It's no secret that brands today need to work tirelessly to attract and retain customers. In a world where people can effortlessly shop online and switch between brands with just a few clicks, it can be challenging to keep your customers hooked. But there are ways to create fiercely loyal customers who will stick by you through thick and thin.
Why is brand loyalty so important for businesses?
Numerous benefits come with having loyal customers. For one, it costs much less to retain existing customers than it does to attract new ones. It can cost up to five times as much to bring in a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. And customers who are loyal to your brand spend more than new customers. In fact, they're willing to spend up to 67% more on a purchase than a first-time customer.
So, how do you create fiercely loyal customers? There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some tried-and-true best practices that any business can use to foster brand loyalty and maintain strong customer relationships.
1) Get to know your customers
The first step in creating customer loyalty is understanding what your customers want and need. Take the time to get to know them on a personal level - find out their likes and dislikes, their pain points, and what motivates them. Once you understand who they are, it will be much easier to create loyalty-building experiences that resonate with them.
2) Offer unique experiences
In today's competitive marketplace, it's not enough to simply offer a good product or service - you need to provide unique experiences that set you apart from the competition. This could be anything from providing VIP treatment to your best customers to creating unique customer loyalty programs. Whatever you do, make sure it's something that will wow your customers and make them want to keep coming back for more.
2) Keep Your Promises
If you tell your customers you're going to do something, make sure you follow through. This could be anything from delivering their purchase on time to providing excellent customer service. If you don't meet their expectations, they'll be quick to take their business elsewhere.
3) Maintain consistency
Consistency is paramount when it comes to building customer loyalty. Your customers should always know what to expect from your brand, whether it’s in terms of quality, service, or even just the overall experience. Today's customers expect their journey to be seamless and smooth between every channel. They want to interact with a specific brand online, via social media, on mobile, or in-store and they want all of these interactions to be unified.
4) Go the extra mile — deliver exceptional service
In today's competitive landscape, simply meeting customer expectations is no longer enough. You need to go above and beyond to wow them if you want to create loyalty. One of the quickest ways to lose a customer is by delivering poor service. If you want to create loyal customers, you need to make sure you're always delivering exceptional service - no exceptions.
5) Be responsive
Customers today expect brands to be highly responsive, both online and offline. If they reach out to you with a question or concern, make sure you address it as quickly as possible. If you don't, they'll take their business to a competitor who will.
6) Make it personal
Personalization is key when it comes to creating loyalty. Customers want to feel like they're more than just a number to you, so treat them as individuals. This could mean anything from sending them personalized emails to remembering important details about their purchase history. You can tailor brand messages for specific audiences based on the details and information collected through automation. Analyzing and utilizing your customer data will allow you to better understand your prospects and customers for a more tailored experience.
7) Show them you care
Finally, make sure your customers know that you care about them and their experience with your brand. One way to do this is to ask for feedback and show that you're taking their suggestions to heart. Another is to offer loyalty rewards and programs that show your appreciation.
Starbucks gets a gold star for its brand loyalty. Fans support Starbucks like a football team. Their loyalty program, “My Starbucks Rewards,” keeps coffee-drinkers coming back to stores again and again. As of October 2021, the program had nearly 25 million members and Starbucks Rewards represents 53% of the spend in their stores.
When you put in the effort to create fiercely loyal customers, your brand will enjoy a significant payoff. Not only will they stick with you through thick and thin, but they'll also be more likely to spend more, refer others to your brand, and act as advocates for your business.