What is customer loyalty? and which programs/tools can help you influence it?

Customer loyalty

So, you’ve done all the heavy lifting and got your customer in the door. You’ve welcomed them in, and treated them to outstanding service and provided them with a fantastic products. But now the question that faces you is: How do you get them to come back?

The good news is that if you have delivered an exceptional service and/or product, then you’re already halfway there! If you satisfy a customer’s core needs then you’re in with a good chance that they’ll consider you the next time they have those same needs arise. This is essentially customer loyalty: having a customer who repeatedly chooses you over your competitors. However, there’s more you can do to ensure that your brand is the first one that comes to your customer’s mind.

Loyalty Rewards Programs

It’s in the name. Creating a system to reward those customers who just keep coming back is a bit of a classic. Think your local café’s loyalty card. From the business perspective, the free coffee is well and truly paid for in the margin of the previous nine. Though the loyalty card only succeeds in building a short-term relationship with the customer focussed around price-based value. There’s no attempt to create value in a thoughtful manner in order to build a lasting relationship.

However, there are more strategic ways to recognise and reward customer loyalty than just the classic loyalty card. A luxury clothing store may gift a limited-edition item to the top 1% of most frequent shoppers at the end of each year, a restaurant may give a 15% discount to their weekly clientele. What these businesses recognise is the magical 80:20 ratio. Simply put, this golden rule says that 80% of your future profits will come from the top 20% of your existing customers. Then how do you make the most of this knowledge? You do every single thing you can to keep that 20% as happy as they can be. They are responsible for four fifths of your profit after all. A bit of caution is required here as to how to go about engaging these customers. There’s no real perceived value for a customer if you offer every customer discounts. It’s all about identifying why your loyal customers repeatedly shop from you, and then what sort of program works best for engaging them and nudging their behaviour.

Customer Support

Having a readily available support for customers is essential. Your customers may not need help in daily use of your products and services but when the experience doesn’t go to plan, or to their expectation, you need something to stop what could become a frustratingly negative experience for your customer. If the customer reaches that level of frustration, they’ll vote with their feet and your competitors would love to have them, and that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. When it comes to customer support you also need to be omni-channel, whether it’s by phone, email, text, social, or chat-bot, you must be ready to mitigate negative experiences, as well as foster positive ones.

Social Media Engagement

Over the last decade, social media has emerged to often be considered as one of the cheapest and easiest ways to engage existing and help reach new customers. With an everchanging online environment, driven by Facebook and Instagram’s dynamic algorithms, social media today is becoming less of a ‘brand-grower’, and more of a ‘brand-solidifier’. Rather than a way to drive sales, it has become an effective way to establish your brand’s identity, and importantly, a way to nurture your relationships with clients. Facilitating a space for relevant discussions, and then engaging in said discussion is a fantastic way to build a genuine relationship with your customers, as well as giving them a true sense of who your business is.

Additionally, social media offers your customers a direct channel of communication back to the business. This channel not only allows your customer to gather the exact information that they seek, but also it gives you the chance to receive essential feedback in order to optimise your service and product.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

Managing any sort of relationship requires you having a deep understanding of the other person. In the world of customer loyalty, this is no different. What do you really know about your customers, who are your most loyal, who’s disengaging? Having an understanding lets you engage in a genuine relationship with your customer beyond emailing discounts, it also allows you to strategically market the relevant products to who is most likely to purchase them. By capturing the right information and combining it with AI to give you actionable insights from the data is a sure way to enhance your understanding of who your customers are and how you can influence them.

Customology’s CustomerAI converts transactions into customers, providing actionable insights, predicting what they are most likely to do next, and strengthening their engagement with your brand . Call Customology on 07 3902 7700, or email hi@customology.com.au today for more information on how your business can enhance your customer loyalty, and other business solutions.

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