Building brand loyalty

I am part of a group on Facebook that caters to my three nearest suburbs as an online garage sale: You post items you want to sell with photos, and someone in the group agrees to purchase and meet you somewhere in town. Users can also publish an "in search of" (ISO) post looking for specific items or services that other users may know where to find.

The last ISO post I saw asked where to find the best local veterinary clinic. Immediately, there was an overwhelming rush of comments with recommendations from users, including yours truly, for Value Care Veterinary Clinic.

What was overwhelming, but unsurprising, to me was the level of brand loyalty these Facebook users had for Value Care. The users raved about the veterinarian, the nurses on staff and the care their pets received. The price-point was mentioned but often as secondary reasoning to the personal touch their experienced.

A pet is a member of the family for most people, so the services they choose when caring for said pet will be the best services they can find. While a family’s recreational activity isn’t a living creature, it’s still incredibly valuable, especially as their lives get busier and and they have less time for boating. Consumers don’t want to be just a sale – they want their local dealership or manufacturer to care about keeping them safe and making sure they get the most out of their time on the water. If they can find those companies that stand out, the customers will stay loyal to them for life.

Value Care knows my puppy by name, knows all about her past health issues, has cuddled her after surgery when I couldn’t be there and lets her give them lots of kisses. You don’t want to get that personal with your customers, but a small personal touch goes a long way.

Know your customers by name. Get to know their family. Ask them about more than just what they’re doing on the water ­– learn what’s weighing them down in their everyday lives. And of course, provide them the best service possible so they can relax on their boat as soon as possible. If you achieve this, your customers will have no problem raving about you to friends, family or even Internet strangers.

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