An army of loyal customers that hangs on our every word.
That’s the end-game for pretty much any business, right?
Fostering brand loyalty and a bond with your base is so important in a day and age where customers are spoiled for choice. Think about it. In the world of ecommerce, consumers are just an email offer or Facebook ad away from bouncing to a competitor.
Oh, and don’t forget the financial benefits of dedicated, repeat customers. After all, it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain the satisfied ones you have.
But all of this that begs the question: how do you turn those one-off customers into long-term advocates for your business?
How to Build Brand Loyalty the Right Way
Reality check: brand loyalty is about more than ensuring that your customers just “like” you.
At the end of the day, loyalty is about trust.
Customers need to know that you’re reliable. They need to know that you have their best interests at heart after they buy. And at the core of that trust are ratings and reviews and customer feedback.
How so? Below are some tactics to help any business foster a sense of brand loyalty among your current crop of customers and prospects alike.
1. Showcase Your Satisfied Customers
When your customers show you love, they’ve already proven their loyalty. And that loyalty can be your most powerful marketing firepower.
User-generated content (UGC) in the form of customer photos, reviews, testimonials and other visual content are crucial to building brand loyalty. In short, UGC allows you to shout-out your current customers while also marketing to new ones.
Social media is a prime place to find positive mentions and customer photos you can show off to the rest of your followers. For example, brands such as MOO regularly retweet and republish photos from their satisfied customers.
The wax seal is a nice touch, @MOO. 👌🏼 pic.twitter.com/MArdj5rwDz
— John Sargent (@HongKongJohn) January 19, 2019
Although these moments do happen organically, brands can actively encourage them as well. The most common (and low-hanging) way to encourage UGC is through branded hashtags.
Check out how Yeti puts their #BuiltForTheWild tag front-and-center in their Instagram bio.
In turn, fans and brand advocates have an avenue to tag their positive experiences.
These sorts of customer photos are brilliant marketing materials beyond social media, too. For example, you can display your customer photos as part of marketing campaigns or even on-site.
Speaking of which, the PowerReviews Visual and Social Suite is capable of curating content for social media that you can promote elsewhere. Automatically snagging feedback, visuals and permissions, collecting UGC for your site can be done in no time flat.
And then consider how you can actually leverage your customers’ brand loyalty to increase clicks and conversions on-site.
Let’s look at how Room and Board does exactly through customer reviews and UGC. Star-ratings on your product pages serve as proof that people are digging what you’re selling.
Additionally, coupling your products shows new customers that you already have folks who are all about your brand. So why not promote this type of customer satisfaction to further prove your brand power?
UGC creatives a positive feedback loop between you and your customers that breeds brand loyalty. Doing so is a smart way to include your customers as part of your marketing campaigns.
2. Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition
Any given industry is crowded with competition.
Beauty. Luxury goods. You name it.
Brands need to figure out sooner rather than later what’s going to set them apart from the crowd. And who better to highlight your unique selling proposition than your own customers?
Customer reviews are a powerful positioning tool in and of themselves. However, reviews are a potential goldmine of terms and ideas for you can separate yourself from competitors.
Maybe your product is “more reliable” or “longer-lasting.” The sooner you can find your angle, the better. And if you’re totally clueless on the sort of features your customers love, don’t panic.
Tools like the Intelligence Suite have you covered. PowerReviews digs through the fine details of your customer reviews to figure out what folks are buzzing about in the content. Is your product insanely comfortable or does the zipper just always seem to catch?
These are critical product insights that would far too many man hours to dig through manually–especially if you’re a brand or retailer generating thousands of reviews each month.
Uncover what shoppers are either praising or complaining about in your reviews and make the changes to improve products. Customers will love the fact that you not only listened, but took action.
Our Intelligence Engine discovers your top terms to clue you in on why your customers bought your products in the first place.
By using these terms in your marketing, you take the aspects of your business that create brand loyalty and put them front-and-center throughout future campaigns.
For example, Bellroy consistently uses phrases like “quick access,” “slim” and “accessible” to highlight their stylish yet minimalist wallets.
And those same benefits are highlighted by customer snippets and shout-outs published throughout their site.
See how that works?
3. Encourage Customer Feedback
Customers today crave conversations with brands. In fact, a study found 80% of shoppers think retailers don’t over personalize product experiences enough to be invasive or too much. That means really driving open communication between your brand and customers is likely not going to overwhelm them.
The more you open yourself up to customer feedback, the better.
Remember what we said about brand loyalty coming from trust? Having an open dialogue with your customers is a good starting point for building that bond.
Bear in mind that there are so many ways for businesses to open up the channels of communication with their customers. Perhaps the most straightforward way is to encourage reviews on-site. Customers want to sound off on the products and services they buy – so let them!
To circle back to our first tip, ratings and reviews are powerful proof that can help win over new prospects. In fact, this particular review from Sketchers is a shining example of how your on-site reviews can display brand loyalty and the quality of your products.
Social media is an obvious avenue to ask for feedback. Making your social presence customer-focused ensures that you’re learning more about how to better serve your base. This not only helps you learn more about what your followers want, but also shows that you’re a good listener.
For example, Beardbrand finds a lot of benefits of Instagram for communication. The brand regularly picks the brains of its followers about what products they’re using and what problems they help solve.
Email is yet another channel to go back-and-forth with your customers. Considering that each of your customers is more than likely already on your list, it’s a no-brainer to get into their inboxes.
For example, you can request a review with a post-purchase emails or ask for a quick survey to see how you can serve them better. Again, it’s all about positioning yourself as a helping hand that’s looking out for them.
And hey, that actually leads us to our last point.
Be Real & Authentic
One of the key pieces of building brand loyalty is, well, getting “real” with your customers. In other words, don’t be afraid to show off the human side of your business.
This means not only having a distinct tone but also being able to respond to shout-outs and call-outs because you want to, not necessarily because you “have” to. For example, social media is the preferred customer service channel for most consumers because it offers a straightforward, quick avenue for people to bring up their issues.
However, canned responses aren’t going to cut it when your customers have issues. If you want to win people over, even in the face of a complaint or concern, you’re going need to be human.
Here’s an awesome example from Black Milk Clothing who managed to own their mistake during a customer transaction and ultimately won someone over because of how they handled the situation.
Hey, we all make mistakes. Own them.
You might be surprised at how much your customers appreciate your authenticity. In short, responding with grace and transparency can go a long way with today’s buyers.
Aww those ones were limited, so there are no plans to re-stock it once sizes sell out I am sorry ❤️ We never say never though, there is always a tiny chance we might see it again 💕 – Kristen
— Black Milk Clothing (@BlackMilkTweets) February 25, 2019
The Art of Creating Loyal Customers
To wrap things up, let’s run through a quick recap of how brands can use customer feedback to create brand loyalty.
First thing’s first: your business needs to be a good listener!
This is a two-way street, though. You not only need to know when people are talking about and what they’re saying, but you also need to understand the sentiment behind it.
What are people buzzing about? What are they down on? Your ratings, reviews and customer feedback can clue you in on all of the above.
Once your customers have sounded off, let them know what you’re listening.
Send them messages. Shout-out them out. Recommend next steps.
Remember: loyalty comes from conversations. Regularly engaging your customers and letting them know what you’re listening is a prime way to do just that.
React & Repeat
After understanding what’s working and what might need fine-tuning, you can adjust your marketing and product strategies accordingly. By continuously rinsing and repeating the steps above, you can improve everything from your products to customer service and beyond over time.
And with that, we wrap up our guide to brand loyalty!
How Are You Building Brand Loyalty?
Listen: brand loyalty doesn’t happen by accident.
If you want to create advocates out of your customers, you’re going to need a concrete strategy.
By soliciting feedback and going back-and-forth with your base, you can provide your customers with the exact products and experiences they want.
The good news? Communicating and curating that ever-so-valuable feedback is easier than ever. With the help of PowerReviews, you gather everything you need to create a stronger bond with your customers ASAP. Want to see our tools in action? Request a demo today!