best practices

14 Highly Effective Methods For Turning Customers Into Brand Loyalists

08 May 2019

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(Article originally published on Forbes.com on May 2, 2019)

Developing a relationship between your customers and your company is a crucial part of finding success as a business. Perhaps the one accomplishment for a business that trumps all else—even more than bringing on a new customer—is creating a lifelong, loyal customer who loves what your company does and supports you through not only buying, but also making their good opinion known to others.

So, how can a company work to increase brand loyalty in an organic way? To help you increase your number of loyal customers, we asked members of Forbes Agency Council to share their most effective methods below.

Members of Forbes Agency Council share tips for fostering enthusiasm and loyalty in your business' customers.

Members of Forbes Agency Council share tips for fostering enthusiasm and loyalty in your business' customers.

 PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Plan For Loyalty

Loyalty is the result of a relationship, and relationships are formed from having a series of positive interactions over time. Plan the ways your brand will interact with your customers over time. If your business model does not include an ongoing service or repeat purchase, then your brand will need to create touchpoints for a customer to experience repeated positive interactions. - Kris Flint, Citizen Best

2. Create Brand Loyalty With Identity Resolution

Understand what your customer wants and how they like to interact with your brand. It is essential for brands to invest time and effort into privacy-safe identity resolution, which allows for an understanding of consumers’ journeys across devices, websites, etc. Brands are then able to categorize first-time visitors versus repeat customers and share relevant content that keeps consumers engaged. - Preethy Vaidyanathan, Tapad

3. Invite Them Into Your Core Values

Alignment of values can help create loyalty. For example, if your company values generosity and giving back, then try inviting your clients to partner in those endeavors. In doing so you will begin to connect not just on a professional level, but also on a relational level. People like to do business with people they like, and this will help create chemistry between your brand and your clients. - Bryan Citrin, Chiropractic Advertising

4. Leverage Social Media To Humanize Your Brand

Social media is a certain way to create brand loyalty when used correctly. Social media has allowed us to share and humanize our brands like never before. It’s what has given us direct access to our audience and our audience direct access to us. Once you are able to humanize your brand to your audience, that’s when the lifelong loyalty and brand affinity begins. - Michael Smith, iTribe Social Inc.

5. Know And Articulate Your Purpose

Brands with a purpose—a shared intention of why they’re in business—are the ones that have strong consumer loyalty. The one thing a business can do is invest in themselves to gain clarity of what their purpose is and then articulate it. Give people a real reason to buy. Purpose starts from within, to align employees, and spans outward to attract like-minded talent and ultimately galvanize loyalty. - Jacqueline Lieberman, Story Worldwide

6. Show Your Appreciation

As an agency owner, I’m always exploring and investing in new technologies. One way I like to show my appreciation to loyal clients is to give them early access to new tools and services, almost always at no cost. Showing our appreciation to long-term clients helps to strengthen our relationship moving forward, and it provides me with case studies I can use when pitching these tools to new clients. - Adam Binder, Creative Click Media

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your Warts

Many times, we believe that we have to be everything our customer needs and show that “everything is awesome.” While serving our customers and instilling confidence is important, it may not be the magic ingredient for loyalty. Authenticity, integrity and owning my flaws have been my keys to building successful long-term customers (and relationships) over my almost 30-year-long career. - Brian Handrigan, Advocado

8. Show Measurable Results

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to create lifelong customers, bring in new customers or report to your C-suite. The one thing that develops loyalty is delivering actual, measurable results. Showcase your exceptional work and let the numbers speak for themselves. Great results create great partnerships. - Lisa Arledge Powell, MediaSource

9. Build Customer Lifetime Value Models

It can be hard to acknowledge, but not all customers are of equal value when you look at the numbers. Some only buy on discount. Some buy and return. Some buy with consistency and evangelize. A good place to start solving this puzzle is to build and iterate customer lifetime value models. Recency, frequency and monetary are good indicators to start with from your dataset for segmenting the best. - Jacob Cook, Tadpull

10. Work On Long-Term Memory

We live in a world rich with data. By having a cohesive, data-driven audience-management approach across channels you can effectively remind, cross-sell or upsell to a consumer based on what they’ve already told you and purchased. Without the persistence of remembering a loyal customer and treating them with amnesia, their loyalty will feel misplaced. - Kieley Taylor, GroupM

11. Personalize Your Customer Experience

Demonstrate how much you care about your customer by adding touches to their customer experience. Send them thoughtful, handwritten notes thanking them for being your customer, or create personalized videos that greet them personally and share relevant information just for them. The most important part of your customer’s experience is how they feel, and personalization makes customers feel special. - Adam Guild, Placepull

12. Put Yourself In Your Customers’ Shoes

Our clients last 15, 17 and 30 years, averaging seven years minimum. The key is being proactive and totally committed to our clients’ success. We get behind our retailers’ cash registers at peak times, on selling floors, behind counters and in audiences to listen and learn. We do so because each client has a unique brand personality, which is best observed by experiencing it firsthand. - Pat Fiore, FIORE

13. Focus On Emotion

Solving customer needs is crucial, but customers will return again and again to a brand experience that goes beyond problem-solving to elicit an emotional response. Focus on how your customers feel when interacting with your business: Does your solution make them feel reassured? Grateful? How about confident or whimsical? Emotional connections are more memorable and put your business top-of-mind. - David Kilimnik, Hero Digital

14. Offer Incentives And Rewards For Loyalty

Creating customer loyalty is tough and involves empathy, listening and loyalty from your end. But you can also incentivize greater loyalty from an existing client base by offering discounts and rewards for continued service. Even just working more closely on these accounts and going above and beyond could help make your clients more loyal. - Kristopher Jones, LSEO

 

 

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