Building a base of loyal customers that use your services, trust your business, advocate for your company, and come back for more is the goal most businesses shoot for.
But, like all good things in life, brand loyalty can be hard to win. Everyone is fighting for a long-term connection with their consumers, and it’s never going to be an easy battle. This is especially true in 2020, after a year defined by uncertainty.
Now that Covid-19 has activated crisis modes, how are brand-customer relationships being impacted? How can consumer trust be won back? And what can you, as agent, do to keep your customer base growing?
Rebuilding and protecting brand trust
Brand loyalty connotes consistency – it means companies can rely on custom. But consumer behavior is changing rapidly, both in terms of what they consider important and where their loyalties lie. This isn’t your fault, but it is your responsibility to react quickly to these changes. In fact, without doing so, your long-term survival could be in jeopardy.
The question is: How can you rebuild trust with consumers for a problem you didn’t create, but must now manage?
Plan of action
It’s time to talk about action. What should you be doing now to ensure brand loyalty is where it needs to be further down the line?
Broadly speaking, there are three key steps.
1. Listen and learn
It all starts with listening to customer preferences – not once or twice, but continually. Especially now, opinions and ideas are changing all the time. Ask your customers questions that matter and then use those responses.
Having a voice, and having it heard, is important to everyone. It’s validating and encouraging to be listened to and taken seriously. And when your customers have a hand in shaping the future of your service, they’re more likely to feel invested in it.
Make following up a regular part of your company’s communication strategy. Ask how you could improve that experience in the future. This information should help you decide on your strategy.
2. Adapt and act
Time to leverage the data you’ve gathered and enact that strategy. Track behavior, measure it, and predict it. Make sure you’re continually measuring results. By reaching out and asking what’s going on, you are proactive. Customers don’t have to come to you with the problem. And by extending a helping hand, you will see the kind of loyalty generated by this kind of personal attention that can’t be bought –it is earnt by building relationships.
3. Review and revise
Now is the time to ask the million-dollar question: Is it working? This is the stage where you look at the results, and adapt your actions. That means flexibility. One of the most common rhetorical questions in the face of frustration is, “Why can’t you just….” Sometimes what comes after those four words is completely unreasonable, but it’s worth listening.
To generate customer loyalty, bring value to the way someone goes about their life, not just at the point of contract.
Make your products rewarding to use
Turn other parts of your business, physically and digitally, into something that adds real value. Make your customers’ lives easier, and reward them for their loyalty. Retailers can use their physical space as a destination for community and learning, or for lifestyle promotions. It’s up to you and your agency to create that value for your own customers.
We’re all sick of hearing phrases like “an unprecedented time” or “the new normal”. But here’s the thing – they’re both true. We’re all learning how to market during a pandemic, and the ‘right’ path to winning and keeping customers is going to keep on evolving. Allow the voices of consumers to guide your way.
Rewards and discounts are a vital tool to help you build customer loyalty. That’s why we created a platform that specialises in just that, as well as collecting customer insights to help improve and grow your service.
That said, your customers need something to attach themselves to, something to be invested in. Your business needs to turn itself into a company where customer loyalty is earned by your everyday behavior, and secured with great rewards.