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Going Beyond Loyalty Programs: 7 Ways to Create More Loyal Customers

Two women at the salon counter.

Repeat buyers are an ecommerce marketer’s dream. But building that loyalty is increasingly difficult in modern times. Traditional top-down marketing strategies and sales pitches will fall flat with modern audiences. 

The reality many brands are facing is simple: consumers trust brands that are authentic, transparent, and most of all, well-recommended by other consumers. Given that, what can brands do to boost that loyalty? These eight factors play a large role in keeping customers returning and referring.

1. Deliver Great Customer Service

For new and existing customers, you need to provide the best possible experience. This includes how you interact with your customers, from landing on your website to making it easy for them to fulfill their tasks.

People always have high expectations, especially when customer service is concerned. Do you know that nearly half of people say they would switch to another brand after just one bad experience? It is clear that building exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to build loyalty from your customers. 

In addition to utilizing email and customer service over the phone, customers may sometimes head to social media to voice their problems with a brand. On this Instagram post, an Article customer expresses dissatisfaction with an order, and the brand account responds maturely and promptly to remedy a negative online shopping experience.

2. Encourage Feedback And Act On It

Every business should strive to collect feedback from their customers and listen to what they’re saying. For each customer who complains about an experience with a specific brand, 26 other customers stay silent, and brands don’t realize they will lose those additional customers if they fail to respond to the initial customer’s feedback.

For instance, if your customers complain about your online store’s particular layout, or if your site is too difficult to navigate, fix it. After you’re done making the improvements, tell your customers about it. 

This is a great way to show your customers that you’re not only reading your customers’ feedback but acting on it as well. 

3. Engage Brand Loyalists to Boost Earned Media

Once you’ve created a dedicated fan base or following, you can tap into these people to spread the word and gather social proof

More often than not, these people are the ones that continuously mention you on social media, tag you in their stories, and tell their friends and acquaintances how much they love your products and services. 

Eventually, these people will become your brand ambassadors. So, learn as much as you can about them, and engage with them often. 

4. Engage Your Broader Community

Apart from that, you should regularly engage with your community. You can do this by producing a steady stream of content in the form of posts, articles, videos, and images. 

It would be best to hold social media contests to attract user-generated content, offering your customers rewards. 

For its 10th anniversary, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas encouraged its customers to share their favorite Cosmopolitan memories on social media with the hashtag #DecadeOfMischief, offering prizes for top submissions. 

Apart from that, you should take part in lively conversations that are happening around the clock. Keep in mind that you should be using social monitoring tools to make it easier for you to pick up brand mentions and react promptly. 

In the end, it’s all about telling a story, and compelling storytelling will help keep your community engaged. 

5. Provide a Personalized Experience at Scale

Personalization used to be a cutting-edge tactic. Now, customers expect some level of personalization when interaction with brands. While personalization expectations tend to vary depending on the age of the consumer, it’s important to remember that data privacy should always be at the forefront of your personalization strategy. 

Driving a personalized web experience at scale, while also maintaining the utmost data privacy standards can be challenging. But with UGC, this isn’t just possible, it’s extremely practical.

Gender and style-specific segmentation on Old Navy’s community gallery page allows customers to “shop the look” in a personalized way.

6. Be Transparent And Responsible

In this highly digital age, your customers are tuned in to how responsible or transparent a business is. 

To help send these positive signals to your customers, you should learn to acknowledge your shortcomings and mistakes. Take responsibility and act upon them accordingly. 

In the same way, you should also learn to adapt to the best business practices and never try to obfuscate information to your customers. 

Cotopaxi publishes its yearly impact report on-site, sharing with customers the organizations it gives back to, the day-to-day practices at factories creating brand products, and its carbon footprint reduction goals and statistics. View the full report here.

When customers feel that you’re transparent and open to them about your products, services, business practices, and brand standards, then they’re likely to give their loyalty to you. 

7. Show And Express Gratitude

Expressing gratitude and saying thank you to your customers can go a long way! Take it from giants like Etsy and Amazon, who send their heartfelt thanks to every customer after the purchase. 

Moreover, personally handwritten notes can also go a long way in saying thanks to your customers. However, you might find that this might not be feasible for you. Instead, you can develop a customer loyalty plan. Your plan should include your monthly goal of how many customer notes you intend to write or packaging inserts to print. 

Building loyalty has never been more important than now. With many options, consumers will ultimately side with the brands that resonate best with their values and build the most loyal community.

Kevin Urrutia is the founder of Voy Media Advertising Agency NYC. Voy Media thoroughly studies each client and comes up with tailor-fit solutions to bring about the best results.

Special thanks to our friends at Pixlee for their insights on this topic.
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