Research is a pretty cool thing. We ask people what they think about products, and they tell us how to make them better. If we change the color of the packaging, like the research said we should, we can make more people buy our product. If we increase the size by 10%, we can make more people buy our product. If we answer the phones quicker, we can make consumers be more loyal to us.
The scientific experiment has taught us this. Test and control groups, dependent and independent variables, mixed random and fixed designs, oh the processes we use to learn how to make people like us.
I don’t think, though that this is the mindset that will “make” consumers be more loyal. You simply can’t “make” consumers be more loyal. Loyalty is a gift from your consumer, a prize you receive for doing things right, for treating them honestly and respectfully. They aren’t “your” consumers. They are consumers who choose you each and every time they walk in your store.
With that in mind, here are my 3 tips for forcing consumers to be loyal.
1) Listen – Listen genuinely, not because it’s your job but because you are a consumer yourself and know that consumers’ opinions matter.
2) Act – Only do research when you’re prepared to act on it. And act on the important findings, not on the cheapest findings.
3) Respect – Share what you have learned with your consumers whether good or bad. Make changes for the right reasons, be nice, be honest, do unto others…
You may not be able to force loyalty but you sure can set yourself up to receive it.
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