It is no secret that brands or company create products, services or experiences for the customers which eventually decides how the brand grows. In the growing market of the 21st century, customer satisfaction is now the top priority. But, according to surveys, traditional loyalty programs haven’t been attracting customers for the reasons companies think. Customers have started to evaluate the brand on the experience that the company provides, more so than on the company’s loyalty program—or even its products or services.
It’s time for companies to acknowledge that customers don’t purchase or avail their services for their functions but for their benefits. And as of now, customer loyalty is neither permanent nor under a company’s control. You don’t “own” loyalty; you just simply have it on loan for short periods of time; i.e. from one interaction to the next.
Growth of Digital has acknowledged the need to delight your customers on a regular basis through Customer Loyalty. Every experience makes a difference. And satisfying experiences, delivered over time, are what build long-term relationships and drive profitable growth.
According to a survey, Digital provides an insight that what truly drives loyalty, is the quality of the experiences the customers have before, during and after a sale. Their loyalty to experience, as opposed to a company or product, is evident in a number of research findings:
• 65% of customers use online channels for convenience, speed, the quality of the information provided, and access to a broader range of choices.
• 66% of the customers find being promised one thing and delivered something else” which is the most frustrating experience they can have with a company.
• 65% of the customers have switched at least one provider in the past year because of poor service.
• 82% of “switchers” believe companies could have retained them with better experiences and more accurate expectations.
To drive loyalty in the digital age, companies need to:
• Deconstruct their existing loyalty programs:
By evaluating the effectiveness of the entire program, companies can decommission low-value program elements and use funds for new capabilities.
• Focus on the experience, not discounts:
You should start designing a new experiential loyalty model using exclusive access and experiences and ensure your customers about the value propositions deliver on the brand promise. Products or services can no longer stand-alone; they must be built around an experience that makes your customers feel excited and motivated to share them. So help your product or service adapt to this new change by pairing it with an amazing experience and then promote that experience.
• Integrate loyalty programs with end-to-end customer experiences:
Taking every customer interaction into account when assessing the loyalty of an individual customer.
• Expand the eco-system of loyalty partners:
Companies should establish trade partnerships with organizations that offer complimentary offerings and channels to increase the impact, relevance, and exclusivity of their value propositions.
• Make loyalty an enterprise objective:
Companies need to define loyalty metrics that are relevant and meaningful to every function in the organization and orchestrate accountability. This is very important because customer loyalty is now one of the most essential ingredients of any brand that wishes to grow.
It’s always important for you & your brand to acknowledge your customers because they have choices now and to make them come back to your or avail your services, you have to give them a reason. Following the tips & techniques given above can help you keep your customers loyal to you.
Watch out for our next SME Series, which focuses on Digital Insight.