How long would you be friends with someone who constantly takes money from you? That is the inherent challenge of running a business: building customer loyalty when the flow of cash is exclusively one-way.
The solution lies in the value that your business brings to the table. That value can take many forms - exclusivity, a personal connection, superior products and services, or an unmatched experience before, during, and after a purchase. Together, they form the foundation of trust upon which every successful company is built. Here are four of the most effective strategies.
You know who is good at humanizing things? Humans.
Slick ads and dazzling graphics are great for conveying a corporate image, but friendly faces are the essence of trusting relationships. A look behind the scenes with clips of your team sharing light moments or a day-in-the-life video can be fascinating for the average customer. Best of all, such material can foster powerful and lasting bonds even when created without a professional production team.
Our brains are wired so that a smile, even a forced one, releases endorphins and actually makes us feel happier. It's even better if you can bring a real smile to your customers' faces, which is why humor has generally been the go-to emotion for brands. Emotions other than joy can also be drivers of brand consciousness and loyalty. Commercials or social media posts that tug at the heartstrings or awaken a sense of equality are often shared. Social sharing is a catalyst that transforms a sedentary audience into an active proponent of your brand.
Feature user-generated content on your website and social media channels - whether it be photos, articles, or reviews. Competitions where fellow customers vote on their favorite peer-created entries can set in motion a tsunami of social currency. The excitement this attention generates can turn your average customer into a lifelong fan. It also forges an understanding that your brand is personally invested in its clientele.
Some of the biggest companies in the world are implicitly trusted because they deliver consistently and without excuse. An Amazon customer knows that her new bike will arrive x days after she purchases it; a McDonald's patron knows her order will arrive within y minutes of her placing it. Those results don't just happen - both companies have worked very hard at ensuring those time targets are almost universally met, no matter where they operate across the globe.