21 Powerful Ways To Build Brand Loyalty

21 Powerful Ways To Build Brand Loyalty

ShoppingGives asked 21 Customer Experience experts about proven ways to create brand loyalty, especially during an increasingly competitive eCommerce space. It’s a great article, which includes quotes from my CX friends like Shep Hyken, Adam Toporek and others (including me). You can read the original article here.

Experts agree that it can be challenging to engage your customers with your brand. It is even harder to build consistent loyalty throughout your customer base. However, cultivating loyalty is well worth the extra effort and expense.

Brand loyalty can increase your company’s overall revenue, make better use of marketer investments, and insulate your company against changes in the economy.

 

What is Brand Loyalty?

You probably know that it is good for a customer to be loyal to your brand, but every brand loyalist is good for a company in more ways than you may realize. One good way to understand brand loyalty is to ask consumers what they think it is:

  • Repeat purchasing. About 68% of consumers think that choosing to buy from a brand over and over again is indicative of loyalty.
  • Love of the brand. This is a pretty vague description of loyalty but accounts for 39.5% of consumers. Brand love may be expressed by being outspoken about positive feelings toward the brand, sharing the brand on social media, and encouraging friends and family to buy from the brand.
  • Preference despite price. 37.7% of consumers think that loyalty is expressed when you buy from a brand even though a product or service may cost more than very similar competitors or have experienced a price increase. Loyalty marketers find that their consumers keep purchasing through price changes. 

 

Why Build Brand Loyalty?

Customer Retention

Retaining your customers is highly profitable. 82% of companies believe that retention is much cheaper than acquiring new customers. The numbers seem to prove them right: An increase in keeping customers of only 5% may boost your profits by as much as 25% or even 95%. 

More customers coming back more often means you earn more from each customer over time. It also means that your business will be more consistent even in downturns of the market. 

Increase Earnings and Reduce Spending

Customers don’t just spend more often when they feel loyal to a brand; they also spend more money. In fact, as many as 43% of customers spend more money at a brand that they are loyal to. 

Getting a new customer through the door and buying something costs 5 times more than keeping a current customer. Investments into current customers is more logical than pursuing new customers. The customers that you keep will make it well worth your while to invest in loyalty. 

Gain a Competitive Edge

Brand loyalty has a lot of advantages, but most business owners don’t think that customer retention is a priority. If you invest in brand loyalty now, you can take a significant chunk of the customer base. You’ll also be able to keep them, even as ebbs and flows negatively affect your competitors.

 

How to Build Brand Loyalty

Knowing that brand loyalty is important doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll do a great job of building it. A successful brand loyalty program can be a great investment. However, you need to know that your techniques will be successful. 

Here are some powerful tips to build brand loyalty from professionals in the industry. 

Communication is Key

One of the most frequently overlooked and yet most effective ways to build brand loyalty is to have great communication with your customers. Whether you have something to tell your customer about their order, exchange, or whatever else they’re asking about or not, communication is better than silence. A great relationship can quickly be destroyed by perceived indifference from your company.

Stacy Sherman, Founder at DoingCXRight.com:

“Customer satisfaction and loyalty do not happen automatically or overnight. It requires intentional focus and engaged employees who COMMUNICATE to customers on a timely basis. Even if there’s no information available to tell customers who are waiting for status updates, let them know you haven’t forgotten about them. Email, text, or best of all, pick up the phone and call as they’ll appreciate the follow-up. Silence is never an option!”

Make it Easy

Sometimes, gaining your customers’ loyalty isn’t about making a deep emotional connection or offering something nobody else has. It’s just about making it easier for your customer.

Brands that engage easily on social media, offer convenient delivery options, and offer other conveniences make it simple for their customers to work with them. They are more likely to get repeat customers that have no reason to go anywhere else.

Shep Hyken, customer service/experience expert and author of The Convenience Revolution:

“Be the easiest (as in most convenient) company to do business with. Be accessible when and where the customer needs you. Use technology to create a better experience when applicable. In other words, reduce or eliminate friction. The brand that is the most convenient and easiest to do business with has an amazing competitive advantage that can disrupt competition and create fierce loyalty.” 

Focus on the Customer Journey

Every experience that a given customer has with your brand affects their customer experience and resulting loyalty. Customer satisfaction shouldn’t be an afterthought at the end of a purchase. It should be a carefully thought-out aspect of every interaction a customer has with your company. Consider each customer’s experience on social media, at brick and mortar locations, and online. 

Adam Toporek, Customer Service Keynote Speaker, at Customers That Stick:

Evaluate your customer journey to identify and anticipate the customer’s emotions at key touchpoints. Design the experience to prevent negative emotions and to help facilitate the positive, emotionally resonant experiences that generate loyalty.”

If you want your company to have loyal customers who spend more, buy more often, and keep coming back more consistently, you should put effort into building a strong brand loyalty campaign. Consider hiring brand ambassadors to help you build a strong strategy. Loyal customers are well worth an investment.

Business Success Tips Based On 25 Yrs Of Marriage

Business Success Tips Based On 25 Yrs Of Marriage

Today is my milestone 25th wedding anniversary. Having come from divorced parents, it’s a big deal for me. I tell you this because there are many relationship lessons I’ve learned over the years and want to inspire you to enrich connections with your partner, friends, colleagues, and customers too.  You may be wondering what does marriage have to do with business? My answer is a lot!There are many correlations because when employees feel satisfied, included, and cared for (like a happy spouse), they pay it forward. Their actions impact customer experiences and ultimately brand loyalty.

10 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

  1. Show appreciation in big and small ways. People naturally do more for others when they feel valued. Say thank you often. Tell people how much they matter. Gratitude goes a long way.
  2. Listen intentionally. Concentrate on what people are verbally expressing as well as what they are NOT saying. Read between the lines and react appropriately.
  3. Pick your battles. Focus on your end game. Ask yourself: do I want a relationship or to be right? The answer will drive your actions.
  4. Practice radical acceptance. People will behave in ways that do not always make sense. Accept others for whom they are versus who you want them to be.
  5. Throw away perfection. It takes a lot of energy and often results in diminishing returns. Keep doing your best and accept flaws.
  6. Be forgiving. Mistakes will happen. Avoid fighting in public and whenever conflict happens, review lessons together to avoid issues happening again.
  7. Communicate. Let me stress this again. Communicate a lot! Pick up the phone more than emailing and texting as they often lead to misunderstandings.
  8. Celebrate not just Hallmark designated holidays. Create unexpected memorable Wow moments throughout the year.
  9. Don’t take things personally. As I’ve learned in the Four Agreements, people misinterpret stories and believe they are involved when that is not the case. Be mindful and avoid this habit.
  10. Present a united front. If you have kids, for example, show them what a good partnership looks like. The same is true with customers. Do not let different department goals get in the way of how the team shows up. Alignment is essential. 
Stacy Sherman Relationship Success Tips

#1 RELATIONSHIP KEY TAKE AWAY

 It’s easy to walk away and harder to stay when times are tough. Nothing forces us to keep a relationship alive and thriving. It must be purposeful and intentional, which means waking up each morning and being clear how you want to EXPERIENCE THE DAY with people you care about.  What you do today affects all your tomorrows!

I’m interested to know your views about creating and sustaining a long term relationship.  

If you like this article, please read my other one about the Four Agreements. It’s a life-changing book, which I have summarized for you. 

Is Your Return Policy Seamless & Customer-Centric​?

Is Your Return Policy Seamless & Customer-Centric​?

As we approach the holiday season, I believe it is a good time to discuss product return policies as it directly impacts customer buying decisions. A bad return experience will strongly influence the likelihood that customers will purchase from a competitor’s brand. Also, shoppers determine what stores to buy from based on their understanding return requirements UPFRONT. In my article, I present credible research and actions you can take to gain new customers and keep them loyal. (more…)