As a startup, your first customers have very few incentives to trust you or to return for further purchases. Why should they? You still need to establish your image as a brand and build a faithful following. Until then, you’ll have to work extra hard to earn repeat customers. In this guest post, Manish Dudharejia, Founder and President of E2M Solutions, shares a few tips on how you can establish brand loyalty with your first customers.
Guest Author: Manish Dudharejia, Founder and President, E2M Solutions
As a startup, your first customers have very few incentives to trust you or to return for further purchases. Why should they? You still need to establish your image as a brand and build a faithful following. Until then, you’ll have to work extra hard to earn repeat customers.
Building customer trust begins on day one. Everything you do, from deciding on your logo to creating your website, should revolve around gaining the loyalty of your consumers. After all, repeat customers make up 65 percent of the average company’s business, so it’s not a group you want to ignore.
Here are some ways you can ensure that those first customers will return, even if your company is only months (or weeks) old.
- Engage Your Customers on a Personal Level
Personalization is the way of the future for brands of all shapes and sizes. Carefully tailored product recommendations, unique email messages, special pricing, and a general interest in your consumer’s personality can seriously improve retention rates. Additionally, the implementation of new algorithms has made it simple to analyze consumers and personalize their entire shopping experience.
According to Dynamic Yield’s study of marketers and executives, 92 percent believe personalization is valuable, but only 49 percent of companies identify it as a top-priority investment. There’s a shift happening: brands need to know their audiences better than ever to earn their money and loyalty. Unfortunately, not every company has caught on to this vital trend, and their retention rates are suffering as a result.
Think about the popular music streaming service, Spotify. There might be other affordable options that are similar, but people return time and time again to this particular subscription service because it’s so adept at personalizing everything from emails to music playlists. The platform’s ability to predict what its users like based on past preferences gives it immense value.
Although there have been strides in personalization across most businesses, we expect to see the trend continue for years to come. Focus on the consumers’ wants and habits during the initial stages of your startup so you can craft your strategies around them.
- Stay Relevant and Up-to-Date on the Latest Trends
Did you know that 65 percent of people between the ages 25 and 49 use voice search on a daily basis? Have you thought about how trends in responsible consumerism will continue to grow in the future What is your company’s view on digital versus physical shopping?
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself as your startup is born.
We all know things are changing rapidly in this age of technology, and your business ideas need to stay relevant to the modern consumer. Additionally, roughly 56 percent of customers stay loyal to brands who share their values, so it’s vital that your startup reflects the changing thoughts and opinions of your audience.
Startups can also profit by quickly establishing their authority in their respective industries. If you want people to come to you before your competitors, demonstrate that you’re up-to-speed on the latest and greatest changes in your field. Content creation, email campaigns, webinars, and social media campaigns can all contribute to consumers’ trust in your company’s expertise.
Take a look at REI.
The company sells camping gear and outdoor wear, but they don’t just stick to talking about their own products. They have an entire part of their website that stays updated with information on campgrounds, hikes, and fun activities. This helps them appeal to their target audience and establishes them as more of an expert in their industry.
- Give Your First Customers Reasons to Return Later
As a startup, you know that you have areas where you can grow and improve. Let your initial customers know that, too. They’ll be more likely to revisit if they know that there are bigger and better things on the horizon for your company. Plan to make announcements as new features are released and goals are achieved.
Another great way to keep users coming back is to offer them some sort of reward program. According to Kobie’s research, roughly 86 percent of shoppers have said they’ve joined a loyalty program to collect points for rewards. An example of a valuable reward program is Jordan Vineyard’s Estate Rewards. The more members spend on the Sonoma wine company’s products, the more points they accrue for access to special events, a unique stay at a chateau, and of course, lots of wine.
People like being given something in exchange for the money they’ve spent. It makes them feel appreciated, and they will certainly come back to spend those reward points if given the opportunity.
- Be Thankful
This might sound like a no brainer, but a little bit of gratitude toward those first customers goes a long way. Send handwritten thank-you cards. Use social media to highlight your most supportive spenders. Hand out discount codes to the first 100 people who purchase your product.
Demonstrating appreciativeness doesn’t just make customers feel valued; it also gives them a reason to think highly of the people behind your startup. A survey by Social Media Today found that 86 percent of people value authenticity, especially when it comes to the brands they like and support. People spend money repeatedly with businesses they value, so give them a reason to value yours.
- In Conclusion
Everyone knows that it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an old one. Even if your startup has only won over a handful of buyers, those first customers are gold. They’ll become the cornerstone of your loyal following someday, as long as you play your cards right.
The opinions of our guest bloggers are their own and not those of 1871. To learn more about Manish Dudharejia and E2M Solutions, follow this link.