3 Essentials for Creating a Loyal Customer Base

Contrary to public opinion, brand loyalty is alive and well — nevertheless, you do need to earn it first.

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media in businesses.

With consumers to be able to research, compare and buy services and products on the fly, it’s easy to trust that brand loyalty can be an ancient concept. Yet according to a recently available survey of consumers, a lot more than 90 percent of these consider themselves highly loyal with their preferred brands.

And in addition, the quality of services and products was the leading element in that loyalty. Consumers won’t repeatedly purchase products or depend on services from a company that keeps permitting them to down. Discounted prices and customer support also contributed, but consumers’ degree of interaction with a brand beyond sales also weighs heavily within their loyalty.

In the survey, 80 percent of consumers considered themselves loyal after just three purchases, whereas it took 37 percent a complete five purchases before they might declare themselves brand loyal. Once they’ve granted that loyalty, though, these individuals are more likely to be natural ambassadors for the brand — given that that brand reciprocates their devotion.

Loyalty is a two-way street

In the survey mentioned previously, customer service ended up being less of a loyalty factor than expected. Only 7 percent of respondents named it as important. However, customer engagement was very important for the most loyal customers. For example, 67 percent of these expect an easy response if they provide feedback.

This engagement takes more effort than servicing customers, which merely helps them make it through the sales funnel also to the checkout counter. Engagement means making consumers feel just like part of a community and personalizing specific things like loyalty rewards and exclusive sales.

Related: Researching to Improve Your Customer Engagement on Social Media? Listed below are 8.

You can’t expect consumers to be loyal customers unless your brand targets what’s most significant to them. Remembering these three rules will help you make it so:

1. Cultivate a community.

When you shift toward a person engagement focus, you don’t just communicate — you converse. People generally prefer to have those conversations online, either on social media or on forums with like-minded individuals. Create these forums and social media communities to provide your visitors a platform by which to interact. For instance, The Giving Keys, which sells inspirational key-shaped jewelry and employs individuals transitioning out of homelessness, allows customers to talk about personal stories on its website.

Bring customers, peers, partners and even community leaders together to benefit a lot more than just your brand. For example, the WeAreTeachers.com forum created by MDR, the training arm of Dun & Bradstreet, can be an network where educators will get community resources or connect to teachers in other districts. The city you create doesn’t need to be centered around what your company offers. Nevertheless, you can be confident that your brand will be identified by customers for the sense of community you help cultivate.

Related: The 5 Emotions That Drive Customer Loyalty

2. Make loyalty rewarding.

Providing loyal customers with perks will encourage repeat purchases and create vocal brand advocates. Loyalty programs are hardly news, but there’s grounds they’re so popular. Research demonstrates reward program customers typically spend a lot more than non-members, as beauty brands Sephora and Ulta can attest: 80 percent of Sephora’s and 90 percent of Ulta’s annual revenues result from members of their loyalty programs. Both companies’ programs focus on a normal points system, allowing members to redeem points for discounts and exclusive usage of products.

Talking about exclusivity, you can excite your fans by permitting them to be among the first to purchase something or test a fresh service. For instance, Nike allowed a small amount of customers to sport the company’s newest products before releasing them to everyone. By offering devoted customers free or discounted items and letting your biggest fans jump the queue, you can retain current brand loyalists while incentivizing some other clients to attain the same loyal customer status.

Related: 6 Exceptional Types of Brands Showing Their Customer Appreciation

3. Personalize your communication.

With regards to cultivating customer loyalty, personalization is key. A Segment survey of just one 1,000 U.S. consumers discovered that 71 percent of consumers get annoyed by impersonal experiences with companies, whereas 44 percent of these will become repeat purchasers whenever a brand delivers an effective personalized encounter. Today just about any company gets the data to personalize how it interacts using its customers, but it requires a thoughtful method of do so in an authentic way. Rather than counting on ham-handed name dropping to create your emails sound personal, try even more powerful techniques.

For example, you could setup behavior-triggered emails, which are automatically delivered to a customer predicated on how she or he has interacted together with your company. This enables you to talk to the customer in what they’re already thinking about. You can even do A/B testing to see which email subject lines are most attractive to different audiences. Calling customers on the birthdays, anniversaries and other life events is another way to personalize your approach. That’s the tactic Starbucks uses when it sends its rewards members a coupon for a free of charge beverage or treat because of their birthday.

Earning your customers’ loyalty is often as simple as building communities that enable them to interact and grow, making brand loyalty tangibly worth their while and delivering an authentically personal experience. Doing these exact things doesn’t have to break your budget, but the rewards to do them correctly can truly add significant value to your brand and expand your loyal customer base better