Top Tips to Creating Customer Loyalty

Happy April and International Customer Loyalty Month!

International Customer Loyalty Month is an extremely important month for organizations and businesses to make an extra effort when creating a loyal customer base. Customer loyalty is essential to any business, as it can increase revenue, drive repeat business, and defend against competitors. 

Continue reading for the top tips to creating and retaining customer loyalty.

Build better communication:

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but communication is broad. Consider what elements of communication will help you reach your customers and maintain their loyalty.

First, your organization needs to be present for its audience. Communication efforts must be frequent and relevant to ensure that your organization, message, and products are not forgotten. You will achieve a loyal customer base when you consistently deliver valuable and enjoyable experiences to your audience. Demonstrate consistency in your communication through monthly newsletters, social media, events, promotions, and more. Consistent, positive, and valuable communication tactics will improve your customer relationships and increase loyalty. 

Consistent communication is great, but without listening to your customers, your communication lacks value and meaning. Meaningful relationships that result in customer loyalty are built on effective listening. The best way to determine what your customers want is to listen. So, take the time to look at feedback, read reviews, and understand your customers’ points of view. According to Microsoft, 77% of consumers say they favor brands that ask for and accept customer feedback. Customers will show loyalty to you and your organization if you show loyalty to them and their points of view. 

Create a customer loyalty program:

Creating a customer loyalty program is one of the best and most effective ways to increase a loyal customer base. Because loyalty programs are built around rewards and benefits, they prove to be effective when increasing loyalty and interest. According to smallbizgenius, 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. People want to feel celebrated and seen. Customer loyalty programs help your organization highlight and reward customers that have been committed to your brand, and offer incentives to continue their commitment.

Customer loyalty programs can feature:

  • Games
  • Tier Systems
  • Points Systems
  • VIP Benefits
  • Hybrid Programs
  • And many more!

Though they differ in structure, all of these programs include benefits or rewards to incentivize loyalty to your organization. Consider researching the above customer loyalty programs to find out which one is most fitting for your organization. 

Be authentic and transparent:

Your organization must be authentic and transparent to build strong relationships and gain loyal customers. People do not want to connect with brands that are impersonal or machine-like; they want a relationship with a brand that resembles a real person. Your authenticity shines when you share your values and mission to create a meaningful brand. According to the Corporate Executive Board, 64% of customers say that brand values are the #1 reason why they create a relationship with a brand. Being authentic and explicitly sharing and showcasing your brands values and beliefs will help your organization make loyal customers.

In addition to being authentic, your brand needs to be transparent and honest. Honesty is the best policy, even in business, so be upfront with your customers when things do not go as planned or a mistake is made. Customers will be loyal to your organization when they know that you are not hiding anything from them or deceiving them in any way. No one likes to be wrong or make mistakes. However, the truth is appreciated, and remaining honest with your customers will show them that you value their relationship, thus promoting loyalty.

Make life easy for your customers:

People tend to engage more when it requires little effort, so do not make your customers work hard to engage with your brand! Engaging with your organization should be effortless and enjoyable. A good experience will grow customer loyalty exponentially: according to PWC, 73% of consumers say a good experience is the main factor that influences their brand loyalties.

Be flexible and anticipate problems to make your customers’ experience easy and enjoyable. Be reasonably understanding of each customer’s circumstances so that their experience with your organization is as effortless as possible. For example, if you have a customer that was unable to adhere to your 30-day return policy because of the weather or being out of town, be understanding and flexible to their situation. By making it easy on them, you are making it easier for your organization to build customer loyalty and increase retention. 

Though Customer Loyalty Month is during April, customer loyalty should be an effort that carries throughout the year! Creating loyalty takes time, so do not hesitate to ask for help. PivotPath is here to provide you with the best marketing services without the high costs of traditional agencies. Letting us take on some of the responsibility will help you put more time into what really matters: your customers and their loyalty and commitment to your organization.

How To Market for the Holidays During COVID-19

COVID-19 Christmas

There’s no denying that the holiday season is going to look a little different this year – from Zoom holiday get-togethers to Black Friday being primarily online. We’re all adapting to a new normal, and that includes new holiday marketing strategies.

Marketing strategies during COVID-19 have changed drastically. There’s a much larger push for online shopping and virtual events. Additionally, there is an added urgency to advertise these events on social media and other digital platforms. 

Changing digital strategies and shifts in holiday traditions means that your marketing plan needs to adapt to these changes, too. Here are some tips for how to market during this year’s holiday season. 

1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge hardships

Although it can be tempting to try and gloss over COVID-19 or try and create a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos, consider a different approach. 

Consumers value authenticity, honesty and vulnerability. With COVID-19 impacting almost everyone’s lives, being real and honest with your customers is more important than ever. 

It’s also important to not overdo it, though. For months, people have been bombarded with the harsh realities of this pandemic, so don’t mention it continuously. Instead, try to work it in naturally without reminding customers of what was lost. 

For more on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, check out our previous blog post.

2. Embrace holiday traditions

With that being said, be sure to embrace holiday traditions as much as possible. Above all this year, people want normalcy. Most won’t have the traditional experience of big in-person shopping days and fun, crowded outings. Instead, you can give them a sense of normalcy by highlighting how to keep traditions in a safe, socially-distanced way. 

Although there is no reason to pretend like everything is fine this holiday season, try to keep the tone lighthearted but realistic.

Instead of taking a view of pessimism or optimism, try one of realism: COVID-19 is changing the way we do the holidays, but some things can still remain the same.

Holiday marketing tips

3. Keep websites and social media updated and accessible during the holiday marketing season

This holiday season, you should focus on your digital marketing strategy above all else. This could be through target social media ads, interacting with customers or clients through social media, or revamping your website. 

The amount of consumers doing their holiday shopping online this year will be larger than others. This means that the bulk of your marketing efforts should go towards these digital platforms. Recent surveys showed a hike in online shopping for Black Friday; that trend is expected to continue into the end of the year. 

Make sure whatever product or service you provide is easily accessible online. This ensures consumers aren’t deterred from buying your product by needing to go to a store. Services like one-day delivery or curbside pick-up are especially efficient for consumers. 

Although your social media shouldn’t be totally focused towards selling your product, make a push to advertise a bit more than usual during this holiday season. Try to naturally work in links to products, blog articles or other content within your social media platforms. Consumers won’t have the same exposure to sales and advertisements that they do traditionally during the holiday season. Make sure to keep customers aware of any sales or exclusive promotions.

You should also make sure your website is accessible in addition to up-to-date. Run focus groups and analyses on how your website performs to understand where you can improve. 

Pay special attention to when people abandon their carts, conversion rates and bounce rates. Simple changes like a more accessible navigation menu can help boost your website and increase sales.

There is nothing normal about the holidays this year, so marketing strategies will look a little different. If you need help figuring out a holiday marketing strategy, contact us for a free audit.

Ways your Small Business can Market and Capitalize this Mother’s Day

As May 12th draws near, you can hear the $20 billion sales train approaching, presenting many opportunities to capitalize this Mother’s Day season –  cha-ching! With the right plan, you can attract customers to your brand by alluring them with product pictures and promotional ads.

Interestingly, studies also show most wait until the very last minute to purchase gifts. As a fellow member of the Late Holiday Gift Committee (LHGC), our procrastination can definitely benefit online marketers and businesses as we perplexedly turn to the internet powers that be for advice on what to buy.

With this in mind, here are five ways you can market and capitalize to give your Mother’s Day sales a boost:

1.Create a Gift Guide

Many shoppers have no clue what to get mom for Mother’s Day, making gift hunting a rewarding experience only when a gift is found (after countless hours and sleepless nights on Pinterest and Google). With Mother’s Day a stone’s throw away, late shoppers are starting to worry about how they can surprise their moms this year. And a gift guide is the answer.

This can be an infographic, blog post, email newsletter; the possibilities are endless… Well, kind of. Once you have the gift guide ready, share it with your audience and they will be forever grateful – at least until next year.

2.Craft Content for Multiple Targeted Audiences — and Multiple Gift Recipients

Unlike Valentine’s Day, many shoppers buy gifts for multiple mothers in their lives — mother, wife, grandmother, Godmother, aunt. With a larger, more diverse pool of customers shopping for Mother’s Day, customize your marketing efforts for different targeted audiences. Content geared towards a husband seeking a gift for his wife will be much different than that of a grandson shopping for his grandmother. Therefore, segmenting the Mother’s Day audience and adjusting the marketing messaging for ads and promotional offers is key.

3.Run a “Best Mom Ever” Contest

Contests are a great way to not only show moms love and appreciation for all they do, but also a way to increase your company’s online presence and traffic on social media.

Many users have special memories of times when the mom(s) in their lives went above and beyond, doing something amazing for their family or a loved one. Create a contest that solicits stories, photos, or recipes, etc. Present each entrant with a discount offer for any Mother’s Day purchase (extending the promo for members of LHGC), or reward the winners of the contest with a complimentary prize pack filled with goodies.

4.Offer free shipping

Who doesn’t love free shipping? Your E-Commerce store will receive plenty of action by providing shoppers a good reason to purchase. Present a free shipping offer for gift purchases eligible for a fixed period of time. Emailing the offer to your mailing list, in addition to requesting email addresses from interested shoppers could also grow your subscribers list. It will be advantageous to include gift ideas and pictures of hot, trending ticket items in the messaging as well!

5.Re-engage Existing Customers

Holiday weekends are a great time to wake up subscribers who have seemingly fallen into the abyss. After all, sweet deals are always appreciated.

This can help you increase the engagement for future campaigns and also help with the necessary “Spring Cleaning” of your list, segmenting subscribers who are totally inactive (hopefully this isn’t the case). If anything, this can also be a time to sit, study and understand the needs of your subscribers, and perhaps, analyze your email content. Is your messaging engaging or attractive? Is the call to action (CTA) clear? This is a good time to make a concentrated effort to convert them.

If you’ve read this article and now have tons of marketing ideas you’d like to implement but no time, don’t freight. Our PivotPath team is more than delighted to help create and manage any last minute marketing techniques you seek. Let us take care of connecting your audience and capturing sales this Mother’s Day while you take care of doing what you love: running your business!

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