To ensure your customers are always loyal, you must do these five things well:
Stay True to Your Brand DNA
What does your brand stand for? What does your customer look like and act like? These are the critical questions a brand must ask themselves and know. It is your job as a business owner to ensure you never lose sight of core values because that is one of the reasons why your customers remain loyal and continue purchasing from you. Even as you grow and introduce new products or services or explore new partnerships, do so with your brand DNA top of mind. For example, the customers of vintage women’s clothing company ModCloth remained loyal even after the company was purchased by Walmart. Learning how to create your own Brand DNA is easy. You can do so by clicking here and downloading our eBook which describes the process in more detail. It’s a guide you shouldn’t deviate from as it will ensure you’re always aligned with what your customers have come to expect!
Know Your Customers
Collecting data is the name of the game when it comes to knowing your customers. You can do so interactively on social media and through email surveys that offer incentives. This data can help you create a customer persona profile and is an essential task in communicating with your customer. Creating a customer profile is something all brands should do. It’s an exercise that will allow your entire organization to align when it comes to understanding exactly who your target customer is, what that customer wants, when they want it, and how your brand should be approaching them. With a customer persona, you will also be able to understand demographics, likes, dislikes, what drives your customer and what doesn’t. More importantly, it will help focus your team when it comes to developing campaigns, products and messaging that will resonate, so that you can communicate the unique selling points you have to offer.
Simplify Your Customer Experience
When it comes to shopping online, customers expect simplicity. Ensure your platform is optimized for mobile and use your customer persona profile to put forth the right design aesthetic and an assortment of products that will generate excitement and motivate purchases. Moreover, if your brand’s business model encompasses a lot of returns, consider pre-paid return labels that can simplify the way consumers return unneeded merchandise. On the backend, it’s also critical that you seek insights and counsel from your logistics partners in order to develop a system and the right service level agreements (SLAs) to process returns and refunds as fast as possible as well as add merchandise back to inventory with speed and accuracy. From navigating your eCommerce site, to completing a transaction and processing a return, the experience must be hassle free, transparent, and fast. If it’s not, you’re bound to see attrition as your customers request a refund instead of an exchange or, worse, vent on social media.
If your brand has an omnichannel presence – where your customers are shopping and engaging with you with you online, from mobile devices and in-store – the same experience must be replicated across each touchpoint. Delivering the same look and feel as well as the same messaging will do more than just drive consistency, it will build trust and engender loyalty.
Listen To Your Customer
Today it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what your customers have to say and encourage them to share feedback with your brand. Customer service is often one of the primary vehicles a brand has to engage with consumers, gather feedback and address concerns. It’s important to instruct your customer service team to listen with empathy and assure the customer that their concerns and complaints will be addressed, doing all that they can to turn a negative experience into a positive one. Moreover, customer service calls are ripe rife? with real-world feedback that your team can use to make changes to product designs, service offerings as well as issues that may have gone unnoticed. Above and beyond changes that can be made to products or services, your consumers can provide much-needed insight into the delivery and unboxing experience they have with your brand. Only through their feedback can your brand have a glimpse into what exactly they’re presented with when their package arrives. Aside from customer service phone calls, ensure your social media team keeps an eye on feedback.
Entertain Your Customers
Social media strategies will vary from brand to brand. Some simply use their brand’s channels as digital billboards where they post new product information, while others use it as a way to generate organic conversations and engagement with their consumers and followers. The type of content your brand disseminates via social should adhere closely to your brand’s DNA and be tailored to the customer persona you’ve identified, ensuring that those that follow you can see how they fit in with your story. Getting your followers to laugh, share, and engage is a true measure of success.
Pick The Right Partners
Customers ultimately care about the overall quality of the product they’ve ordered. A manufacturer that can provide proven results utilizing quality materials is essential. Lack of quality can lead to a loss in customers and unfavorable brand sentiment. Another partner focus should be finding a shipping partner that understands your brand’s need to provide customers with reasonable pricing and speed. When selecting a shipping partner, it is important that their services align with your brand’s aesthetic and DNA; if you have a luxury product, you want a carrier that is considered higher-quality.
Your fulfillment service partner is another crucial role to fill since they are responsible for ensuring that the physical unboxing experience goes perfectly. Your fulfillment partner should be able to guarantee that they have done everything possible to enable you to provide your customer with the most beneficial services. This includes high touch pack out where all employees in the fulfillment operation understand your product and customer as well as you do. Personally packing each product in branded wrappings with specific marketing materials is a service a high touch fulfillment partner should be able to accommodate. The attentiveness to detail with each package directly correlates with the customer’s unboxing experience, ultimately making your high touch fulfillment company responsible for giving customers a lasting first impression and converting them to a lifetime customer and brand advocate.
Additionally, inventory management is crucial in promoting a positive brand experience. Inventory should be properly managed to guarantee there is no disconnect between what the customer sees listed as being available and what actually is. If your store indicates that an item is in stock it must be available for sale and able to be picked, packed, and shipped. Finally, your fulfillment service partner should also be part of negotiating lower shipping prices. This allows you to increase margin or pass savings on to your customers.
If you’re looking for ways you can better engage with your customers and help your brand emerge, reach out to us here and be sure visit our list of resources to read our studies, whitepapers, and eBooks written to help your brand evolve.