How Engaging Customers Builds Brand Loyalty

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These days, many companies struggle to increase their sales in the face of stiff online competition. In fact, some experts worry that the traditional world of retail sales is heading the way of the dinosaur. Due to the increase of customers who use brick and mortar stores as a showroom before making their purchases online, many retailers are watching their bottom lines shrink, even though their stores are seeing just as much traffic as before.


It's a new problem and the solution is complex. Since online retailers are able to offer the same products as a traditional store, they can sell them for a much lower price because they have considerably less overhead. Competing in a price war isn't a solution because brick-and-mortar retailers simply can't match the low prices and quick shipping times offered by online retailers. In order to compete, it simply isn't enough to get customers in the door these days, retailers have to give them a reason to buy there instead of making their purchases elsewhere.


One of the best ways that a company can build brand loyalty is by engaging customers both in the store and through social media. As more and more people use websites like Facebook and Twitter, there are countless opportunities for purposeful and rewarding contact with individual customers.


LEGO, for example, has recently received attention for their excellent customer service and for making lasting connections with their customers. Recently, LEGO made headlines after replying to an email from one of their younger customers. A 7-year-old boy in England sent a message to LEGO after having lost one of the minifigures that came with the Ninjago UltraSonic Raider kit he had bought with his Christmas money. The figure, Jay-ZX is a tiny action figure made from small LEGO bricks. Lucka wrote that although his father had advised him not to bring the minifigure out on their shopping trip, he just loved Jay-ZX too much to leave him at home. Much to his dismay, the figure was lost. He said that his father told him he could email LEGO, but aside from that, there wasn't much he could do about it because that version of Jay-ZX only came in the kit and wasn't sold individually. Although these sorts of letters to customer service are often left unanswered, the LEGO representative went above and beyond the call of duty to reply to this young boy. He sent back a letter saying how sorry he was about the boy's loss and that although his bosses don't allow him to replace lost minifigures, he had checked with Sensei Wu (the leader of the Ninjago team) and the Sensei told him to send Luka another Jay-ZX as long as he promised to be very careful with him from now on. The boy was ecstatic to receive the replacement minifigure – and in the process, LEGO created a customer for life.


This isn't the first example of LEGO connecting with customers. Earlier this year, a boy in Massachusetts with Asperger's Syndrome had been saving all of his allowance in order to buy a specific LEGO train set. He had fallen in love with the set after seeing it in the store, and after having spent months doing chores and working hard for the money, he finally could buy it. However, when he went to buy the train set he was crushed to find out that it had only been offered for a limited amount of time and was no longer available. He contacted LEGO and explained his situation. Both he and his family were shocked when they received a reply from LEGO along with a shipment of the train set he so desperately wanted. Not only did they grant a child a wish, but again, they created a loyal customer.


In addition to responding to email, LEGO also has a strong social media presence. They have worked to create a rich “LEGO experience” for their customer. From the free building activities at their LEGO store to the LEGOLAND theme park, they have found ways to use the internet as one part of their marketing and sales strategy. While they accept that people who want to shop for their products online will use retailers like Amazon, they have built an amazing website so that these customers will have a reason to buy direct from LEGO. The brick-and-mortar LEGO stores offer a rich experience for even the youngest customer, making it much more likely that families will make a day out of shopping for the small plastic bricks.


By engaging with their customers on every level, LEGO clearly demonstrates how to do customer service right and how to build brand loyalty that spans generations.


What do you think about the LEGO experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Image Source: OpenClipArt


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