With thousands of brands crawling around and begging for recognition, we know that customer loyalty is key in getting your brand to the top. But how do you turn people from casual customer to hardcore fan?
We've assembled eight great tactics you can employ today that will generate loyalty to your brand. You'll be seeing increased business and otherwise noticing increased awareness of your product.
1. First impressions matter
It doesn't hurt to think of your interactions with customers as if you're on a date. Are you putting your best foot forward? Be nice. Be flattering. If you do damage to your business relationships early on, it will take time and money to fix it. Show your genuine, best self.
2. Let people connect with you on their own terms
Put together some sort of regular and recurring e-mail newsletter, but allow people to opt in to it. Would you appreciate an endless barrage of e-mails from some company you did business with one time and never wanted to hear from again? How would that stream of junk mail make you think about that company? Would you ever be interested in dealing with that organization a second time?
3. Keep in touch, but do it meaningfully
After people have opted in to your newsletter, send them information they care about. Yes, send them coupons and information on upcoming sales, but don't stop there. Figure out a way to include engaging content. Maybe it's a humorous update on what's been going on around the office. Get creative. What would you personally want to read? The more it feels like a conversation, the better.
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4. Set the stakes high
Get your customers invested. A high switching cost is an asset, not an obstacle. Why are Apple fans frequently seen as rabid and devoted? It's because they've invested in an expensive product, and after switching from a PC, they've had to learn how to work with a completely new operating system. Set things up so that people have doubled down on your product as soon as they buy it.
5. Reward your customers
Honoring coupons and implementing loyalty programs will go a long way towards ensuring repeat business. It's a no-brainer method to get people coming back. The greater the rewards, the more business you can expect. Think big but practical at the same time.
6. Make your diehard fans extra talkative
A paid representative can only be so convincing. A person's friend or family member will go miles farther for free. Reward people who refer business to you. If you do it well, they'll only keep referring.
7. Give your fans a name
Lady Gaga has her "little monsters." Jimmy Buffett has the Parrotheads. Naming your fans will help create a sense of identity and community at the same time.
8. Make your customers feel famous
Lots of companies employ some sort of "customer spotlight" feature because it works. People want their 15 minutes of fame. Talk to your users, and when they say something interesting, share it with attribution. If you implement it in a compelling way, soon you'll have customers reaching out all the time.