Brand loyalty is everything in e-commerce. Building stellar products and creating amazing experiences that keep shoppers coming back for more can take a mediocre shop and turn it into a global brand.
According to Forbes, one of the most important factors in creating brand loyalty is the ability to provide consistent, high-quality customer service. This is absolutely essential in attracting new shoppers and retaining your current customers. A single bad experience can create serious issues for your brand, your public image and your bottom line. We put together 6 points to help you build your brand and promote better customer experiences.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Shoppers can’t be loyal to a brand they don’t recognize—before you can build brand loyalty you need to build brand familiarity. One of the most common pitfalls in brand creation is inconsistency. Your visual brand (aka logo, colors, taglines etc.) is your first introduction to shoppers. If thoughtfully designed, it can pique the interest of the public and invite them to learn more about your company. If not—well, you get it. Online shoppers are already bombarded with options, and inconsistency with your logos, fonts, colors and messaging will only create more noise.
If you have not made brand consistency a priority for your company in the past, now is the time to invest. Choosing a logo, color scheme, font and tagline for your communications and sticking to these choices will help you stand out in an incredibly noisy e-commerce world.
Social Media & Brand Familiarity
Many online retailers have quite literally built their entire businesses on the back of social media. But whether it’s your key marketing channel or not, making the right impression on social media is an essential part of building your brand and increasing visibility in a competitive marketplace. Key benefits:
- Foster better relationships with current customers
- Reach new audiences and new customers
- Build brand familiarity through repetition
- Build brand loyalty through consistency
When posting on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, it is important to keep your desired brand image in mind. Thoughtfully review your buyer personas, and ask yourself questions like: what do they like? Dislike? What types of content will resonate with them? How can my brand provide value? Create high-quality content that aligns with your audience and encourages them to engage, ask questions and follow along. Consistent engagement will build familiarity and keep your brand in the forefront of your customers minds.
Reputation Management, Start Now
Engaging in reputation management is a crucial brand building exercise and absolutely essential if you want to be a leader in your space. Tracking your company mentions on social media and review sites will not only help you develop a sense of your current standing in the public eye, but will also provide you with actionable information that will help you improve your marketing strategies, product development and your customer service processes on an ongoing basis.
Proactively monitoring review sites and responding to both positive and negative reviews will be the centerpiece of your reputation management program. The 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey by Bright Local found that 86 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses. That number jumps to 95 percent among people aged 18 to 34. More than half of all consumers restrict their purchases to businesses rated four stars or more on these review sites. 😱
Bad Customer Experiences Cost Money—Lots of Money
According to research performed by Vision Critical, your customers are 3 times more likely to let their friends know about a negative experience with your brand than a positive one. This research also shows that it requires 12 positive experiences with a brand and its products to compensate for just one bad experience. Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining a current one.
While not all bad customer experiences can be avoided, taking steps to resolve issues as they arise will help build trust with your customers and keep them happy and coming back for more. Being proactive, thoughtfully thinking about the entire customer journey, and prioritizing customer retention is what seperates good brands for world-renowned brands.
Make Customer Service a Core Differentiator
While the quality of your products is definitely important in building brand loyalty, customer service is critical to the reputation and longevity of your brand. Focusing on customer satisfaction and on delivering the best possible experiences for your customers is the best way to create lasting relationships and increase customer lifetime value (LTV).
Understanding that the customer journey doesn’t stop once a shopper clicks “buy” is critical in designing and executing a customer service program. Savvy online retailers look at the customer journey from fifty thousand feet and highlight key areas and potential pitfalls and proactively make plans to resolve issues before they arise. By taking a proactive approach to customer service, you will be able to deliver an end-to-end brand experience that will delight your customers and separate you from your competitors.
Take Control of the Post-Purchase Experience
Once you understand your customers journey like the back of your hand, you will quickly realize which parts of the journey you have control over and which ones you don’t. A key piece of the customer journey that is completely out of your hands is the delivery—and there is nothing that can ruin a shopping experience like a lost, damaged or stolen package.
Route was built to help online retailers take control of the post-purchase experience. With Route, customers can easily add order protection — which includes one-click refunds and reorders in case of a lost, stolen, or damaged package — directly at the point of checkout. Route extends your customer service all the way through delivery and inspires improved trust and brand loyalty.
We could talk about brand loyalty all day long, but at its most basic, brand loyalty is simply trust. Warren Buffet said it best, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”