There’s more than one reason why your customers keep coming back to your store. Great service is one of those reasons. Price and location also have a lot to do with their decisions. But, what really makes them loyal to your brand is the connection that you have built together through each interaction.
Customers want to take advantage of sale pricing and other discounts to get a great deal. They also want to find exactly what they are looking for and not settle for something similar. To them, buying a piece of furniture or large ticket item is more than a transaction—it represents who they are. And, emotional connections have a bigger influence on their behavior.
Knowing the Difference
There’s a big difference between a simple business transaction and your customers’ feelings about their purchases. Their feelings will consistently motivate them more than the transactional nature of your relationship with them.
What exactly does transactional mean? It’s based on the exchange of goods for money: we give you this and you get that. It’s how we make money, but relying on this sales model creates a one-way relationship with customers. That’s the connection your customers will have with your brand, and it’s not a very deep one, because they can be easily swayed to shop somewhere else.
The Two-Way Relationship
Today, customers prefer a two-way relationship with more engagement—more interaction. This will create an emotional connection with your customers and to your brand. Customers with an emotional connection will visit your store more often and spend 46% more money than those without the same bond.
To develop an emotional connection, you’ll possibly need to step outside your comfort zone, just a little, and get to know your customers on a more personal level. You need to become aware of the emotional side of your interactions that are found at each touchpoint during their purchasing journey.
Create Emotional Touchpoints
It’s no secret that the in-store experience plays a major role to create an emotional connection with your customers. Physical presence is a big reason why consumers prefer to shop brick and mortar and not online. The in-store experience is a social one. There are other touchpoints that can have an emotional connection:
- Social media
- Loyalty programs
- Community outreach
If you’re not already taking advantage of these tools, you’re missing out on what truly matters to your customers. Each of them communicates what you truly believe in, and through them you build a deeper connection.
Employee engagement is another area of consideration when thinking about building stronger customer relationships. They hold the key to providing customers with better service and overall experience. Not every employee is perfect, but with the right training, guidance, and incentives, they can raise their level of service. Plus, they’ll enjoy coming to work, because they know that you’re looking out for them.
Building Loyal Customers Takes Time
Transitioning from a transactional, sales environment to a more emotional one takes time and resources. But, as you can see, it’s worth it. Customers with emotional connections are more likely to be patient when waiting in a long line or forgiving when a mistake is made. Their loyalty to your brand is something that’s been nurtured over time and will continue to pay off in the future.