One of the major goals of Apple Inc. is to nurture and increase customer loyalty. In this article we look at some of the benefits of Apple’s enviable customer loyalty.
Benefits of the ‘Apple Loyalty Affect’:
- Loyal customers buy a company’s products regularly and often in higher quantities.
- They are less likely to turn to a company’s competitors even when offered incentives.
- Often, they are willing to absorb price increases and other changes.
- They recommend their favorite brand to others, thus helping a company to increase its customer base.
- Loyal customers enable a company to reduce its marketing costs.
Brand Keys, a research consultancy that identifies top companies across many industries with the most loyal customers, repeatedly named such giants as Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Wal-Mart, L’Oreal along with lesser-known companies such as Patron (tequila producer), Ketel One, and Grey Goose as winners.
Apparently, these companies have been very successful in persuading many people to buy their products and turning them into loyal customers. As data demonstrates, people purchase more expensive notebooks, smartphones, and tablets from Apple and Samsung despite the fact that there are cheaper versions available from their competitors.
Customers buy additional products from their favorite brands; and customers often become avid advocates of these brands. However, even if a company does not have multi-million budgets as these industry giants, it is possible to achieve the “Apple Loyalty Effect” by employing several effective strategies.
1. Provide excellent customer service
Helpful, courteous, and efficient customer service makes a great impression and motivates people to come back. Invest in well-trained customer service representatives and make it easy to resolve any issues that might arise; any customer will take due notice.
2. Distinguish yourself from competition
In all probability, your competitors offer products and services similar to yours; you need to create something which differentiates your company from them. Sleek designs, easily recognizable logo, innovative marketing strategies, or products with some extra features make customers remember your company and return to you.
3. Keep your customers well-informed
Well-designed website, informative newsletter, social media, and blogs are just several outlets where your customers can learn about your existing and upcoming products, sales, and special events. Make the content informative, entertaining, and useful.
4. Make your customers feel special
Customers are more emotional than rational when it comes to their favorite brands. Encourage customer loyalty by creating positive emotions related to your products or services by providing personal touches: remember customers’ birthdays, names, and their likes and dislikes, send hand-written cards or flowers on special occasions, or make a phone call – all these gestures will surely be appreciated by loyal clients.
5. Offer rewards and discounts
Money is a great motivator and customers will always come back if offered discounts and rewards. Some strategies might be as follows: customers accumulate points or necessary dollars-spent amount to get discounts or free offers; they receive free samples, gifts, and coupons; company offers free services such as shipping, exchanges, or returns, and so on.
6. Host exclusive events for your loyal customers
Depending on your business, you can reward your loyal customers by having exclusive sales parties, special dinners, or seminars tailored to your customers’ interests and your products (for example, if you sell cookware, offer a cooking lesson with a local chef, etc.).
7. Value customer feedback
Everybody loves to be heard, and when customers see that their input has an effect, it makes them feel appreciated and valued. They become attached to your company because they feel that they’ve contributed personally to its improvement.
8. Use modern technology
Some mobile apps enable customers to use their smartphones or tablets to enter their accounts or reward card numbers in order to get prizes, discounts, and cash backs. It is especially useful if your target clientele is younger people because they are mostly very technology savvy.
9. Create customer loyalty program
Offer rewards to your repeat customers which are not available to general public. Everybody likes to be treated in an exclusive manner!
10. Create brand value
People become loyal customers because of some perceived value associated with a specific brand. Learn what values are most appreciated by your loyal customers and improve them even further.
Loyal customers are priceless and are the backbone of any company. They keep you in business, bring in new customers, and increase your profitability; as such, any company needs to do everything possible to nurture its loyal customers.
About the Author
Robert Moment is an innovative small business coach, customer service consultant and author of “Invisible Profits: The Power of Exceptional Customer Service”.