In the oversaturated world of the internet, it can sometimes feel impossible to get your company’s messaging seen and heard above the noise that competitors are making. However, creating brand loyalty is a foolproof way to get a customer base who continues to come back for more. If you are struggling with ways to create faithful, brand-loyal customers, here are seven marketing techniques that can help.
Discounts For Current Customers
Everyone loves a discount, and hardly anyone can resist a sale from one of their favorite brands. Reward your long-standing existing customers with periodic “exclusive” coupon codes or sales. Customers appreciate and are much more loyal to companies who don’t forget about them once they have been acquired. Show them that you care and appreciate their business instead of focusing all of your marketing efforts on finding new customers, which is more expensive and time-consuming anyway. 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, so treat them well.
Exceptional Customer Service
You may have the best, most compelling salespeople in the world working for your company, but as good as their sales skills may be, that is only the beginning of the customer relationship. One of the main reasons why people choose not to do further business with a company is because of bad customer support. Your team needs to be there not only to nurture your customers through the buying process, but also to ensure that their time with your product or service is going well. Reach out via phone or email (but don’t pester) at various intervals after the purchase has been made to ensure that all is going well and to answer any questions that your customer may have. Also be as friendly and as patient as possible (as tough as it can be) when handling support issues or dealing with unhappy customers.
If your customers are happy with the products and the services that you provide, they should have no need to ever look elsewhere. Do yourself and your customers a big favor by never straying from the level of quality or service that your most loyal fans have grown to expect. The more involved that someone gets with a company, the harder it is to walk away even if a small blip occurs as long as the rest of the experience has been positive. If you absolutely have to make some changes, ensure that they do not adversely affect any existing users, and do your best to only make changes for the better.
Strong Rewards Programs
75% of consumers say they prefer to patronize companies that offer rewards. Some popular rewards systems give a certain number of points for each dollar amount spent. When the customer reaches a certain amount of points, they can be redeemed for company gift cards or credits towards merchandise. If you cannot afford to give out monetary rewards, offer your customers a sneak peek into upcoming releases. If you sell software, allow your most loyal customers to enroll into a beta testing program where they can be the first to test and see upcoming products. This is not only fun for the customer, but also very beneficial for you since you’ll get totally free and unbiased feedback from actual users who know the product in and out.
Know Your Audience
So many businesses fail before they even really get started because of one simple mistake: the founders did not take the time to do the market research to really learn about their customer base. Nine out of ten small businesses fail, but yours doesn’t have to. It is essential that you get to know your audience and what makes them tick. If you know their interests and their pain points, it should be easy to create something that they will want to buy. If you can solve a problem or make life easier for a customer, odds are you will have their attention and will continue to have their business if they have a positive experience with you. Take this one step further and actually listen to your desired customer base to see what they really want and need, and be prepared to accept critical (but often very helpful) feedback.
Build a Reputation of Trust
This may seem easier said than done, but positioning yourself as a company that can be trusted is a crucial part of creating brand loyalty. This can be achieved by doing something as simple as starting a company blog where you do more than just wax poetic on the wonders of your company and products. Instead, write articles that are informational and are focused on important topics in your field. For example, if your company sells security software, create a helpful blog that gives readers tips on how to stay safe online or how to keep their sensitive data from being compromised. Show that your company has some substance by doing more than just preaching about your product. If you have any great customer testimonials, this is also the perfect place to showcase them.
Create an Active Customer Community
Build an online group or message board for your most loyal customers, and encourage them to interact. Also encourage customers to pose questions and concerns to other users, but feel free to step in with a helpful answer if needed. If you are not very technical, create some unique hashtags that your customers can use to chat with each other or that they can even use when they want to get your company’s attention on social media. Encouraging interaction is a great way to prove that you are a trustworthy company that values your customers and what they have to say—for better or worse.
Building loyalty to your brand will not happen overnight. However, if you stay engaged with your customers and do what you can to ensure that they always feel respected and appreciated, you’ll have a loyal fan base singing your praises (and hopefully giving you positive feedback on review sites) before you know it!