Developing Digital Customer Loyalty

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Be a Problem Solver and Stop Telling People What You’re Selling

Illustrated by Elly Walton

Door-to-door salesmen have a few things right. It’s hard to say no to someone who’s standing on your doorstep with a rusty Dodge in your driveway and a “Baby on Board” sign in the window. “I’ll listen to what this guy has to say,” you think. An hour later, there’s a new vacuum cleaner in your living room.

More than that, door-to-door salesmen don’t walk up with the new Power-Hoover-Sucker-Upper-in-Titanium-Blue and say, “Look at this vacuum cleaner! You totally need one! Everyone else has one, shouldn’t you?!”

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Loyalty: The True Long Tail of Social Media

The one thing most social media professionals won’t confess to a potential client on a first date is that the No. 1 return on their investment will be loyalty.

Nobody wants to hear that.

I know, because as a business selling social media services, I have to “sell” the concept of loyalty more often than I should. Loyalty? BAH! Show me the green! Let’s just say our all-organic-all-the-time foundation keeps us very selective about who we work with. BuzzFarmers, remember?

And are their opportunities for e-commerce? Sure, especially if you’re an e-commerce driven company. But the reason why most companies aren’t seeing an immediate return on their investment for social media, and the reason why social media is moving toward a branding function where companies buy followers, more than a marketing function where companies earn them, is because the return on your social media investment takes time.

For example …

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How to Predict Customer Behavior With Big Data

Illustrated by David Flanagan

Recently, Amanda discussed on the Swipely blog how the business applications of “Big Data” is a concept that has been getting a lot of attention in the media during the recent election season. Big Data – or a massive set of data that can be too big to handle, interpret, and read without the help of technology – can also provide tremendous insights and opportunities.

Why is this important, and what can you do with the data once you’ve collected it? Thinking about the psychology and science of behavior (in this case, spending habits), is one way to use Big Data to make connections that will be useful in building loyalty in your business.

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How to Keep Customers Fiercely, Passionately Loyal (Sorry, Hostess!)

I didn’t want to touch the Twinkie/Hostess thing, I really didn’t. The politics and opinions surrounding the demise of our favorite childhood golden treat is almost as bad as the election’s negative ads.

But Harvard Business Review (disclosure: Harvard is a client) posted something that I think is so important:

“Hostess established a relationship with us as consumers, but over time that foundation didn’t do enough to keep us engaged.”

Frick.

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10 Ways to Humanize Your Business by Embracing Local Techniques

People often sell products and services better than websites do. That’s why automated systems don’t do telesales and why door-to-door salesmen can still make a living (once you let them in). It’s also why video marketing is successful.

Transacting with a real human not only reduces the chances of rejection, but it also induces the fuzzy feeling we get when we talk to new, interesting strangers.

Would you like to be a new, interesting stranger? You do if you have a product or service to sell. After that stage, you want to be a loyal friend who always has the best answers and is willing to bend over backward to make their friends happy.

Customer service is an art form that local mom and pop shops and independent small business have perfected.

Here are a few ways that you can start humanizing your business today, right now, right this minute. Some of them are through social media and blogging, others are through basic human connection.

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