How Online Community Managers Create Brand Loyalty - dummies

How Online Community Managers Create Brand Loyalty

By Deborah Ng

You know how some people buy whatever product is cheapest or the one they have the coupon for that week? An online community manager tries to discourage this practice among members of the community. Brands aren’t fans of this practice because it means customers are using a variety of products rather than showing loyalty each and every time.

Most people strongly consider price when making purchasing decisions, but they also know that they usually get what they pay for. They’re more than happy to buy something a little more expensive every time they shop if they know without a doubt it’s a superior product.

Enter brand loyalty.

People are loyal to brands that are loyal to them. They don’t like products to change too much, and they want them to deliver what’s promised. They take issue when they change flavors. They complain when social networks or websites change design or functionality or when a favorite magazine changes layout. Sometimes, they feel betrayed by change.

Though most people know change is going to happen, they don’t want that change to be disruptive. Changing too often and too abruptly doesn’t inspire customer loyalty.

Creating buzz around changes, for example, announcing teasers in the weeks before said changes, prepares the community.

When brands tend to their customers’ needs, they feel better about using them. If they answer customer questions and handle complaints without making those people feel at fault (even when they are), there’s a better chance they’ll use them again.

Brands need to be intuitive about their customers’ needs. By monitoring conversations, reading comments and complaints, asking questions and providing surveys, you can learn more about what your customers are looking for.

Brand loyalty happens when customers feel they’re being taking care of. If they know a company is listening and attending to their needs, they feel confident and good about using the brand on a regular basis. This is where the community manager shines. You can use your excellent relationship within the community and all the tools at your disposal to build trust and confidence.