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The ABCs of Customer Loyalty: Are You Worthy of Their Business?

No matter how you dice it, customer retention is critical for any business – yours included. Almost every study points towards the undeniable ROI of customer loyalty:

Repeat customers…

1)  … are simply easier to sell to. They have a 60-70% chance of converting and are 9x more likely to convert than a first-time shopper.
2) … spend more on each purchase than first-time buyers. RJMetrics found that your loyal top 10% spend 3x more per order than the lower 90%.
3) … generate about 40% of US online shopping revenue while making up only 8% of all site visitors.

Source: smile.io

High customer retention is, therefore, a dream for many companies, especially as it can cost up to 5 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. But how can you take it one step further and make your customers loyal to your brand?

The secret to fostering customer loyalty is being relevant to the needs and interests of your customer, not your own. Take the time to listen and truly understand your customers and show that you are unafraid to evolve with them and their expectations. It requires a unique combination of technology, human skills, and the desire to truly help your customers and not just close a sale. You need to be worthy of your customer’s repeat business.

There are three essential aspects to consider if you want to be successful, the ABCs of customer loyalty.

A – Actionable data and insights

Befriend your data. It’s your shortcut to understanding your customers.

Suffice to say, in this digital age, capturing behavioral data and audience insights is absolutely crucial. You need to fully understand your customers to make informed decisions about where and how to invest to build a customer base that is so engaged that it will stick with you for the long haul.

If you’re able to capture important moments and recognize important patterns in the shopping behaviors of your customers, you’ll uncover so many hidden insights, such as what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, why they bought what they bought, etc.

These behavioral market insights go beyond simple research and observation to deliver a new way of understanding consumers that if leveraged will create revenue. You’ll be in a position to truly understand customer-centric, omnichannel behavior and generate more relevant recommendations and results.

But, we get it. Moving to data-driven decision making is one of the toughest transitions professionals have to make. The sheer volume of marketing data can be daunting. It’s worth digging into it though as it holds a treasure trove of insights that can help you understand your customers and predict what they want and will do next.

The good news is that as technology continues to transform and innovate business-customer relationships, you have various tools and techniques at your disposal to get closer to your customers. Don’t be afraid to use them. Whenever you think of adding a new solution to your technology stack, don’t just look at the fanciness of it all. Ask the vendor:

  • Does it help me capture and turn behavioral data points into real-time actionable insights?
  • Does it help me understand my customers, their needs, and their purchase motivators?
  • Does it help me surface market insights that can be harnessed to drive customer loyalty and increase sales in the long term?

Example: Canon

Canon uses zoovu’s digital assistants to help shoppers navigate to the products they want and generate consumer market data and insights about

  • shopping behaviors (WHAT do different consumer groups buy?)
  • purchase motivators (WHY do they buy what they buy?)
  • evolving consumer trends (HOW have buying patterns changed?)

Learn more. Download the case study here

 

Once you are aware of the nuances of your target audience, you’re ready to move onto the next letter:

B – Be better than everyone else

“You don’t need loyalty schemes, just be better than everyone else,” says Pret A Manger and Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe.

Evidence shows that while consumers want to be rewarded for their loyalty, a loyalty program isn’t what’s motivating them to stay loyal. They aren’t loyal because they can collect points.

In today’s digital world, where consumers have many choices and can compare prices anywhere at any time, the real motivator of loyalty is a superior experience—one that is convenient, personalized, considers a shopper’s in-the-moment needs, and is simply better than what the other companies provide.

Evaluate your current customer experience. What makes you different and better? Are you making an effort to understand each customer’s needs to help them quickly find what they want? Needs-based assistance has become the game-changer and true loyalty driver today.

In fact, a Harvard Business School study found that reducing the effort and cognitive load customers have to exert to make a purchase or engage with your brand is the number one factor in creating customer loyalty.

Example: Trek Bicycle

Trek Bicycle is a great example of a brand that makes needs-based assistance a central part of its strategy to deliver an outstanding customer experience. It strengthens Trek’s image of a trusted partner with a loyal following.

Read our brand spotlight to learn how a family business out of Wisconsin took over the world.

Find out how Trek doubled its conversion rate with needs-based assistance. Download the case study here.

C –  Consistency, consistency, consistency

As humans, we need consistency. We crave it and our lives would spin out of control without it.

We, humans, are creatures of habit. If we have found something that works for us, we generally stick with it.

But there’s a downside to this too:

If something interrupts our experience, we are willing to jump ship and move onto something new. Therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure that the customer’s journey is a continuous, positive experience through every one of your touchpoints. Every way that a customer touches your brand must be consistent, including your staff and retail partners.

The way customers are treated by third parties, such as salespersons, store clerks, or your own representatives can make or break customer loyalty. Many don’t buy your product so much as they “buy” the person who sold it to them.

Companies that succeed at obtaining consistency across every touchpoint win market share from their less adept competitors and cultivate legions of loyal customers who might also introduce others to join your “brand tribe.” That’s a win-win and can mean exponential growth for your company if done well.

Example: Miele

With zoovu, Miele distributes its digital assistants in 14 product categories to over 250 retailers in 56 countries and 33 languages – in a single click!

Benefits:

  • maintaining the brand experience across retailers
  • increased conversion, higher customer satisfaction and retention
  • reduced returns

Tip: With zoovu syndication, you can share your digital assistants with retail partners to build consistent, empathy-based brand experiences that focus on your customers’ needs across all your touchpoints, from your website to retail partners. See how it works.

 

So there we have it: keeping your customers loyal takes determination, but it’s simple as ABC. The digital age is an exciting time to be a loyalty marketer. Technology offers you so many opportunities to cultivate closer real-time engagement with customers and, if used effectively, can help you to take customer loyalty and business-to-consumer relationships to the next level.

zoovu can offer you more tailored tips for how you can encourage customer loyalty through conversational experiences. Get in touch today to see how we can help!

 

 

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