When it comes to advertising, the typical thought is obtaining new customers. However, loyalty marketing revolves around customer retention. Providing good service to your current customers and meeting their needs will guarantee that they will come back to you for future purchases.
For a café, loyalty marketing could be easy, such as offering customers a piece of complimentary cake for every 5 purchases of a coffee – this approach is quite common.
Even though paper punch cards or digital loyalty programs are useful for inducing customers to return to your business, customer loyalty in marketing should not be determined merely by incentives.
Brands have an abundance of creative tactics they can use to interact with their current customers, and that is the aim of loyalty marketing.
Repeat customers vs. loyal customers
At the outset, I must emphasize that returning customers do not necessarily demonstrate loyalty.
A repeat customer might frequent your business for any number of reasons, including the following:
– value (perhaps you have the cheapest price)
– quality (perhaps you have the highest quality product)
– convenience (close proximity to their house, for example)
The customer’s choice to patronize your brand is devoid of emotion. It doesn’t take much for customers to start buying from a different company if they can find a product/service that is better value for money or more convenient.
Nevertheless, a steadfast consumer is much less likely to be swayed by such variables as they have emotional ties with your company.
A customer who has a positive bond with your business will be worth 306% more over their lifetime, and will be much more likely to suggest your brand to other people than a customer who does not have that connection.
In a nutshell, loyalty marketing aims to convert repeat customers into loyal customers, and increase consumer engagement with the brand by achieving the following goals:
– increasing frequency of visit
– increasing average basket-size
– strengthening emotional connection with the brand
Now that we have the meanings clear, let’s consider the importance of client dedication in a company’s marketing effort.
Why is loyalty marketing important?
The importance of customer loyalty in marketing should not be underestimated or disregarded. The best way to understand this is to consider two startling figures that have gained notoriety in the world of brand loyalty (which makes sense after you see the facts!).
– Increasing customer retention by 2% is equal to cutting costs by 10% (Emmet & Mark Murphy).
– Increasing customer retention by 5% can result in a 125% rise in profits (Bain & Company).
– Existing customers spent two-thirds more than new customers (Bain & Company).
It appears that taking care of your current customers is just as significant as obtaining new ones (or even more so), and that loyalty promotions are the best way to achieve this.
As was already noted, loyalty marketing is an essential strategy for cultivating an emotional bond between a brand and its patrons. Every kind of enterprise, from the local family-owned grocery store to the global fast food chain, applies to this statement.
The last factor is associated with the strength of advertising beneath the line.
Look at conventional “above the line” publicizing as a humongous trap that advertisers cast out into the sea, in the expectation of nabbing as a great number of buyers as conceivable. The objective is to spread the information far and wide and observe how many people respond.
But through loyalty marketing, a brand will concentrate on a certain group of people with a message very specifically crafted for that group. The number of people in attendance is fewer, but the payoff is much greater.
As an illustration, suppose a company selling beauty products over the internet has a loyalty program in place on its app. Consumers can use the app to view products, then add them to their basket and complete their purchase. Their ordered cosmetics will then be delivered to them directly.
This shop has the advantage of possessing a favored part of application real-estate on customers’ cell phones, making it possible for them to dispatch specially customized push notifications to each buyer, providing them with distinctive specials and offers.
If traditional advertising is a scattergun approach to connecting with consumers, then this style of “below the line” marketing is more akin to a precision weapon.
Through effective customer loyalty campaigns, companies can incentivize people to take a variety of actions, such as getting a bigger or discounted product prior to the end of the week, and directing people to book and order straight from them instead of utilizing third-party delivery systems.
The types of loyalty
There are three major kinds of customer devotion; sentimental, automatic, and reasonable.
Customers are devoted to a brand due to the emotions that it elicits. This kind of patron usually has a deep bond with the company and is very devoted to it. They are most likely to promote it to others.
Customers continually buy from a specific brand due to its convenience or familiarity with the brand. This sort of client is normally less invested in the company and can be more prone to go to a contender if they are offered something more advantageous.
Customers stay dedicated to a company because it provides the most advantageous service at an acceptable price. This type of consumer typically looks for the best value and makes decisions based on rationale instead of emotion.
Brand loyalty vs customer loyalty
People often confuse customer loyalty and brand loyalty, but they are not identical.
The main focus of brand loyalty revolves around what customers think of a brand. The customer has a special bond to the brand due to aspects like customer service, standing, and image.
Customer loyalty, on the other hand, is more practical. The strength of the consumer to purchase and their actions (or lack of actions) when it comes to purchases are what matter.
An illustration, take the case of being a consumer of a certain brand. You’re pleased with the item and the customer support is excellent. Yet you discover an analogous item at a reduced cost from a different brand. Are you loyal to the first brand? Or do you switch to the cheaper option?
A customer who is devoted to a certain brand would remain loyal to it and continue to buy from it, even if the cost is higher than it would be for another brand.
Essentially, brand loyalty is based on feelings, while customer loyalty is based on actions.
Build loyalty by learning about your customer base
Gaining loyalty from customers begins with developing an extensive familiarity with the people buying your product or service. Gaining customer fidelity necessitates recognizing what your patrons are, what they need, and how they need it.
Collect data on your customers’ preferences and needs
Gaining insight into your customers is achieved through gathering information about them.
This information can be gathered from your customer relationship management system, through customer questionnaires and polls, via customer service interchanges, and by monitoring social media conversations.
It is recommended that feedback surveys like NPS, CSAT and CES be taken advantage of in order to gather customer information.
NPS gauges how dedicated customers are and how content they are with a service, whereas CSAT questions evaluate how pleased a customer was with a certain situation or purchase. The Customer Effort Score (CES) gauges customer loyalty and satisfaction by assessing the ease with which customers are able to transact with you.
The use of these polls is commonly accepted, as the results are seen to accurately forecast how devoted customers are. Surveys of customer feedback, when conducted properly, are among the most dependable methods of acquiring significant knowledge about consumer habits and choices.
Once you have obtained an initial set of data, you can commence examining it and coming up with plans to fortify customer devotion.
Analyze the data you collect about customer preferences and needs
Once you have the information, you can begin to search for similarities and changes in this information to have a more complete comprehension of who your customers are.
You can also divide your customers into groups in order to gain greater insight into who they are. Breaking up your clients into chunks based on criteria like age, region, and their shopping behaviors can help you comprehend the wants of different types of consumers more thoroughly and allow you to build out templates for them.
Some common things to include in a customer persona are:
- customer demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
- customer needs and wants
- customer pain points
Gaining insight into your customers and their information enables you to chip away at plans that will foster customer steadfastness.
Discover the factors that impact customer loyalty
Once you have generated a collection of customer personas that accurately reflect your purchaser base, you can begin to survey what influences customer loyalty.
Examining the feedback from customers collected through surveys is the best place to begin. Examine the typical customer satisfaction rate, Net Promoter Number, as well as customer effort grade for every customer group to determine which one should receive the most attention.
Examine the CRM data to calculate the value that customers accumulate over time and the rate of turnover in each customer profile. This will let you look for regular elements shared by this customer group that lead to them giving up their subscription.
Some factors that have been found to impact customer loyalty are:
- Customer service
- Overall satisfaction and experience
- Share of wallet
- Quality of core offering
Once you have identified the qualities shared by your customers who demonstrate the highest levels of loyalty, you can then create strategies that will help strengthen relationships with individuals in different groups.
The effect of customer service on customer loyalty
The level of customer service is a major factor that determines customer loyalty. Studies have demonstrated that excellent customer service is a primary factor in customer loyalty.
Yotpo discovered that over a quarter of customers declared customer service to be the main factor in their steadfastness to a specific brand.
According to a report by 24/7, almost half of customers will shift to a different company after experiencing inadequate customer service in just one day, while approximately four-fifths will do so within a week.
Further studies have shown the impact of customer service on customer loyalty:
- 25% of customers have stopped doing business with a cable company because of poor customer service, 24% with a retail location, 22% with a financial institution, 21% with an online retailer, 20% with a wireless company and 17% with a travel company (Aspect)
- 89% of customers say that a company providing poor customer service damages their impression of the brand (Loyalty360)
- 67% of consumers said good customer service encourages them to stay longer and/or spend more money (ICSC)
To maximize the customer experience through customer service, it is critical to make sure your customer service personnel are adequately prepared and have the necessary tools to manage customer questions and issues.
It is essential to ensure that customer support is accessible and simple to operate. Providing numerous ways for customers to get in touch (like through phone, email, or chat) and promptly responding to customer inquiries is paramount. It is crucial to demonstrate compassion towards customers and do your best to address their issues promptly.
Customer service is crucial because it enables customers to give direct feedback about their experience with your business. This feedback can be employed to enhance the consumer encounter and stop clients from leaving.
At last, it’s essential to calculate how pleased customers are with the customer service they receive and use this information to regularly enhance the customer’s experience.
The effect of a customer experience on customer loyalty
The customer’s impression of their encounters with your firm is what shapes the customer experience. This covers each contact point from becoming conscious of the product to buying it and after the purchase. Developing a favorable encounter for customers is necessary to promote customer devotion.
The research conducted by Uject established that two-thirds of all Americans share the same belief that customer experience has the same importance as quality and cost during a retail experience. Furthermore, customer service is deemed just as essential as product quality and price when the decision to purchase is being made.
A research study conducted by Blackhawk Network discovered that 94% of customers named an excellent, uniform customer experience as the prime motivator for their allegiance to a brand.
The significance of customer experience is rising, so investing in customer experience management is essential. This encompasses studying customer experience, devising customer paths, and applying customer experience analytics.
Improving customer experience requires a customer-centric mindset. All decisions should be based on the customer and creating customer pathways that are easy, without obstruction, and that cause joyful reactions.
It is significant to comprehend how physical and digital customer points of contact are related together and how they influence customer faithfulness. Customer experiences which involve both physical and digital elements are not separated, rather they are completely intertwined. It is absolutely necessary to develop a smooth customer experience across all contact points in order to keep customers loyal.
The most fruitful organizations in the future will grasp the customer experience extensively at every point of contact and will be focused on their customers.
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