“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell, author and keynote speaker
You can well imagine how crucial brand loyalty is when it comes to keeping your business in the game. It is the fuel that can drive your organisation and keep it afloat in a crisis.
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the profits of a business come from only 20% of customers. These are the brand loyalists you need to focus on. Not only do they stick with your brand, but they also refer your company to more people.
Brand loyalty reflects the customer’s commitment to your business.
And while this sounds simple, there is much more to do and say when you dig deeper. The pandemic makes customer behaviour even more complex as it changes everything—expectations and experience.
In the end, businesses that not only deliver excellent customer service but also do much more are able to enhance brand loyalty and win the game in the new normal.
Here are some easy secrets that will help you augment brand loyalty in the post-pandemic era.
Go the extra mile with the convenience factor
Amid the current crisis, convenience is the single most crucial factor when it comes to customer experience. It is synonymous with easy access to products and services, whether in the form of e-commerce delivery, omnichannel services, or IVR for customer support.
Online sales, for example, have witnessed a massive surge in the last year. Brands that went above and beyond with e-commerce have won on the loyalty front.
Similarly, curbside pickups add to the convenience factor, and small businesses with limited capacity can offer the service to make clients happy.
In the near future too, customers will expect the same levels of convenience. Brands that provide it will most likely stay ahead of the curve and win the retention game in the long haul.
Be available when customers need to connect
If you want to take brand loyalty a notch higher, availability comes a close second to convenience. When the pandemic first hit, people began to hoard essentials. This led to shortages and breakdowns in the supply chain.
While some businesses managed to regain equilibrium, others struggled hard to maintain the demand-supply equation. This taught everyone a valuable lesson: consistent and constant product availability is the need of the hour for businesses hoping to stay afloat.
The same goes for customer services and support. Providing self-service customer support options translates into trust, which builds loyalty. So, be there when customers want to buy or even connect before or after the sale.
Deliver value to your customers
Value is the new must-have for customers, and they stay loyal to brands that deliver it. The pandemic has reduced the spending capacity, and they want products and services that provide value for money.
Not surprisingly, premium brands experienced sales reduction during 2020, while frugal ones won with the value-for-money concept. Consumers shifted quickly to household names as luxury was no longer a priority for them.
They did it because they wanted more with less, buying necessities without toppling their budgets. These buying behaviours will stay even after the pandemic, partly due to the fact that the crisis is here to stay and partly because they will become natural to consumers,
Brands that understand and leverage this change can keep buyers coming back for repeat shopping.
Offer incentives to drive retention
Pandemic or no pandemic, incentives always help businesses retain customers for the long haul. Customer retention is likely to become even more significant in the new normal. Even a minor increase can make a substantial impact.
Appreciate repeat customers and recommend your products and brand to their acquaintances too.
For brands with tighter budgets, incentives can be a burden. But there are creative ways to make customers happy without spending a fortune.
Offering free delivery is the best place to start because consumers are unhappiest when they see the cart value jump due to delivery charges. Offer rewards on subsequent purchases and referral bonuses as these incentives pay for themselves.
Win with excellent customer care
More than anything else, excellent customer care is the mainstay of brand loyalty today and forever.
Regardless of the crisis, buyers still have countless choices. They can quickly shift to another business if they are not happy with the quality of experience and support you offer. Even if you offer a mix of quality, availability, value, and appreciation for them, they won’t think twice before switching brands if the CX is negative.
Find ways to go above and beyond with customer care post-sales, whether it is transactional interactions or support respects. You can opt for a cloud contact centre so that you never have to worry about downtime.
Leveraging AI to ramp up CX is another excellent idea. The technology is a worthy investment for any business, improving the customer journey and ultimately, motivating customers to come back for more transactions.
Brand loyalty is a growth catalyst for any business, even in normal circumstances. But you can well imagine its worth in the post-pandemic times.
It is the best marketing strategy you can invest in for your business today because it brings in more buyers for your brand. Moreover, clients are likelier to stay with your company for a lifetime when you start focusing on retention.
If you invest in one loyal buyer today, the numbers can multiply beyond your imagination sooner rather than later.
Kritik Verma is a marketing enthusiast with a specialization in digital marketing. He is currently working at Servetel, a leading cloud telephony service provider to boost business success. He enjoys cycling, travelling, indies music, and reading about the latest digital marketing trends.