Brand loyalty isn't something you buy. It's something you earn. Even with the most generous marketing budgets, fans aren't created through glitzy imagery or lofty promises. Instead, loyal fans are earned through good, old-fashioned customer service and a genuine appreciation for their business. How can you turn your customers into loyal fans? Here are six ways to keep your customers not only coming back but also driven to tell others how great you are.
Consistency in whatever you deliver is paramount. You know when you place that Prime order with Amazon that your package will likely arrive on your doorstep, in good condition, the next day. Amazon is nothing if not consistent. We, as consumers, have come to expect and admire that consistency, which is why an estimated 82% of households worldwide have a Prime membership.
Customers want to know what to expect from you. Your online reviews will reflect this. A recent Dimensional Research for Zendesk study found that 87% of customers are more than willing to share an excellent service experience on their social networks. Conversely, a whopping 95% are more than happy to share a bad experience with everyone they know.
Make social media a key piece of your marketing plan. Knowing and understanding what customers are looking for and how they react to the companies they do business with is essential. Think of social media as a free feedback loop that can tell you what you're doing right and, more importantly, what you aren’t so that you can address any shortcomings head-on. Plus, positively engaging with customers on social media adds a personal feel and authenticity to your brand’s image. It makes your brand feel approachable. It lets customers and prospects know you genuinely care about their feedback and satisfaction. A mere mention, response, retweet, or share can turn like for your brand into love and loyalty.
It's easy to embellish the truth in advertising. Any good marketing agency can write compelling ad copy touting your product’s features and benefits. A good graphic designer can source stock photography of beautiful people doing extraordinary things and imply it directly results from their interaction with your brand. But what’s important is that you deliver what you portray. For instance, if you tell your customers that your signature box of chocolates is on sale for just $24.95, but during checkout, customers are faced with additional fees or automatic reordering requirements, etc., they'll lose trust in what you have to sell.
Your customers choose to do business with you. You likely have direct competitors, which means your customers have a choice on where to spend their hard-earned money. Make sure your customers have a top-notch experience at every step of the transaction and that you convey your appreciation for them choosing you and your brand over all the competition you face at every turn. Social media makes engaging with customers easy. Be sure to engage with them personally and treat them like friends, not just another sale. Make customers feel special no matter what the circumstance. That's especially important if a customer is dissatisfied. Mistakes do happen; it’s how you handle the situation and show that you want to make things right that matters. Suppose you offer a genuine apology and a token of appreciation above and beyond what they would expect. In that case, chances are good that you have preserved, and perhaps even strengthened, that relationship.
Focus on the long-term. Building a raving fan base doesn't happen overnight and requires the commitment and involvement of your entire organization to create a happy, robust, and loyal customer base. It involves planning and follow-through. Make a plan, and stick with it. Foresee pain points on the customer journey and address them before they become issues. If your shipping vendors are experiencing longer-than-normal delivery times, note that during the checkout process, along with an apology. If you develop a strong game plan and stick with it, your efforts will pay off. It's key to continue the momentum for outstanding results.
Work with a Professional Marketing Agency
Top marketing agencies like St. Petersburg-based Thompson Marketing Partners can help map your customer journey and create a customer service game plan to turn customers into raving fans. We offer a full range of digital marketing services and are experts in developing and executing strategic digital marketing solutions that help clients reach their marketing goals. To learn more, visit http://www.thompsonmarketingpartners.com