There is nothing more emotionally driven in our consumer-laced era than customer loyalty. It is a phenomena based on connectivity, friendship, and trust. And, according to the folks at BeyondPhilosophy.com, it is the result of consistently positive emotional experiences, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services.
What all of this means is that your customers are looking at you (and, in effect, your business) as a friend. You have to prove that you and the customer have a connection, that there is some interaction that builds their trust to you and loyalty to your brand.
So how do we do this? There are some important things to remember about those oh-so-fickle customers:
Know your loyalty stages
Customers become loyal to a brand one step at a time. Understand their stage and move them to the next level. Prospect, first time customer, repeat customer, client, and advocate. Each step is an important part of the process and is a great opportunity to connect with them, learn their business, and anticipate their next need.
Steve Jobs explained it best when he said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
(Remember: 42 percent of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after just two bad experiences – so you can’t mess up, or if you do, be ready to spin the bad experience into a good one! You can keep them on track, but you have to be diligent and aware.)
Practice the 80/20 rule
It is said that roughly 80 percent of revenue is generated by 20 percent of your customers. Monitor those customers to make sure they’re happy.
The fact is, customer engagement is what leads to customer retention. Customers who are engaged are five times more likely to remain loyal to you. Invest in your relationship with the 20 percent of revenue-generating customers and you will have loyalty for sure!
After all, wouldn’t you trust your friends? That is what your truly engaged customers react to – a friendly vibe that makes them want to be a part of your brand. And that is definitely worth your time!