What are some character traits that you admire? Patience, integrity, honesty, loyalty? So do we. Specifically, loyalty. The publishing industry changes at the speed of light, and it is a constant battle to maintain a loyal readership. On average, a media outlet has only 3.8% of loyal readers. 3.8%!
I’m loyal to Variety for updates on my favorite vice, entertainment news, because I view it as a trusted voice in that space, but if news breaks about the latest political scandal and I want the details immediately, I’ll get them from whatever publication tweets about it first and doesn’t throw a paywall my way after 15 seconds of reading.
The situation is similar outside of the publishing world, too. The market is oversaturated with identical goods, making it difficult for consumers to stay loyal to one brand. I couldn’t tell you whether I have Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes at home. I’ve used both brands before, and they cleaned and disinfected equally well. I probably bought whatever was on sale or closest to me in the aisle.Who knows, maybe the disinfecting wipes I have are neither Clorox nor Lysol!
So, how does your brand go above and beyond quality content, products and services to earn a loyal consumer base? Like this:
1) Make customer service accessible
There’s nothing more annoying to a customer than not being able to locate any point of contact on a website. Searching every page for a phone number or email is unsuccessful. The customer becomes frustrated and takes out that frustration on the company. The truth is, this is an entirely avoidable situation. Enhance your company’s customer service department to ensure new levels of loyalty.
Having easily accessible contact info is only part of the equation, though. Your company must respond to these inquiries promptly and with genuine concern. Customers can eventually lose interest in their inquiries, leaving room for them to search for brands with more efficient customer service departments.
You can build an effective customer service department by creating multiple channels for communication. Many brands offer email, phone numbers and direct chat capabilities on their websites. Many brands also rely heavily on social media to interact with customers.
And last but not least, Twitter
A multi-channeled mechanism allows your brand to dominate presence across various devices and interfaces. People will not be as frustrated when you give them multiple modes of communication, in case one isn’t particularly helpful for their specific needs.
Additionally, the more human interactions your company provides, the more customers will feel assured that they have made the right choice in standing by your brand. It solidifies the loyal following you already have while allowing room for that number to improve.
2) Add value
People like to invest their time and loyalty in brands, products and people. It is part of our human nature to enjoy putting a little extra effort into things that will benefit us in the future. We constantly aim to invest in things that matter. Make your brand one of those things. By delivering a high-quality experience, you are sure to rack up a high-quality following.
Another way to increase your company’s added value is by providing something extra in addition to a subscription or product purchase. Provide newsletters, coupon codes or complementary services, depending on your brand’s offerings.
3) Share the results
Whenever your customers have positive experiences, don’t be shy about sharing them. Be proud of the excellent service you offered. Feedback is an exquisite way together support and tell potential customers what your company is really about. This is a good way to generate loyal subscribers!
However, don’t just gather the intel about customer service reviews. Broadcast them! Use your multi-channeled approach to diffuse the information. People love to hear testimonials because they invariably build trust. Additionally, honest feedback will help your company in areas where it could potentially be lacking, so customer reviews are the most concrete way to make essential changes.
Cocokind Skincare, which we referenced earlier for its fantastic Instagram customer service, often shares the effectiveness of its products by showcasing its customers’ results.
If you don’t want to gather direct feedback from your consumers, you could also use a third party to collect feedback. Review sites like Yelp could benefit you in this department by publicizing the reviews.
4) Reward loyal customers
Appreciation goes a long way when it comes to establishing loyalty with customers. Many brands incentivize the shopping process with a loyalty rewards program. Your customers remain loyal by shopping from you, and you reward them with perks and promotions.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at Target! Develop a loyalty program with generous benefits that make customers feel appreciated. Cashback rewards, exclusive promotions, birthday freebies and early access to sales are common among many brands’ loyalty programs.
Point systems are probably the most popular way to incentivize customer loyalty. If customers get a free product when they reach 500 points, they will be more inclined to continue buying from your company until they reach their free reward. All the purchases made along the way to 500 points make the giveaway cost-effective.
Ultimately, loyalty programs assist with customer retention. Keeping them informed about new products and promotions stimulates greater customer engagement with the company, allowing the two to stay intertwined. You may wonder, is generating a customer loyalty program going to be cost-effective in the long run? The answer is: YES. It is 5-25 times more expensive to gain new customers, rather than retaining existing customers.
5) Stand for something
For some brands, loyalty rewards programs aren’t feasible. I wish Skippy would give me rewards points every time I purchase a jar of peanut butter! Actually, no, that’d be a very bad thing for me. But, nonetheless, you see why some brands, like those sold in a bunch of different stores, can’t offer individual rewards programs.
What they can do instead, though, is incentivize loyalty by making positive social contributions. I’d spend a little extra on eco-friendly laundry detergent. I’d keep buying dish soap that's saved wildlife from oil pollution for over 40 years. I’d definitely tell everyone I know to buy makeup from a company that uses a portion of each purchase to help out women fighting cancer, surviving domestic abuse and emerging from homelessness.
Social responsibility is trending right now, and this could present a new wave of loyal customers for your brand.
You can increase your customers’ loyalty by:
- Providing excellent customer service
- Making sure added value is included in the products/services your company offers
- Sharing positive consumer experiences
- Incentivizing loyalty through rewards programs
- Making a positive social impact
By following these five steps, you are sure to promote loyalty towards your brand!