Throughout this article, we will look at exactly what it is that makes customers stay loyal to a brand. Companies such as Apple are the epitome of brand loyalty, with the tech company having a core of followers who will solely buy their products and stick with them throughout their lifetime, but what can we learn from them?
With brand loyalty being such a pressing issue for businesses nowadays, the probability of selling a product or service to an existing customer is 60-70%, with 65% of a company’s business said to come from existing customers.
Trust is key
Exceeding your customers expectations will help set you apart in a congested market.
If you want to build a strong sense of trust within your brand, then you need to take an in-depth look at your target audience. Firstly, they must prepare with the customer in mind. This will help to develop a clear client-focused objective and show the customer that a business understands their needs. It’s also imperative to be honest, and businesses should not offer a service or product that is not entirely what the customer is expecting. This is a sure-fire way to breaking any level of trust.
Customer value service that they receive, a claim backed up by a recent survey from InMoment. The research found that more than three-quarters of consumers have held brand-specific relationships for more than a decade, and often they do so even despite cheaper alternatives being readily available. A customer will often stick with a brand or product because they know what to expect. That trust factor has been built up and enables them to know exactly what they need to. The fear of the unknown is a major reason people would not choose a new brand or service in case they aren’t happy with their choice.
There’s merit in the saying that: “Trust is the easiest thing in the world to lose, and the hardest thing in the world to get back.”
Offer Discounts and special offers
Often, brands can fall into the trap of targeting new customers with appealing offers, while forgetting to value their existing clientele. Therefore, discounts and special offers are important to make sure that existing customers feel valued. It may seem hard work to keep them happy, but this is a simple way to show them their worth.
In many studies, it has come back that discounts and special offers are in fact the top reason for brand loyalty. This is because rewarding loyalty helps to provide a good experience and is beneficial for both parties, meaning they don’t feel the need to shop around.
We’re a nation that values our home comforts, and by incorporating nostalgia into your strategy you can create unique connections with your customers. No matter how far you move away, home comforts can help a customer stick with a brand that is local to them.
We’re all partial to a bit of reminiscing, and if brands used an emotive approach towards their customers then loyalty could be enhanced massively. This is because it’s not particularly in the hands of a business and is simply a matter of ease for the customer. This links into the trust factor too, as it’s the fear of the unknown. Many customers stick to what they know and this can be tracked back to family members, such as parents. Past data in the UK found that the public are, on average, more loyal to our banks than we are our marriage vows! The average Brit stays with their bank for 17 years, while marriage in the UK lasts only 11 years on average. Often, this relationship with a bank begins in childhood as a customer follows the bank account that their parents use.
Offer excellent customer service
While the customer is always right, they are also always looking out for good service and their loyalty will be rooted in this. Meeting your customers specific needs but also exceeding their expectations will set you apart in a congested market. Businesses are there to provide a simple service. If they can’t meet a user’s expectations, no matter how high, then they will ultimately look for answers and services elsewhere. Many car dealerships use personalised invitations with servicing offers for existing customers, to keep the brand’s level of service fresh in the mind of their audience. Customer service is crucial to gaining a customer’s trust and this helps build loyalty.
If a brand or company provide you with consistent quality service, you’ll be more likely to stick with them. According to a Yotpo study, 23% of us blame poor customer service for choosing a different brand. This shows that people’s perception is crucial. Often, companies will provide a personal approach in a bid to entice the customer. A prime example is car dealers Lookers, whose slogan is ‘For You, For Life’. This indicates that the brand has your best interests at heart by saying ‘for you’ and they want to stick with you throughout your driving life experience — ‘for life’.
Everyone has different wants and needs that brand loyalty can cater to, but to master it you’ll need a unique approach. Therefore, it’s important to regularly conduct customer feedback to ensure that a business can fully understand what it is their customer base is looking for. Doing so will allow them to have the best chance to retain customers in the future.