Most people know that it is more expensive for brands to acquire new customers, rather than retain the consumers that they already have. Yet so many businesses choose not to do this. and think of finding new customers as an easier route to ensure success.
In a digital era, where it is becoming increasingly harder to win the attention of audiences, it is important to acknowledge and reward existing consumers, so that brands can have the best chance to succeed.
Here are some core ways for brands to be focussing their strategy on keeping and nurturing existing consumers, so that they can reap the rewards:
Boosting the community:
Engaging with your following on social and reminding them that you exist is maybe one of the easiest ways for brands to get the best out of their current customer base. User Generated Content is a must for brands – it boosts your communities, and can be executed in the form of reviews on products, which can then be re-shared across social platforms. It is so key to encourage people to share content they’ve created of your brand’s product in action. This is not only a very quick win for your brand when re-sharing this content, but it injects a much needed personality into the brand, and shows your audience that you care.
An example of how this has been done simply, but successfully – direct to consumer bedding brand Parachute. They encourage their audience to use the hashtag #MyParachuteHome in content featuring their products. Parachute then repurposes customers’ photos in promotional content, as well as social media posts.
Ask for feedback:
Perhaps an underestimated strategy, but still extremely important. Brands need to ensure they are iteratively improving their customer experience, and this starts with asking for a customer’s honest feedback on the brand.
As well as showing your consumer that you have their experience at heart, by checking in, you also open yourself up to opportunities to harvest powerful testimonials from customers who have loved your product.
Structured and speedy customer care:
It is amazing how many brands still neglect this part of their community management strategy. Not having a clear game plan around response times to comments or a comment taxonomy can really badly impact your brand, as you will be perceived as not caring at all about their customer base.
This means defining interactions from your customers, whether these are positive comments, queries, negative comments, and then creating response times around these categories. For negative comments, this could look like an internal service level agreement for a social team to respond to within 2-3 hours. For positive comments, this is also about being timely, to ensure that customers know that you are grateful for their business. It could mean investing in social community management software, if your team is small, to automate and flag when users comment, or about assigning this responsibility to someone on the social team.
Reward high-value customers:
Brands should also be proactive, and go out their way to ensure that the happy customers stick around. This is done through rewarding their loyalty.
This can be achieved by introducing a points programme for returning customers, ensuring they don’t go to a competitor. They are reminded that each transaction they have with your brand matters. It’s a sure thing to ensure you have long-term customers who feel like VIPs, by virtue of getting deals tailored to them. Starbucks are an example of who do this brilliantly:
All of these points relate back to one broader point – pay attention to your consumer, so that they stick around with you. With a combination of the above techniques, your brand can be sure to succeed.
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