Modern customers have never-endingṣ opportunities or alternatives before they make a single purchase. This gives the organizations a tough time convincing their target audience however what is more challenging is to retain the existing customer base.
Needless to say, the relationship between a business and its customers is the most fragile one. No wonder, this becomes even more crucial when you are an SMB. You are already struggling to get new clients and having a solid brand still seems like a long term goal to you.
On one hand, there are big brands, who have no shortage of resources but with SMBs they need to put a little more effort into branding. Imagine it this way, the big brands are there for a reason. They have tapped into the market, built a position for themselves and now they are a brand.
And if you think about it, the struggle is worth it considering how loyal customers are not only cheaper to convince but also offer increased profits and repeat purchases.
Do you know, the customers tend to forget the brand name but remember the feeling associated with it? So, your business needs to have a proper marketing and branding strategy along with stellar customer service to create a loyal customer base.
We have curated a list of 8 such tips whose implementation ensures loyal customers make your SMB grow. These strategies are specifically designed for SMBs as they can be implemented with low resources too.
So let’s get started:
1. Create an Awesome Brand Logo
Now this one might seem obvious to you but having the right logo can really make a difference, especially start-ups. Your logo creates a perception in the mind of your customers while also represents how they will feel interacting with you.
Every once in a while, many brands redesign their logo to reflect some change in their brand. Brand loyalty is huge and therefore every brand fosters this, a familiar logo with your customers can relate to is a huge step towards ensuring solid brand loyalty.
Now that you understand the importance of the right logo, make sure to focus on the right selection of color palettes as they are the visual representation of the role, service, and mood of a brand.
The color white is consistent in Apple’s logo and products as it is associated with purity, authenticity, and perfection.
The brand of Coca-cola sticks to the same red and white colors throughout the years to make for an attractive logo. The prominent color red signifies passion, love, strength, and energy – the qualities that the brand wants its customers to resonate with. The other color white represents youth, purity, humility, and peace.
The unique logo of Coca-Cola has helped to build a powerful brand identity. It has also helped in enhancing market competition and represents the company as an invaluable asset with intangible credibility.
Though high-end brands like Twitter (paid $15) and Adidas ($35 in 1971) spend extravagantly on their logos, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank.
If your business is devoid of a creative logo, it’s really important to design one. To design an affordable custom-made logo, you can use various logo designing platforms available in today’s date.
2. Give Your Customers Something To Come Back
Though users come back to the sites with which they have had positive interaction in the past but with 3.5 billion Google searches daily, with so many attractive offers, the user’s attention can be diverted very easily. Thus, to prevent that, you need to offer them something unique.
Even if they liked your products and wish-listed them to make a purchase, they forget to return due to millions of options.
75% of consumers say they like and choose the companies that offer rewards. A good opportunity to stand out from the crowd is by creating loyalty programs wherein you provide the customers with discounts, rewards, and coupons, and incentives. It also increases the chances of recommendations as over 70% of customers are more believably to recommend a brand if they receive a good loyalty program.
The biggest example of this loyalty program is Amazon. While it might seem like Amazon prime doesn’t help the brand with earning potential, I mean if you talk strictly about the domain of the company’s credit cards. But if you think about it, with cheaper shipping options, exclusive deals and a whole lot of movies and TV shows into a single annual cost, it might start making sense to you. The result of this is a solid consumer loyalty.
Why Does It Work?
Yes, customers have to pay a fixed fee, the benefits they get in return of this fee easily exceed within a month or two of the use. Additionally, it also appeals to two different segments of the customers- one who orders physical items from Amazon, second who are looking for streaming services. The Amazon Prime program encourages the crossover purchases between both of these segments. Needless to say, it is an awesome example of keeping the customers locked into the brand for almost everything.
The same is effective in the case of business customers ordering from brands. By making your business accessible on devices, wholesalers can make their customers buy directly from their E-commerce sites. This is also helpful in providing price incentives to the customers which are otherwise impossible to get from B2B sales reps.
3. Offer Superior Customer Service
Many of the marketers believe that the best way to build brand loyalty is to grab user attention. While that is true at some level, the truth is that the best way to bring new customers and make them stick around is exceptional customer service. This is how businesses become brand and it is the way SMEs stay afloat.
Superior customer service is important in order to cultivate a strong loyal following. Top-notch customer service ensures more value is extracted from customers and the possibility of retaining them multiplies.
69% of the US consumers have accepted that customer service plays an important role when it comes to their loyalty for a brand.
But gone are the days when customer service was limited to phone call or email. Today’s world is about social media. An average user spends around 2 hrs 24 minutes on social media per day. It’s quite logical to extend customer service to these areas.
You have to make sure that someone at the back of the desk is responding to the customer’s inquiries and solving their issues as soon as possible.
Appoint a dedicated team or a person according to your business demands. An efficient and polite team is absolutely necessary as the way they interact with existing and potential customers is out in the public and the least you want to appear is a brand that is rude to their customers.
The customer services should not be limited to just responding to the inquiries. Walk the extra mile by offering them something more that delights the customer. It can be anything, a customized offer, or even a customized product.
Do not fail to take notice of the positive comments made by users and product mentions. Acknowledge their positive comments and reviews by responding politely to them. This will build the needed trust and connection with the customers.
Maintain brand standards by creating a system that helps to respond to social media. Positive and efficient customer service can change the negative experience of the customers into a positive one. They will remember your brand for being responsive and transparent which instills customer loyalty.
4. Acknowledge What the Customers Want
High churn out rates is one of the crucial reasons a lot of businesses fail during its initial years. This is because the customers pick the other alternatives available in the market in lieu of higher satisfaction.
Sometimes, the customers back out from continuing with a brand or a company due to the lack of engagement. But for most, it is because the products offered by the brand are a poor match with what the customers want.
One of the best ways to know what the customers want is to actually listen to them. Conduct social media polls to know about their demands and opt for conversational marketing strategies to find out what their pain points and how it can be filled with your offerings.
56% of customers stay loyal to brands that understand their needs and “get them”.
Starbucks is doing great when it comes to social listening. Their Twitter feed is the proof of that. They are not only 24/7 active but they also listen to their customers and respond whenever required.
The best part? They not only listen, but they have also created a separate section to know what their customers want.
This boosts their customer engagement while also providing them customer feedback to improve their product. Isn’t it a win-win?
Agree or not, businesses today are because of the customers and for the customers. Rediscover the ‘human’ aspect of serving your customers by holding online webinars and offering loyalty points to those attending it.
5. Use Compelling Storytelling and a Unique Voice
“Facts tell, stories sell!!” – Bryan Eisenberg
It is a well-known fact that stories build interest, they keep the listeners engaged. But unless you have a very interesting story to tell, why will your customers like you?
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to help your customers build a connection with your brand. They put your audience at ease and help them engage with the human side of your brand. This results in brand loyalty which has the power to change behavior and convince customers to buy your product.
By telling a compelling story that is true to your brand, you can increase your revenue by over 20 times, shocking isn’t it?
Like the inspiring story mentioned by Adidas, people who are not interested in running will also be able to resonate with it. Sharing inspirational stories is a great way to attain new customers to the business.
Generate a unique voice that will be representative of your brands on all platforms. The voice should be able to make the customers feel approachable to the brand.
6. Become a Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Would you hire a developer who claims to be the best?
No, right? If you want to portray your brand as an authority, you must establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
Using social media to build brand loyalty is not limited to posting information about new products, services, and giving updates. It requires goals like higher conversion rates and increased brand awareness.
The customers should invest in the brand story and it is more convincing when you offer them authority in your niche. Social media is the best platform to do that and it could be achieved by engaging the customers with compelling content.
Content marketing can be taken to the next level by comprising the content created by the users. Brands launch various social media marketing campaigns where the users create the required content and it is posted or reposted by the brands.
When your customers are able to trust you, then only you would be able to convert them into loyal customers.
Wrapping It Up!
The key to build brand loyalty is to keep your customers happy. Of course, you will always need new strategies to bring new customers but if you want to build a brand, customer experience should be your utmost priority. Use the above shared strategies and do share your experience with us.