So, what is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty , also known as customer retention, is a pattern of consumer behavior where consumers become committed to brands and make repeat purchases from the same brands over time. Loyal customers consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price.
Today, consumers are expecting the same value and level of service from brand regardless of whether its a brick and mortar business or online. Similarly, consumers today are more educated and aware about the products and services they buy. In a service based industry such as Pet Boarding, Grooming, Pet Sitting or Dog Walking, this is even more prevalent as consumers (pet parents) rely heavily on what other have to say before making a decision to buy.
As more and more businesses in the pet care industry compete for customers, focusing the important details that keeo customers loyal and coming back is crucial to ongoing success. Believe it or not, price is furthest from the mind of pet parents when it comes to the quality of care or service that the business provides.
So how can your business create loyal “fans” and ultimately brand advocates?
1. Focus on your BEST customers: Most pet care businesses already have customers that frequently visit or make purchases at their business. You will know them by name and you will often find yourself going above and beyond to keep them happy. As a business, you want to leverage these realtionships and nurture them by rewarding them for loyalty. It does not have to be a big discount, just a simple gesture every now and then showing the customer that you care.
2. Listen to your customers & solicit feedback: As a business owner, listening to your customers can not only help you become better but also help your business evolve and grow over time. Asking customers questions such as:
*What if anything can we do better?
*How was your service today?
*If there is one thing your would change, what would that be?
*How did our staff do?
*Is there anything we can do to make Fido more comfortable while staying with us?
We often forget that in order to get better, you have to be willing to listen to both the good and the bad. Make sure that your customers know that you respond to the demands of your consumer. If you want your customers to come back, give them what they want!
3. Give them a reason to come back: Provide your customers with incentives to come back to your business instead of a competitor. Create programs that reward their loyalty and acknowledge that your appreciate their business enough to want them to visit again.
4. Reward them for references: Word of mouth today is and continues to be a powerful way for business to reach more customers. With social media, that reach goes much further than it use to and can be really valuable for business that are looking to grow.
“74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.”[Ogilvy/Google/TNS]
Always make it a point to ask your customers to refer your business to others. However, don’t forget to let the customer know that you appreciate them for referring your business by rewarding them for doing so.
5. Provide Value: Focus on delivering quality experience for each and every guest in your care. When it comes to services, your customers have to feel like they are getting the best care possible for the money they are investing in your business. Each customers is in fact an investor in your business otherwise there would not be a business. Value can also come in the form of attention and detail that is provided before, during and after a pet’s stay with you.
In a growing and competitive industry such as pet boarding and daycare, it’s about going the extra mile to deliver happiness for your clients. There are plenty of other option for them so don’t ever think that going somewhere else is not one of them. Apply these and you will surely be on your way to building loyal brand advocates for your business.
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