Creating Memorable Experiences That Foster Loyalty in the Digital Age
Retail in the digital age looks a bit different than traditional storefront window shopping. Today’s customers have access to any and all information and products at their fingertips, from wherever they are in the world.
So it is more important than ever before to provide memorable customer experiences that will make your brand stand out. You want to provide experiences that will leave a lasting positive imprint in your customer’s memories that will encourage them to return to your brand again and again.
In this article, we will take a look at specific tools, methods, and approaches you can use to foster brand loyalty among your customers in the digital age of today.
Consumer Preferences in the Digital Age
For the past several decades, eCommerce has been on the rise, and with it has come a shifting, dynamic landscape when it comes to the trends and preferences of digital consumers. Today’s trends in eCommerce reveal that brands can engage with customers using digital strategies, such as electronic word-of-mouth marketing, influencer marketing on social media, and multimedia digital content marketing.
Today’s consumers prefer to see sustainability and strong ethics in their online shopping interactions. Businesses that can provide easy, painless check out processes and fluid, seamless delivery methods are also preferred by today’s digital age consumers. All of these trends can be leveraged to create a dynamic and engaged target audience for your brand, with high customer retention rates.
7 Methods for Encouraging Loyal Customers
You want your brand to make an impact on the minds and hearts of your customers, so they feel excited about returning again and again. So how can you make sure there is an emotional connection with your brand, or an incentive to come back to the same organization? Here we will take a look at seven specific ways to encourage customer loyalty for your brand.
1. Interactive Promotions
To connect with customers in the digital age, make good use of the element of surprise. Providing an experience that offers something new and unexpected is a great way to make a strong impression on your customers. Getting creative is key.
Make use of new technological capabilities to craft fun, interactive augmented reality or virtual reality displays in secret locations. Host temporary pop-ups where customers can sample food products or try on clothing. Provide Instagram backdrop photobooths in a busy retail area with a hashtag that links back to your brand. When your brand is bringing fun, unexpected experiences to customers, they will be excited to return and spread the word about your company- so you benefit from both a loyal, engaged customer base, and the power of natural word of mouth marketing.
2. Social Media Engagement
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, social media engagement is vital for engaging with broad global audiences- and reinforcing your connections with previous customers. Your target customers will be there, scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube, so each time they log on it provides an opportunity for you to connect.
There are a number of ways to encourage customer loyalty through social media engagement. Provide frequent, updated content to keep customers interested and synced with your brand’s latest updates and trends. If they see entertaining and informative content pop up in their feeds and it is connected with your brand, it will reinforce the positive associations they already have with your organization.
You can also offer special deals, promotions, offers, and discounts directly through social media as a targeted way of engaging digital customers. One day only story promotions are a great way to encourage customers who already follow your brand to become repeat customers.
And highlighting behind the scenes content from your organization creates a personal connection that will last in your customers’ memories. Emphasizing the interpersonal nature of your brand with fun videos and multimedia content on social media can remind your customer base that your brand is not a faceless or cold organization; it is made up of people who care, just like them.
Hyper personalization should be an essential aspect of customer relationship management strategies for your brand. New technology and AI-powered software allows you to go above and beyond simply including your customer’s name in email interactions (although you should do this too). Today’s CRM software allows you to provide personalized recommendations based on individual customer preferences that speak to the specific needs of each distinct customer.
For example, Sephora allows customers to fill out a quick survey outlining their makeup needs; then it provides a personal digital concierge service, guiding customers straight to the products that will most likely fulfill what they are looking for. Not only is the process interactive and fun, but it also allows customers to feel supported in their decision-making process.
4. Personalized Customer Support
When it comes to customer support, providing highly personalized service is also key. Make sure your customers feel seen and heard, and that their concerns are acknowledged and honored.
Customers want their needs to be respected and feedback taken into account when it comes to company policy decision-making and product development, so make sure to follow up on customer feedback. When your company actually listens to customer suggestions and makes changes accordingly, customers will feel valued and be excited to return to your brand, knowing that they have helped to improve your business operations or products.
5. Loyalty Programs
Implementing a loyalty reward program provides benefits and special promotional deals for loyal customers, encouraging customers to return again and again. Every time a customer makes a purchase, they will earn points, benefits, or special freebies in addition to their purchase. Some loyalty programs offer a multi-tiered system to provide enhanced benefits for the most loyal or most frequent customers. In many customer loyalty reward programs, customers can accumulate points with each purchase that can be redeemed later on for special gifts or discounts.
For example, Uber has had great success in fostering both customer and driver loyalty with its loyalty programs. Uber encourages both customers and people becoming Uber drivers to continue to engage with the company by providing Uber riders with a multi-tiered loyalty program that rewards the most frequent app users.
Uber also offers a loyalty program for drivers as well, allowing drivers to gain cashback offers at gas stations once drivers reach a certain level of the loyalty program. And top tier Platinum and Diamond level drivers can receive 100% of their tuition covered- an effective way of supporting and encouraging loyalty in Uber drivers.
6. Customer Advocacy
You can boost your customer retention rates and customer loyalty by providing high-level customer support for your customers, ensuring that their needs are met and their concerns are listened to. Providing customers with top-level customer support means offering round the clock support where possible and utilizing the latest tools and software available for customer support.
For example, customer experience automation tools can provide streamlined support for your customers, 24/7. Artificial intelligence-based customer support chatbots can answer customer queries and help sort out hundreds of frequently asked questions and concerns. Customers want to know that they will be able to have their questions answered in a prompt and friendly manner; chatbots are one great way to make the customer support process easy and efficient.
7. Brand Values
Today’s customers do not just want to buy a product; they also want to support a brand whose values are aligned with their own. In your brand’s promotional materials, highlight the values and ethics that your company lives by. Do you donate a portion of the proceeds from certain products to charities? Do you support underserved populations? Or prioritize sustainability and create eco-friendly products and services?
Customers who feel that they are supporting a worthy cause will be more likely to return time and again, and will choose to patronize your organization over a big name corporation if they feel that their purchasing power is making a difference in the world.
You want your brand to be remembered for providing superior customer service, unusual interactive displays utilizing exciting new technology, and providing personalized recommendations and support.
Make use of contemporary technology, personalized support, and social media engagement to encourage customers to return. Reward loyal customers with a loyalty program that elevates their shopping experience. And highlight your brand’s values, so customers know that their purchasing power is having a positive impact with every item they buy from your brand.