How to Build Consumer Loyalty in the Digital Era
The digital era has given us unheard-of answers to issues we might not have even been aware existed. Our procedures and methods for carrying out personal and professional tasks are made easier by it, and they are also more effective. However, this does not imply that the digital age has fundamentally improved every aspect of our life.
Building relationships has been one area that has been a little difficult. We lose that sense of connection when we operate in front of screens rather than speaking as actual people. Additionally, for businesses, this might affect customer loyalty.
Why Is Customer Loyalty Important?
Spending by loyal consumers is 67% more than that of new ones. That alone should convince you to value customer loyalty above everything else. But more than that, this crucial section is crucial for enhancing your company's reputation and propelling the development of your brand. The customers you continue to attract year after year assist in spreading the word as you strive for recognition and expansion. They are the ones who increase consumer confidence in your company and motivate people to use your services.
You can develop more swiftly if you put your attention on loyalty. It is the more economical choice. It need not be either/or; in fact, fostering devoted customers will also assist you in luring in fresh ones. After all, your current consumers will talk about their interactions with your brand and may persuade others to do the same.
Building Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age
Gather the Data and Apply It
The introduction of digital technologies and procedures over the last few decades has brought organizations of all stripes a wealth of data known as big data, which is extremely advantageous. And when technology is employed ethically and efficiently, businesses may benefit greatly.
Businesses can obtain data in a variety of ways. Numerous digital platforms, including social media platforms, websites, and various software programs, collect data on user behaviors, demographics, preferences, and statistics, and businesses may learn from this information. By contacting customers and potential customers directly through surveys, social media, and other channels, they may also question them directly.
Another method for businesses to get feedback is location-based advertising. Additionally, they must make sure that systems are in place to monitor email engagement rates and website traffic.
To make sense of all the data they have gathered, any organization may gain from the assistance of data experts, such as data scientists, analysts, specialists, and others. These priceless experts will analyze, clean, review, and otherwise examine your data to extract crucial insights. They can then offer suggestions on how you might make your services better. All of this is done to help you grow your company in other areas while also fostering ties with customers.
Include a Human Touch
According to the PwC Survey, personal connection is a significant role in customer loyalty for one-third of people, and for some organizations, it is even higher at 50%.
What does it entail to give that personal touch? And how can you do it using digital tools and platforms?
Essentially, this entails giving the customer priority and placing them in the middle of your procedures. It's about fostering relationships and establishing trust. The customer experience (CX) is about figuring out how to add a personal touch and show that you care about them.
Enhance Your Digital Presence
Having a strong digital presence is no longer optional, it's essential. Surprisingly, some businesses still haven't prioritized their digital efforts. When the pandemic hit, many of them struggled, and some even failed.
Your digital efforts are crucial for your success. So, how can you use them to build customer loyalty? The good news is that there are numerous ways to achieve this, and they are vital for demonstrating that your organization is modern and relevant. Neglecting a well-cultivated digital presence will make your business appear outdated, resulting in the loss of customers.
While not the only tool, your website plays a central role in your digital presence. Ensure it includes engaging content such as a blog, videos, and interactive features, and keep it consistently updated with fresh content, no broken links, news, and relevant information.
Social media is another important digital tool. Your business should be present on major platforms and regularly share content. Interacting with consumers through polls and comments is also crucial.
You can also utilize email marketing and text messaging to communicate with your customers, offering exclusive deals and information to your loyal patrons. However, it's important to obtain customer consent for these alerts and provide incentives for signing up. Otherwise, you risk violating spam regulations and losing customer loyalty.
Harness Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become integral to customer loyalty and retention strategies. It enables businesses to cultivate stronger relationships by entering customer information into CRM databases, gaining insights into their interactions, and developing new strategies to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.
A CRM platform goes beyond being a simple database. It automates processes, provides actionable analytics, and offers comprehensive insights. For example, it helps categorize customers based on their interactions and value, automates targeted email marketing, and much more.
Implement Customer Loyalty Programs
Although not a new concept, customer loyalty programs can now be enhanced in the digital era to incentivize customer engagement and boost purchases. Examples of loyalty programs include:
- Earning points for purchases
- Rewards for referrals
- Tiered levels of engagement
- Perks for using the business's app
- Early access to sales or previews for members
By establishing rewards programs, you strengthen the bond between your business and the consumer. Even first-time customers can participate, encouraging them to become loyal customers.
McDonald's enrolled 30 million members within six months of launching its US loyalty program, resulting in a 10% increase in digital customer frequency. Amazon's Prime program provides exclusive benefits to enrolled members, such as free two-day shipping, access to Prime-owned streaming services, frequent sales, exclusive deals, and points for Amazon purchases with the accompanying credit card.
You don't need to be a well-known brand to create a successful loyalty program. Local businesses, like coffee shops offering free cups of coffee after 10 purchases, implement effective loyalty programs. You can do the same, whether virtually, in-store, or both.
- Offering gifts or bonuses on customers' birthdays
- Providing incentives for social media reposts or sharing purchases
- Offering a discount for signing up for your email list or newsletter
Prioritize Your Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Despite the rise of e-commerce, physical stores still have relevance. Many people still prefer interacting with brick-and-mortar establishments, so it's worth dedicating attention to them.
Your in-store presence can complement your digital presence. Customers who visit your physical stores may leave online reviews or try on items in-store before purchasing them online.
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