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CREATE LOYALTY –
Keep ’em coming back for more!

 

We all know it costs more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. So going out of your way to keep your customers happy—putting the sprinkles on the cupcake—is just good business.

The key is knowing what those sprinkles should be, and communicating them to everyone in your organization.

A good way to look for sprinkle opportunities is to pretend you’re a first-time customer and mentally (and in some cases, physically) walk yourself through every touch point with your brand. At each touch point, ask yourself two questions:

1. What steps are we taking to make this the best possible experience for the customer?
2. Are those steps obvious to the customer?

If they’re unaware of all the things you’re doing then you’re losing sprinkle points. Which brings us to the first of what we’ll call The Five C’s of Brand Loyalty:

COMMUNICATION.

Use every print and online tool at your disposal to let customers know what you’re doing. Not just new product introductions or special offers—tell them the little things, too. Give those little things a prominent mention in your catalog, on your website, in the order confirmation e-mail … wherever your customers will see it.

CONSISTENCY.

Bad customer experiences are like bad meals in restaurants; they spring to mind immediately when the next purchasing decision rolls around. Provide good service consistently (at every touch point), and make it known. If you can boast a 98% fill rate or sky-high scores on satisfaction surveys, do it! Wherever it makes sense.

CREATIVITY.

Brands with a loyal following are usually known for being resourceful, for finding new solutions to problems, new products to fill a need. Make creativity and innovation a priority, then reflect it in your logo/identity, marketing materials, sales collateral, website and every other brand communication. In other words, look the part.

COMMUNITY.

Brand-loyal customers like to feel they’re part of a group—peers in the industry who “get it” and value the experience your brand delivers. Achieve that sense of connectedness through online user groups, customer appreciation events, social media, or by simply including testimonials (particularly those from respected industry figures) in your brand communications.

CARE.

Show customers your loyalty by reacting quickly to problems, acknowledging birthdays and anniversaries, calling personally to make sure issues are resolved, or thanking them for their business. Small gestures can have a big impact.

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Remember, creating brand loyalty is a company-wide endeavor. Make sure everyone—from sales and marketing to accounting and order fulfillment—understands their role in making customers happy.

So happy that whenever a need arises, they instinctively think of you.

Here’s to creating a sensation! Let’s get started.

Allison DeFord, Trailblazer
allison@feltmarketing.com

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