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Building a loyal customer base in the digital era

Written by Frank Milner on Wednesday, 02 February 2022. Posted in Sales & Marketing

Achieving customer loyalty in the digital era is no mean feat. The pandemic has shown us that, as consumers, we are no further than a few clicks away from a product.

Building a loyal customer base in the digital era

Achieving customer loyalty in the digital era is no mean feat. The pandemic has shown us that, as consumers, we are no further than a few clicks away from a product. And in an age where the word ‘cookies’ does not just mean delicious biscuit, our digital footprint has enabled us to no longer have to devote hours to researching a product or service. That is why, as providers of a high-quality, personalised service, we have the challenge of not only showing what we do but also selling our service in the most attractive and to-the-point way possible that will ultimately bring us a loyal customer base. 

Offering customers a humanised, personal experience from start to finish in a time when human contact has been so limited is invaluable. Loyalty no longer looks like a customer coming back for more; it is demonstrated through praises being sung online. 200,000 students have successfully taken advantage of Tutor Doctor’s services, an impressive figure when considering the end value of our service is no longer needing our services. But by understanding our industry as an online entity, we are given the opportunity to celebrate our successes to build loyalty and demonstrate value as we continue to expand in places that will benefit from our services. Staying current and understanding what we can do as a service provider to make the experience for consumers as easy and welcoming as possible is as big a responsibility as delivering the service itself. 

60% of people in the millennial demographic actively seek engagement opportunities when finding a product1, so it is not surprising that successful brands are active and engaging on multiple platforms and make the most out of today’s digital landscape. After following a brand on social media, consumers continue to engage in various ways. 91% visit the brand’s website or app, and 89% will buy from the brand while 85% will recommend the brand to a family or friend2. With an understanding of the importance of having an online presence encompassing our services, Tutor Doctor maintains a 4.9 Google star rating and 95% of our customers would recommend us. These statistics show us that, regardless of the service that a brand delivers, a social presence goes hand in hand with building loyalty in the digital age. 

It is an interesting dynamic for education brands. Building a loyal customer base is not as simple as offering physical products. And it is because of this that loyalty in fact comes in the form of reputation. Reputation and loyalty are two foundational aspects of the success of a brand, especially when providing an education service. Without successfully delivering exactly what you promise, the reputation of a brand will never lead to loyalty. Franchising in this instance is the ideal model to grow this loyalty, as the greater the reputation is in the local and surrounding areas for the brand, the more likely the brand’s footprint and proven service will be to continue growing its client base. 

That is why, as educators, we are driven by the notion of ‘activating’ our customers and giving them the magic moment that will not only bring them back but encourage them to refer our services to those who might also benefit. Every product, be it a physical material experience or a service, has a ‘magic moment’. It is that moment when your customer truly feels the value your product or service is bringing to their lives. As our product is of course one-to-one tuition tailored for different types of learners, the magic moment that drives us is giving the students who use our services the breakthrough that they never thought possible in their education. 

Through validating the identity of a brand and these moments through an engaging and active digital footprint, international brands are afforded the opportunity to increase loyalty without needing to push advertising or needing to prove themselves in a locality. This is why, as we continue to come to terms with technology being a significant aspect of our lives, made clearer as a result of the pandemic, brands’ only way of achieving loyalty is by staying current and maintaining a voice in the spaces where their customers are most active. ‘Word of mouth’ is no longer just word of mouth but is ‘word of instant messaging’, ‘word of engagement’ and ‘word of sharing’ too. 

Keith Krach, 2017, 6 Ways to Approach Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age

Jenn Chen, 2021, 36 Essential social media marketing statistics to know for 2021

About the Author

Frank Milner

Frank Milner

Having worked as a stockbroker, built a successful insurance business, acted as a sales coach and then taken on a vice president role at WSI, the digital marketing franchise, Milner has an impressive and varied background in business, franchising, sales, and marketing. In his current role as President of Tutor Doctor, the private tutoring franchise, he's seen the company grow globally to include over 700 franchise territories spread across the globe, including the UK.

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