of misinformation makes people wary of both the government and businesses.
If you want to overcome the reluctance of new customers to give your business a shot, you must figure out how to engage people and create connections. Here are some do’s and don’ts for creating brand loyalty.
Do: Search Your Soul
Every business has a tendency to gloss over the rough parts. After all, you want to present the best face possible to the world. If you’re struggling to get a product out in time, you don’t want your customers to know that or they might not recommend you to their family and friends.
Take the time to look at where you’re not being 100% honest with your audience. How can you be transparent about any issues you face without turning them off? People don’t want perfection. They want a brand they can trust and business owners trying to meet their needs.
Do: Choose the Right Name
The name of your business can make or break you. You want something unique, but with enough familiar words to be memorable. One example is White Claw, a fruity alternative to beer. The word claw tells consumers the seltzer has some bite. White makes one think of purity and clean living.
The brand grabbed 58% of the market share in a three-year span. Much of the credit goes to the name, which is unique and catchy. Take the time to tweak your name to perfection. Go with something memorable. You want to stand out from competitors.
Don’t: Ignore Data
Dig into the facts you have on your customers. What have they complained about in the past? How can you rectify those mistakes?
You can also use demographic and psychographic data to figure out who your typical customer is. Create buyer personas and consider what they care about. If most of your audience prefers excellent customer service, make sure you offer the best around. Alternatively, if they care more about fast delivery, streamline your processes.
You may learn more from complaints than compliments. Seek out poor reviews and strive to fix issues.
Do: Invest in Delivery Services
Most shoppers want delivery options. They expect this service with the push forward from the pandemic. They now realize how convenient it is to order online and save time running to the store.
Around 98.1% of shoppers state delivery impacts how loyal they are to a brand. If they have a poor experience with delivery, 84% are unlikely to shop with the store again. Hire mystery shoppers and test your delivery process. Are you getting things to the customer fast enough? Are there any issues en route, such as damaged goods?
You’ve probably heard the advice to underpromise and overdeliver. The goal is to offer a standard of service but go out of your way to excel in your industry. For example, if you offer same day delivery, get orders to customers in an hour.
Hundreds of companies go above and beyond for their customers. Train your staff to seek out creative solutions to ensure customers’ needs are met. If you can make just one person happy, they’ll tell dozens of others about their experience. You’ll create a loyal fan for life.
Don’t: Automate Everything
The last thing you want is to become another faceless organization not interacting with your customers. It doesn’t matter how large you grow, reach out to people and try to connect with them on social media and in person.
Think about brands like Wendy’s. They have a funny online persona on Twitter where they post snarky comments and digs at their competitors. People love it when the Wendy’s account retweets them or replies and adds a funny thought or two. It makes the consumers feel connected to the brand and gives everyone a laugh.
Do: Reward Your Top Fans
Every business has customers who order from them regularly. These are your top fans. Show them you appreciate their loyalty. Develop them into a street team. Ideally, they know other people just like them who will also develop loyalty to your brand.
Send your best customers a personal note. Give them a gift. Start a loyalty rewards program. Look for ways to make them feel appreciated and special. Ask for their help spreading the word about why they love your products or services so much.
Keep Them Loyal
Brand loyalty can be a bit fickle. People who adore your brand today may find a new favorite. Don’t give them a chance to bounce away to a competitor. Send out messages, invite them to special events, let them know when you get something new in, they might be interested in.
Customer relationship management software allows you to see when someone hasn’t ordered in a while. It can send an email out for you when new products arrive the person might be interested in. You can even set up processes to mail out birthday cards or other reminders to your buyers.
Stay in touch, develop programs and keep them engaged to maintain your loyal fan base. The effort will help you retain the customers you have while growing word-of-mouth referrals.
Author Bio: Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.