Many people are of the opinion that brand loyalty is an ancient concept, which is if it even existed. With the aid of modern technology, Consumers these days research, compare and purchase products on the go if they can establish that they have gotten a better quality at a cheap price. Going by a recent survey of consumers, it was discovered that more than 90 percent of consumers consider themselves highly loyal to their preferred brands.
Unsurprisingly, one major factor that influences their decision is the quality of products and services that are offered. A company that always let consumers down would repeatedly lose customers as they would not patronize them anymore. Good deals, proper customer service and good prices also contributed but consumer’s level of interaction with a brand after sales also influences their loyalty heavily.
According to the survey, 80 percent of consumers thought themselves loyal after but three deals, whereas 37 percent considered themselves loyal after five purchases. Once the loyalty has been established, although, these consumers are more likely to become natural promoters and ambassadors of these brands, as long as the brand reciprocates in like terms.
LOYALTY IS A TWO WAY STREET
From the survey referenced above, it was shown that customer service was less of an influential factor in inducing loyalty than was expected. Only 7 percent of participators in the survey thought it important. However, marketer-customer relationship and engagement proved to be highly important for most loyal customers. For example, 7 percent of them desire a quick response when they provide feedback or suggestions.
This engagement requires more efforts than customer service, when only sees them through making a decision, the sales funnel and the checkout counter. Engagement entails making customers feel like they are a part of the business process, making them feel like a part of a larger community, making them have a sense of ownership in everything and rewarding their loyalty with exclusive sales.
For consumers to be loyal to your brand, you have to focus on what is important to them. The application of these three rules can help you make it so:
- CREATE A COMMUNITY
When you intend to focus on customer engagement focus, you need to communicate and not just to converse. People often like to communicate with like-minded people who share similar thought-pattern or ideas with them and they often prefer these communication online, either on social media or on chat forums. Create these social media communities and forums and give your customers ample opportunity to interact with themselves and with you. For example, The Giving Keys, a firm that sells inspirational key-shaped jewelry allows customers to share personal stories on their website.
- REWARD LOYALTY
Create a program that will provide perks which will encourage customers to repeatedly make purchases and create strong vocal brand advocates. It’s not a new thing to hear of loyalty programs as they are very rampant. Research has established that reward program customers typically buy more than non-members. Sephora and Ulta, two well-known beauty brands can attest to this fact: 80 percent and 90 percent of Sephora and Ulta’s revenues respectively come from members on their loyalty programs. Both companies have a system where members redeem points for discount and have exclusive access to products.
- PERSONALIZE YOUR COMMUNICATION
Personalization is key when it comes to inculcating customer loyalty. A segment survey of 1,000 American consumers found that 71 percent of them get infuriated and often frustrated at impersonal encounters with companies, whereby 44 percent of them are more likely to make similar purchases with same customers even when a new brand delivers a successfully personalized encounter. Recently, most companies in existence have the data to personalize how it communicates with her customers, but it requires a careful and thoughtful approach to do so in the right manner. Instead of depending on ham-handed name dropping to make message sound personal, try out some other and powerful techniques.