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We live in a world where customers are constantly rewarded for staying ‘loyal’ to certain brands. But as consumer preferences shift and reward programs die out, is it time to rethink how to keep your customers loyal and build brand loyalty?
The world may be becoming more digital, but consumer preferences are becoming more social. Gaining loyalty requires more than just offering good products or the best prices.
Bigger brands are starting to adapt to this change, but what are smaller businesses supposed to do to retain their customers? Here’s what you need to know about the ever-changing landscape of customer and brand loyalty.
Consumers Crave Experiences, Not Transactions
You’re probably thinking, “I already offer my customers a chance to sign up for email specials or our loyalty program, so why should I change my offerings?” The problem with these techniques of customer retention is that they are centered around convincing customers to make more transactions.
Consumers are moving away from transactional-based rewards and are gravitating towards experiences. It’s much more gratifying when I buy something and it’s wrapped in a cute box/bag or it includes a thank-you note from the store. These are things that would make me come back to the store and continue to shop there– because I look forward to these experiences with the brand. This also goes for online stores; sending a thank-you email and shipping the products in attractive packaging can go a long way.
Furthermore, having highly personalized customer service is a great way to keep your customers coming back for more. Focus on building relationships and experiences, not just transactions.
Consumers Like Brands That Communicate With Them
You may have figured out where your target audience is active and created social media accounts on those platforms, but it’s not enough if you don’t communicate with them.
Take the time to talk to your audience and personalize each experience you offer them on different social platforms. One of the best and most exciting things that you can ask your customers to do is engage them in the design or creation of your products/services.
Give your audience an online experience that mirrors the kind you would like them to have in-store, and you’ll be met with more loyal customers.
The bottom line is that your profits and revenue depend on the products/services and prices that you offer, but it won’t be enough if you can’t retain your customers. Keep them loyal by offering experiences that they attribute to your brand alone.
Once you nail down what experience you want your brand to offer, stick with it and replicate that experience through all of your channels. Any time that a customer comes in contact with your brand, they should have that same experience. This is what will build brand loyalty and bring customers back for more.