Create a strong brand.
We all know that branding is important to stand out in a crowded market. But how can branding play a part in retaining customer loyalty?
A strong brand should be easily identifiable, suitable for its market, and ideally aspirational to its audience.
But having a strong, relevant brand is just the beginning; combine this with great customer service (not just at point of sale, but aftercare and social media responsiveness) and it's possible to create raving fans of your brand. They will want to return because they enjoy the experience as much as (or even more than) your product or service.
Stay in touch.
It's surprising how many businesses miss out on the chance of communicating with their customers. Build your database of email addresses and postal addresses to keep in contact (while paying attention to GDPR regulations).
For online customers, information can be obtained through cookies and analytics to track behaviour. You can also use heatmap software to understand your customers better. These tools will tell you what your customers are interested in and allow you to plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
Don't forget that your customers are real people. Data is very useful, but a personal approach will always reap rewards. Understand what motivates a customer to come to your business. Quality, customer care, pricing and range all play a part. Keep notes on your customers so that you can send relevant and timely information and offers to them. Understand their needs and they are likely to thank you for it.
Make it special.
Connect regularly with your customers and make them feel special. Prove to them that they matter - thank them by sending an email following a purchase or writing to them inquiring about their experience with you. A personalised message goes a long way to showing your customers that they matter.
Keep the experience fresh and relevant. Whatever your industry, delivering an entertaining experience is critical to building a brand that can successfully attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Why not send them a gift or two - just for being a valued customer. Is it their birthday? Send a card with a discount voucher. Offer a personalised product, a flash sale, an exclusive limited edition… the possibilities are endless.
Have the right people on the front-line.
Provide the best customer experience possible. Make it easy for customers to reach you, then respond promptly and courteously. If there's a problem, fix it quickly and without fuss.
Give them a reason to come back.
Add value beyond your product or service. Loyalty schemes are a great way of encouraging repeat business. Recommendations of similar products is also a great incentive for buyers to return.
Don't be complacent.
Customers get bored of repeatedly seeing the same thing. They want something new to keep them interested. Eye-catching design and engaging content are essential to encourage return visits.
Even the biggest of companies can lose customers if they fail to change with the market. Take Blackberry for example, which lost its prime position in the mobile phone market, due to its failure to evolve.
Keep abreast of the latest tech and adapt it for your brand. For example, nearly half of online transactions are now carried out on mobile devices. Ensure you have a mobile friendly site which is fully responsive, easy to use and up-to-date.
Following these steps will help to keep your brand fresh, relevant and front-of-mind for your customers, which maximises the chances of repeat business.
If you have any comments, we'd love to hear from you. Please leave a message below or contact us.