Understanding Why Money Alone Can't Buy Customer Loyalty
Offering your customers the opportunity to save money is one way of convincing them to purchase from you. However, when it comes to building long-term customer loyalty, you have to do more than that. You have to ensure that your brand is constantly at the top of the customer's mind as one that they trust and one that they want to do business with in the future. Let's have a look at why this is so, and at ways in which you can earn true customer loyalty.
Loyalty Cannot Be Bought
As many stores and companies do, you can try to attract customers to buy your product by offering reduced prices. However, that isn't loyalty. If you want your customers to hang around, you have to give them something more than discounts. Just as it is with loyalty in relationships, it requires time and trust to be built. This is why if you want loyalty, you have to invest more than money. You have to somehow create memorable moments that are connected with your brand.
The Road to Loyalty Begins Long Before the First Purchase
The reason why loyalty comes first is that you somehow have to convince an individual to become your customer. As mentioned above, giving them a discount might work, but don't expect that they'll return if that's all you are offering. Instead, try using your resources to teach potential customers something new, so that they get a chance to know you and your brand. If you deliver value to your customers from the get-go, then after they've made the first purchase they will be more likely to return. Otherwise, even if they give their details to sign up to your list or newsletter they can simply ignore everything you send them afterwards.
Offer Competitions via Social Media or via Email
Competitions are wonderful at creating buzz and excitement around your brand. Even if what's at stake is a small item, most people will love the chance of winning some sort of prize. Contests and competitions conducted via social media are a great opportunity to earn Facebook Page likes or email newsletter signups; with every new follower of your brand you're increasing the number of potential new clients. For example, on social media, you can ask your followers to share one of your posts for a chance to win. Through this, you're going to end up reaching even more new people.
Make Your Customers Feel Valued
If you want your customers to sign up to your loyalty program, you absolutely have to make them feel like they matter. For example, you can designate a key staff member as the one in charge of communicating with customers. Create a set routine in which you're consistently asking your clients for feedback. Ask them what they like about your products and services, and what they feel needs improvement. By engaging your customer base in this way, they're much more likely to end up as loyal recurring buyers.
In closing, customer loyalty isn't something you can simply purchase. You have to establish a relationship first in order to ensure that your time spent trying to earn initial or repeat business isn't wasted.
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