Successful business have one thing in common, which is, a bunch of loyal customers. These loyal customers not only come back to the business for repurchase or renewal of a membership but also attract other customers.
Customer Loyalty is the act of choosing a brand or an organization again and again for purchase of certain goods or services over its competitors. The loyal customers do not easily opt for another brand for a bit lesser price or availability. Rather, they would wait more or pay more for a product or service but buy it from the same business. 43% of customers like to spend more money on the brands to which they are loyal to.
When these loyal customers stay happy with you for a considerable period of time, they not only become your regular customers, but also become Promoters that promote your brand without any personal benefit of their own. Let's learn what makes them so.
What Causes Customer Loyalty?
There are a variety of factors that determine Customer Loyalty. It can be a high quality product, world-class features, a good service, competitive prices or anything that motivates the customers to stay with a brand. But the most popular among these is the experience they receive from the organization.
Although, Customer Experience is somewhat a blend of all the factors mentioned above, however, Customer Experience is much more than that! A good Customer Experience is based on how you deal with your customers at every stage of their journey with respect to any aspect.
Nowadays, people focus more on the aspects like customer service and the overall Customer Experience than the price of the product. Researches suggest that 86% of customers are willing to pay a higher price for a great Customer Experience.
Let's list out some great ways to drive Customer Loyalty by providing a great Customer Experience.
Driving Customer Loyalty with a Great Customer Experience
- Encourage simple processes
- Be available for customers
- Provide assistance to buy and use your products
- Exceed your customers' expectations
- Gather Customer Feedback
- Work on Customer Feedback
- Give rewards for Customer Loyalty
Let's learn how you can use these tips to drive Customer Loyalty with a better Customer Experience.
1. Encourage simple processes
Complex processes irritate the customers. Nobody wants to spend much of their precious time in long and complex procedures. So always encourage simple and smooth processes.
Whether it is taking orders, purchase, delivery, return, exchange, issue resolution, answering queries or anything - always make your processes short and simple in order to make the customer journey seamless. This has a very good impact on Customer Experience.
2. Be available for customers
Maintain a good presence for your customers on multiple channels. Make yourself easily accessible for the customers. Whether it is a query or a complaint, an order or a cancellation, your presence matters! Increase your presence for more time and through more channels.
Be it is your physical location, your own website, your customer support center, or social media, there must be your people available for the customers to listen to them and assist them in their journey. This builds a strong trust among the customers and increase Customer Loyalty.
3. Provide assistance to buy and use your products
Customers may face issues while placing an order, or while using your products. For such instances, provide adequate assistance to your customers wherever they need, and help them to do business with you. This boosts the Customer Experience and increases loyalty among them.
4. Exceed your customers' expectations
Every business survives on Customer Satisfaction. But if you want your customers to be loyal, take a step ahead of your competitors and try to reach the level of Customer Delight by exceeding their expectations.
When you go an extra mile to make your customers happy or to resolve a customer issue and improve their experience, they do notice it and it directly impacts their loyalty in a very positive way.
5. Gather Customer Feedback
If you want to improve Customer Loyalty, first know what customers feel about your business and how much loyal they are at the moment. Gathering Customer Feedback for this purpose is the only way to do this.
Customer Feedback Surveys like Net Promoter Score® surveys are a great way to gauge Customer Loyalty. In an NPS® Survey, customers are asked about their likeliness to refer a brand to their friends and colleagues. They are asked to provide a rating from 0 to 10, 10 being most likely to recommend and 0 being not at all likely to recommend. On the basis of their ratings, Net Promoter Score calculation is done and you get an estimate about how may loyal customers are there for you in the market.
Do ask the reason for their ratings and use the survey data to know and strengths and weaknesses of your business and work to increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty.
6. Work on Customer Feedback
Merely collecting Customer Feedback won't work unless you utilize it to improve Customer Experience. If customers praise you, thank them. If they complain, do whatever it takes to resolve their issues and improve their experience.
Close the Feedback Loop effectively by working on their problems and inform them what you have done for them. Welcome their suggestions and follow them if your can. This gives them the feeling of belongingness and boost Customer Loyalty.
7. Give rewards for Customer Loyalty
Customer Loyalty is something that deserves to be rewarded. You can do this simply by thanking your customers, giving them small free gifts or discounts on the next purchase. This will further increase their loyalty and make them happier enough to stay loyal with you.
Encouraging Customer Loyalty with Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to encourage Customer Loyalty. A Customer Loyalty Program is run by a company to offer benefits to its regular customers. The main idea of these programs is to reward the customers for choosing your brand over others.
Elements of Customer Loyalty Program
A Customer Loyalty Program mainly comprises of these four aspects on which you need to focus on.
1. Goal of Loyalty Program
The main goal of the customer loyalty programs is 'Repurchase'. These programs help to motivate the customers for again placing an order with your brand and stay connected with your brand. Other goals can be encouraging referrals and attracting more customers.
2. Rewards to offer
Decide on the rewards to be offered to your customers. It can be discount, free gifts, an extended membership or anything that makes the customers feel rewarded for their loyalty. This is the main element of your program as you need to decide on the rewards to be offered to your customers which make them happy and give them a motivation of maintaining their loyalty.
3. Redemption of Rewards
Always facilitate easy redemption of rewards for your customers so they can actually take advantage of it. Don't offer the rewards which are difficult to redeem. Encourage easy redemption on the next purchase.
4. Rules of Loyalty Program
Rules of Loyalty program are their to protect you from getting cheated. The rules of rewards should be easily understandable, simple and sensible. Some of these rules can be:
- The loyalty points are non-transferable.
- The loyalty points are for only registered users.
- The loyalty points can be redeemed within 90 days.
- The loyalty points do not apply for shipping or tax.
- The company holds the right to cancel or modify the terms.
So we can say that the direct cause of Customer Loyalty is the experience they get from your product, service and organization. If you want your customers to be loyal, provide an experience good enough to drive that loyalty. You should try to make the processes as simple as possible in order to provide an easy and seamless experience to you customers at every touchpoint of their journey be it purchasing a product, using it, raising of queries or concerns, resolving of issues and complaints or anything. Make sure you are available for the customers whenever they need. Always gather feedback from customers and work on it at the earliest wherever needed.
On the top of that, reward your loyal customers with the help of Customer Loyalty programs or at least in the form of small perks and discounts. This will further motivate the customers to stay loyal with your brand.