Most marketers focus on brand equity. After all it is the commercial value that is derived from consumer satisfaction by a brand or a service that matters. When customers display continued loyalty it contributes to competitive advantage to a firm.
Ability to create value is the most important strength of a firm. But how do you create it for the long term?
If your small business customers have a deep commitment to rebuy or repatronize your product despite the competition in the market, you have nearly won the game.
“Know your customer” has been a retail mantra for past several years. This holds well even if the customer is a small business unit.
Thankfully companies are now evaluating and aggregating data in order to understand customer behavior.
The focus is now on improving customer experience to personalize brand loyalty.
Let us try to understand this concept better.
Getting to know each stage of the customer lifecycle and appreciating the role of customer service is no longer an option, but a strategic necessity.
Yes it is true technological advances have facilitated real time interaction with consumers via social media sites and mobiles.
Yet, effective customer centric strategies have been ignored.
When it comes to branding, creating relationships and trust is imperative.
There could be scores of ideas on how this could be achieved. Nevertheless, here are a few ideas that can create brand loyalty.
Beef up content marketing
Content marketing is a powerful and a long term strategy that makes use of relevant content to pull in customers’ buying behaviors and enhance brand loyalty.
This approach is one-step ahead of traditional marketing strategies, because it offers customers engaging and interesting material rather than the run of the mill sales pitches.
A business blog definitely helps, but content marketing does better.
There are various approaches to content marketing, so it is up to you to decide which tactic will work best for you.
The types of content marketing include:
- Case studies
To reinforce the power of content marketing further, a study reveals that a greater percentage of technology marketers agree that content marketing is a proven tool to improve marketing effectiveness. Moreover marketers are allocating a larger proportion of their total budget to content marketing.
When it comes to your small business consumers, customer service can take on different flavors depending on the type of your business and the target market.
A question can arise whether the usual customer service approach to retail consumers works in a similar fashion with small business units.
The answer is – it does in many respects.
Take advantage of consumer centric interaction platforms & media
Electronic channels like live chats, email supports, and SMSs are widely used in retail environments. These channels are now increasingly relevant in the small business consumer context as well.
With the continued blurring of workplace and home, driven chiefly by smartphone and laptops, interactions via the internet even in business scenarios is slowly surpassing phone and written communications.
Harness social networks
With the increasing popularity of social media, numerous online forums about products and services have mushroomed.
Forward looking firms are taking advantage of social media to not only provide customer support and boost brand loyalty, but also to use such platforms to enhance customer service from their portals and contact centers.
Provide value based service
Providing the right level of service based on the type of product/ service is a high impact practice that will work very well small business units.
With ever lowering margins and rising service costs, you may not be able to provide equitable level of service to all customers.
One of the things you can do is prioritize sales related requests depending on the potential value and profit margin of a sales transaction. However, this approach must be done selectively so as not to lose old and loyal customers.
Deliver on promises
Your ability to deliver on customer service expectations and fulfill the service promise can become the defining component of brand loyalty.
As companies are converging in product and service offerings, service innovation is becoming vital to competitive differentiation. To continually innovate in service so as to enhance brand loyalty, you must think out-of-the-box and apply fresh innovative ideas relevant to your own business.