Building loyalty does not happen overnight, though, nor can it be done in too obvious a way. Brands should understand the long game and truly appreciate that retaining a customer takes effort and investment. This cost will always be lower than the cost of acquiring a new customer.
Every company, big or small, should understand a simple fact that applies to all businesses: If a customer or client is willing to spend money on your product or service once, they’ll likely be willing to do it again. Your job is simply to keep them loyal.
A Solid Foundation
First and foremost, you need to deliver on the first purchase or experience, as this creates the foundation of the relationship. But once you've crossed that threshold, you can deepen loyalty, which can directly translate into repeat purchasing.
With the pandemic limiting in-person interactions, building loyalty was challenging, and supply-chain issues ensured that in many industries, demand was far exceeding supply. For these reasons and others, many brands abandoned their relationship-building efforts. Today, those brands that are reigniting their programs are gaining a massive advantage over their competitors.
Creating A Connection
While it might seem that customer connection initiatives would be impossible for small businesses to implement, there is always a way to create a connection, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a neighborhood family business.
Today, most consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and get frustrated when this does not happen. I personally experienced this recently at a restaurant I visited with my business partner in Kingston. I had an excellent dining experience, but what was most impressive was what happened the next day.
The morning after my visit, I received an email from the general manager thanking me for joining them, offering me to contact him directly for my next reservation.
It may not have been the general manager himself sending this personal note, but regardless of who was behind it, the effect was the same, and it would pay off for the restaurant, as within days, I had already booked myself and some of my staff members for a business lunch.
The Value Of In-Person Interaction
Today, it is a known fact that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and can lift sales by 10% or more.
Today, to succeed in this highly competitive consumer environment, companies and businesses should make relationship-building a key strategic pillar of their sales and marketing efforts, especially as consumers are looking to learn more about and interact more personally with brands.
Those that do will be setting the foundation for long-term loyalty. They will also have a step up on their competitors when it comes to customer retention, not to mention a direct line to their customers’ wallets.
J. Michael Dennis, ll.l., ll.m.
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