Build Customer Loyalty through a Customer Community

by | Oct 21, 2017 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“Today customers are part of a business’s community. This community is functioning and dynamic, with fast-evolving expectations that businesses must meet or customers will defect to another community,” – Forbes.com

Community has defined the organization of human societies since ancient times. The sense of community has helped to organize human activity and to direct human action to achieve common aims. In the modern world, brands and businesses can harness this sense of commonality of purpose to build and develop a customer community. This undertaking can help businesses to develop customer loyalty towards a brand and its products. We note that such actions should be incremental so that the numerical strength of said community expands with time and more customers enter the ambit of such a community.

Brands and businesses can build a customer community by creating and sponsoring social events. We note that this is a common approach through which a community can be founded. Therefore, modern enterprises can work to create a physical community that attracts customers of every hue. This body of individuals can avail special privileges that enable them to transact with the commercial sponsor on a regular basis. We note that such actions can lay the foundations of enhanced customer loyalty wherein, the customers would not be swayed by marketing pitches of rival business enterprises. In addition, brands should work to introduce members of a customer community to each other. This action enables the brand to strengthen the bonds that pervade the said community.

In a similar vein, modern businesses can elect to create electronic communities and enrol their customers into the customer community. The prevalence of social media can help modern enterprises to establish electronic communities that subscribe to common agendas. For instance, a brand or a business can create a community in the realm of social media or instant messaging platforms. This action empowers the brand or business to connect with every individual customer and to build the idea of customer loyalty. Further, enterprises can treat these communities as privileged groups that have the benefit of early access to new products and services. We note that a customer community can grow with time and therefore, it can enable commercial enterprises to create higher profit margins.

Modern customers consume a lot of commercial and market information. Therefore, brands and businesses should empower members of the customer community to help each other and grow as an organization. We note that modern electronic technologies can empower businesses to achieve these aims. For instance, a commercial brand can initiate processes that help to establish self-service mechanisms in the interests of helping community members. We note that this represents a critical step in the achievement of stability in a customer community and promote the business objective of building brand loyalty. Members of the community can engage in co-operation in a bid to solve problems. These actions help to strengthen the foundations of a customer community while empowering individual members.

In order to promote the sense of community, brands and businesses should work to inject an element of excitement into a customer community. For instance, brands can select the most active members of a community and reward them with minor privileges such as branded name badges. Alternatively, commercial sponsors of a community can choose to promote innovation in the use of certain products. We note that these actions can create the cumulative effect of boosting activity among community members, while promoting customer loyalty towards a brand or a business.

Businesses can choose to create emotional attachment inside a customer community as a means to promote brand loyalty. For instance, an automobile manufacturing business can help its community members to appreciate its commercial roots and the subsequent evolution of is many products. This approach, can help the said business to create an emotional connect between the brand and its customers. Further to the above, customer conversations around the said campaign can help to cement customer loyalty to the brand, while reinforcing the sense of commonality inside the customer community.

Certain brands take a hands-on, iterative approach to building a loyal brand following and an enduring customer community. This tactic is amply demonstrated when a certain manufacturer of motorcycles promotes a unified brand image among its faithful followers. The sense of community is so powerful among its followers that over the years, an iconic customer community has developed around the brand and its motorcycling products. This has encouraged the said manufacturer to invest more resources in its brand building activities and reinforce the sense of community among the faithful. We must note that this customer community has replicated itself across geographies and continents, thereby carrying the brand message powerfully into foreign markets. That said, we note that the fierce customer loyalty inspired by said manufacturer has emerged as an emblem of the modern customer community.

Online businesses and e-commerce operators can help to create a customer community organized round online review pages. For instance, an e-commerce operator can take a decision to encourage online reviews of its many products. We note that this decision lays the foundations of a long-term commitment to customers and an energetic approach to building brand loyalty. The said operator can encourage customers to speak their mind on the review forums, thus encouraging honesty as a primary building block of a customer community. The more talented reviewers can build their own pages within the website to spotlight their views and opinions for the benefit of online audiences. Online readers may endorse certain reviews and these actions tend to strengthen the community. In time, this business practice may win the business ardent admirers and other e-commerce operators may emulate these tactics to expand their customer base.

Inviting feedback from a customer community empowers individual members to speak their mind regarding a certain product or service. Businesses that listen to customer feedback often perform better because they gain the power to create better and more relevant merchandise. In addition, the process of offering feedback can generate substantial enthusiasm among the members of a customer community thereby animating the subsequent conversations and discussions. In light of the above, we note that brands and businesses must enthuse their customers because a vibrant social discourse can help to invigorate a customer community and develop customer loyalty.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the mechanisms that can help businesses to build customer loyalty and to develop a vibrant customer community. Brands and businesses must note that these projects are essentially long-term business investments that must be tended to methodically. The returns from such projects can help to firmly establish a business enterprise and to weather the storms of constant market movements and upheavals. Loyal customers can generate a steady revenue stream for a business enterprise. Therefore, brands and businesses must constantly refine the techniques to win loyal customers and create methods to preserve and expand these customer pools. That said, we must note that the nature of customers varies from one business to another. Therefore, business enterprises must work to identify their key customer segments and to build effective customer communities. The sum total of these actions can lead to positive business outcomes that should empower business enterprises to rise to future challenges.

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