Ask any brand who their ideal customer is and they’ll tell you “a loyal one”. Samsung’s seemingly unaffected reputation shows us that even the worst of crises can be recoverable if your customers are loyal enough. But how can businesses that don’t have the same influence as Samsung go about building brand loyalty? The digital age means that consumers are offered more and more choices. In the world of online food shopping, Amazon, and Deliveroo, your competitors are only a click away, and customers are no longer restricted by things such as price and location when it comes to selecting brands.
There’s no one answer to building brand loyalty, but there are many things that businesses can do to help gain repeat customers. Offering great customer service, consistency, and a competitive price are just a few of the commonly cited ways. But what does the digital age specifically offer? Here are two ways your business can use the options offered by the digital age to inspire brand loyalty.
Turn followers into fans and likes into loyalty
Does online loyalty = genuine brand loyalty? Gaining lots of social media followers and likes can only really make a difference if online actions translate into real life. Social media is a great tool for building brand loyalty in a way that flyers and websites can’t because it gives you the opportunity build a more genuine relationship with your customers.
When it comes to your business’s social media channels, think beyond sales. How can you get your audience to genuinely like your brand beyond pressing ‘like’ on your page? Consider creating a social media schedule to help you create genuine, shareable content. Use social media to engage with your audience – answer their questions and respond to their reviews – both good and bad. Building a genuine relationship with your audience is a great way of of getting them to repeatedly engage with you.
Use online opinions
When you’ve got a great product or service, sometimes half the battle to building customer loyalty is getting them through the door the first time. If a customer has never purchased from your business before, how do they know they’re going to get a quality service the first time they buy?
Online opinions – in their varying forms – are a great way to build your business’s reputation and inspire brand loyalty. Studies have shown that customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from a friend.
There are a couple ways a business can harness the power of online reviews. Media reviews are a good way of building brand loyalty – your customers are more likely to trust your business is of a good quality and swear by your services if it’s been recommended by experts. However, you don’t always need media coverage to build up your reputation – especially if you’re a local business. If your business is a restaurant, for example, sharing good TripAdvisor reviews on your social media channels, emails, and website, is a great way of getting new customers to visit and old customers to return on the promise that the food is just as good as they remember. In particular, you’ll want to encourage your returning customers to write reviews – if lots of people rave about how your business is their go-to, others will be inclined to do the same!