We all have those people in our lives who know us well, but come in and out of our inner circle. They may not be a constant, but when they show up, you pick right up where you left off. Likewise, customers with an attachment to your brand might not be making purchases every week, but they keep you in mind (and in their inbox).
When it comes to emotional loyalty — created when a brand makes customers feel valued and respected — achieving and maintaining this attachment (along with affinity and trust) is a must. In a recent post, we shared best practices to avoid the friend zone (a.k.a. affinity), and we’ll discuss trust in an upcoming post. But how do you bridge the attachment gap to create a lasting connection?
Show them you care
Customers will be able to tell if they are valued and appreciated by the relevance of your communications and efforts to engage. Get personal with highly targeted messaging that speaks directly to each specific customer and the things they’ve shown you they care about.
To accomplish this, it’s absolutely critical to have robust data about your customers’ preferences, and use this data for segmentation and customized content. Recognize customers with loyalty tiers that offer increasingly appealing benefits as their engagement with your brand increases, and acknowledge their status in every communication.
Keep the lines of communication open
One-way conversations will never build long-lasting loyalty, so make sure you’re talking to your customers rather than at them. If you don’t see strong engagement and click-through rates on your emails and other interactions, it’s time to mix things up. Make it easy for customers to connect with you by creating experiences across devices, channels, and touchpoints in a consistent, relevant, and integrated way.
Show, don’t tell
With all the technological advances in recent years, anyone can launch a loyalty program. What will make yours stand out from the others? When a brand makes the effort to connect in meaningful and personalized ways, customers feel valued, appreciated, and confident in the company’s ability to meet their expectations.
For those with an existing attachment, even the smallest gesture (a discount code, free shipping, etc.) can help build trust and affinity, taking that relationship one step closer to complete emotional loyalty.
Fact: It costs five to 25 times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Increase your retention just 5% and it can boost your profits by 25-95%.
With that in mind, one thing is clear: It’s in your best interest to develop these “attached” relationships further. By creating unique experiences, making your brand accessible, and keeping customers engaged, you can. In time, that attachment might blossom into emotional loyalty that will last.
To learn more about emotional loyalty and how to build it with your customers, download our ebook, A New Kind of Loyalty.