Building brand loyalty can be the most challenging aspect of running a business, though if you are a small business, you are actually at something of an advantage. You can offer something that the likes of Coca-Cola and Nike are simply unable to offer given their respective sizes – and that something is warmth.
Take for instance the case of Pink Jeep Tours, as exemplified by the BBC, a company that offers Grand Canyon sightseeing excursions based in Arizona. The company prides itself on a warm approach, through which customers want to keep in touch with their guides even after their excursions have concluded. The company measured 91 out of 100 on the customer loyalty scale, and warmth and kindness inevitably play a huge role in achieving such an excellent score.
While investing in new customers is of great importance, new customer acquisition costs rose by ‘almost 50%’ from 2015 to 2020. When considering that existing customers are far more likely to spend with your business than new customers, encouraging brand loyalty is an absolute must. So how do you do it?
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1. Go above and beyond
It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around. There is nothing worse than a company that promises the Earth and brings you soil (if you own a gardening business, ignore this part). Make sure you are offering something realistic and of value. Exceed expectations and your customers wouldn’t dream of looking elsewhere.
2. Build a community – inspire a network dedicated to your brand
Social media will already be a huge part of your business strategy, but there may be ways you haven’t considered using it to your advantage. Start a group on Facebook and incentivize your existing customers to join for any future offers or new products. If you have a niche product, then you have an even greater chance of working this to your advantage.
3. Brand loyalty products
It’s a simple one, but brand loyalty products cannot be underestimated. Even the likes of McDonald’s and Costa coffee have the renowned loyalty stickers. The big guys are doing it, and you can too, even more so if you’re a small business able to offer the personal touch alongside the product itself.
4. Focus on customer experience
Sure, sales is king when it comes to the bottom line of your business, but how you maintain that cash flow hinges on one massive factor – customer experience. Consider the user interface of your website for example – how many steps are there from finding your website in a search engine to purchasing the product? Human beings love simplicity, and the more simple the flow of your website, the more likely customers are to return.
5. Talk to your customers
The vast majority of customers really appreciate the effort, especially if it comes from a sincere place. You don’t have to go to the level of Pink Jeep Tours – after all you may have a completely different product or service – but talking to your clients helps strengthen the bond between themselves and your business. Even something as simple as asking for feedback goes a long way to showing that you care –don’t be afraid to make your business human.
And there you have it – five simple ways that you can build sustainable and valuable brand loyalty.