Brands and enterprises across the Globe look to channelize all their marketing, promotional, and operational endeavors to attain one long-term vision…
To generate an influx of revenue that is well and truly more than the year gone by.
Right at the epicentre of this vision lays the trump-card that more often than not aids labels acquire the revenue they are after. They are popularly known as the customers, and it’s imperative that they are treated well.
Now it’s one thing having existing patrons, but something else to keep them around for the longest time to come. And then there is the whole proposition of acquiring new ones altogether. While it’s comparatively more expensive for a label to achieve the latter, it is just as important.
It’s a hi-tech and competitive world-wide today. Innovation is more than a buzzword and innovators are aplenty. Needless to say, patrons has only one open buffet of options( labels) make their own choices, building them the proverbial boss.
No matter how much affection one has to a label, it doesn’t take much to change base these days. If anything, brands need to work in overdrive to ensure that their existing clients stay loyal to them for as long as possible, and the new ones turn loyal in a jiffy. Brand must master the artistry of customer loyalty management.
What is patron loyalty and how do you go about building it?
“A customer can be termed as loyal when one makes a voluntary selection of buying from or being associated with a particular brand over a period of time, suffer from the cohesive experience( physical and psychological) that they have had in the past with the brand.”
It has to be kept in mind that a good product alone is not enough to keep a client loyal for long as tournament is high. Other integral facets such as customer service and customer experience play a vital role as well.
Establishing customer loyalty is not the easiest thing to do in today’s day and age. It would be inappropriate to call a customer loyal just on the basis of a couple of buys. Studies show that as many as 37% of people consider themselves to be loyal to a label only after they have shopped from it more than five times. Image Source
Now that we know what it is, the question is how do you go about establishing client patriotism? Let’s first look at the primary crucials that need to be followed to build client loyalty.
#1. Omnichannel Customer Service
Long before and also long after the acquiring process, if there is one thing that customers expect from their brands, it is customer service. In fact, a lot of the emotional affection that customers associate with brands is because of the service that they receive. However, customer service today is more than simply greeting clients in-store with a “Hello, how can I help you? ” message. The advent of eCommerce has subdivided the browse brotherhood into two different segments; online and offline. Amidst all the speculation about which medium to focus on, the wiser and in many ways the obvious answer would be both.
Today, time-crunched customers who buy offline write product evaluations online. Not merely reviews, even when it comes to inquiries, the initial predisposition help identify a platform online as it is not just convenient but likewise time-efficient. Needless to say, “theyre expecting” a proper customer service response online.
That does not mean that all of them are time-crunched. They are perfectly capable of strolling back to the stores with their inquiries and feedback. The point is, brands should have an active, omnichannel existence across media with a fully functional customer service support. This will to be translated into more client interactions, and thus brands will have more opportunities to turn their appreciated clients into life-long loyalists.
#2. Credible customer interactions
It’s not just about having a customer service establishment across mediums. It has to be highly active and responses to customer queries and issues required to be swift. Patrons don’t appreciate labels not addressing their problems in time. They consider it to be poor customer service and opportunities are that they might move on to another label. Findings hint, as many as 60 % of customers stop doing business with a label after only one poor customer service.
One way of ensuring loyalty among clients is through believable client interactions. Customers expect a certain amount of exclusivity, and a personalized approach from brands apart from a timely response. Labels should oblige in kind with positive reply, praise, and at times with thank you contents. This stimulates the customer feel appreciated. But at the outset, the most important thing is to respond quickly. Whether it’s through 24 x7 human customer service squads, artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, or numerous customer relationship managers, timely, personalized and credible customer interactions go a long way in acquiring patron loyalty.
#3. Moving the extra mile to deliver value
The truth is that customers are never fulfilled and ever want more. That’s because competitive brands are always in a rat race, looking to outperform each other. In order to keep the edge, brands should go the extra mile to deliver value.
Instead of just wait their customers to raise a inquiry or grumble, they are able to themselves call their clients up to inquire about the performance of the product purchased. This will attain the customers is of the opinion that the brand cares for them. Besides, brands can also go online and immediately speak to clients, thank the ones who have given positive feedback on social meetings, clarify other query pertained exchange between two people, etc.
Brands shouldn’t always wait for the customers to come asking for help. Sometimes, they are able to take the onus on themselves to go ahead and make a difference. Customer loyalty is the result of a lot of strategic endeavors collectively made to keep the customer on board for the longest time possible. Sometimes, when these endeavors don’t work, moving the extra mile does the trick.
#4. Eventually, recruiting clients into patriotism programs
For all the efforts made, it has to be kept in mind that acquiring customer loyalty is the easy proportion. Once the customer becomes loyal, the tough persona is to keep the customer loyal for as long as possible. This is where establishing an emotional connection pays dividends. Customers need to be rewarded for their loyalty. Customer loyalty programs can be devised in a variety of ways to help achieve the same.
Customer loyalty programs are not necessarily just for existing customers. A new patron on-board can also be enrolled in a programme designed that foliages them with no choice but to be associated with the brand for an extended period of time. Studies indicate that as many as 52% of loyal customers prove a predisposition to join a allegiance program if offered to them. The crux, however, lies in devising a patriotism program that is suitable for the label. Not all allegiance programs are universally suited for all labels. The next area is going to look at this level further.
Different kinds of customer loyalty programs #1. Reward levels structure
Although common, a rewards level system is still one of the most popular loyalty programs going around.
The way it operates is simple- every time a patron makes a purchase, reward levels get accumulated based on the amount of the acquire induced. Once the collected points reach a substantial amount, “the consumers ” can redeem it in the form of bill dismisses, or even physical rewards.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program is a perfect example of how to do the reward phases patriotism program right. During a buy, the customer just needs to swipe their glamour insider card and points get added to it. Every dollar invested is equivalent to 1 level deserved. Customers can then redeem the points in exchange for cosmetic items.
The downside of this is that customers are not always aware of the number of total phases that they have earned. Starbucks went one better than Sephora and devised a mechanism where customers could easily find the points they have earned. They launched the’ My Starbucks Reward’ program where customers would have to pay from the Starbucks app and the loyalty points payed would be displayed in-app. The program became an instant made and stands as a good example of how to go about devising a rewards program.
Note: The rewards point structure does not guarantee success for all kinds of labels. It is tailor-made for customers looking to seek short term loyalty rewards from frequent purchases- like cosmetics or textiles.
#2. The tiered rewards structure
It’s very important for labels to define to their patrons exactly the kind of loyalty rewards they are able to expect. Often, there is a huge gap between what customers imagine and what they are actually eligible to receive. The tiered rewards system is the perfect remedy to settle this kind of a disparity.
Customers must understand that there has to be a difference in patriotism returns between a two-time buyer and a nine-time buyer. The amassed phases for a nine-time buyer will be a lot more than the two-time buyer anyway. Thus, placing the two laids of clients in different tiers will help customers rationalize their beliefs. The tiered rewards system can be implemented by a label that encourages short-term, medium price-point acquires, but is ideally fit for brands that trigger expensive, long-term, high price-point purchases.
A case in point here is Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program that regions members into three different tiers- Club Red, Club Silver, and Club Gold. Initially, patrons are inducted into Club Red and based on their loyalty degrees, they move up the ladder. Customers patently are made aware of the benefits that are in store for them at each level, which acts as an incentive for them to keep flying with Virgin Atlantic.
Note: The tiered rewards structure can be implemented by labels of all kinds and stature. Nonetheless, it is ideal for labels that trigger expensive, long term, high price-point purchases.
#3. Pay and become a VIP
This is another type of loyalty program that enjoys a mixed bag of reactions from different brands. In this program, patrons generally need to pay a certain amount to enjoy certain benefits in the future. This might be a good tactic to a new client, where the real quest lies in turning him/ her into a loyalist by providing a good, paid benefits program. But when it comes to already existing, and loyal customers, they might question the reasoning behind paying a fee to enjoy benefits. After all, they are loyal to the brand. The truth is, how customers( both new and existing) feel about paying a fee depends on what they are getting back in return.
Amazon is a pioneer when it comes to generating profit from this kind of a patriotism framework. With its’ Amazon Prime membership program, it well and truly augmented the shopping lucks of patrons. Members of the Prime program are eligible for same-day/ next day delivery at no extra charge, enjoy the liberty of no minimum cart value option and highly abridged shipping charges. This also put a lid on their online cart abandonment rates as people with the membership received all the reasons to exert their own rights while shopping.
Note: This type of program is only recommended for well-established giants like Amazon who have the capacity to provide unprecedented value in exchange for the membership fee.
#4. Non-monetary, public interest programs
All brands across the globe today realize the impact that a good corporate social responsibility slate has on customers and the brand image at large. On similar grounds, a unique route of devising patriotism programs is to churn out benefits to society for a change instead of customer purchase. This is a great way of build trust and an emotional communication with your customer base. This is also a great way to bring new customers on board. After all, who doesn’t want the greater good of society?
In this case, the loyalty program devised by TOMS shoes is definitely worth a mention. The whole messaging of the program is about’ improving lives’ which a lot of customers gladly sign up for. TOMS dedicates one pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair that is purchased by a client. With time they started to dedicate a bazaar boundary of their earnings to the Wildlife Conversation Society for every elephant dotted shoe acquired. They provide a classic example to be convinced that not all patriotism programs have to be about the customer.
Note: Again, this is the kind of program that not all labels can afford to pull off owing to the donation of a lot of items. It’s suitable for labels like TOMS who enjoy large scale profit and a huge patron base.
#5.’ No program’ is sometimes a good program
As tempting as a loyalty program might seem, clients, today are getting smarter, wiser, and increasingly critical of how labels go about their advertise endeavors. Over its first year, they have learned to see the bigger picture of what labels are trying to achieve through these allegiance programs- an extensive client base, and largest earnings. Why not shelf the relevant recommendations of a programme designed altogether? Instead, focus more on delivering true value through a high-quality product or service. If people find true-blue value for the bucks they expend, customer patriotism is easy to acquire.
A true-life case in point here is Apple. Apple never furnishes special discounts or rewards for buying their product , nor do they give them out at a subsidized rate to a recite customer. Instead, it promises to provide a unique, unprecedented experience through each of its products. In many styles, it has re-defined different categories of its own. Customers readily encounter the importance that they get by acquiring an Apple product as there are practically no challengers matching them. To Apple, a satisfied patron is a loyal customer.
Note: Such approaches is recommended for industry supporters like Apple who have the capacity to provide completely unique and premium products. A lesser label with the same approach in most likelihood is guaranteed to fail.
Customer loyalty- Mastering the artistry is imperative
Brands and enterprises across categories today understand the kind of competition they are facing from their competitives. If anything, it has become more important for them to look after their client base. It doesn’t mean that labels that have reaped the opportunities offered by a loyal customer base over a period of time can afford to relax. It doesn’t take much for people to switch brands these days. Customer loyalty administration is an art. Mastering it is imperative for brands to succeed in today’s high-pitched paced world-wide.
Guest author: Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique designing corporation that supplies unlimited design work for a simple, affordable cost. Branding is simple if you know your way around the design bit of it. Through Digital Polo, Aditya has provided ample reasons to labels across the globe to buy into this claim.
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