Earn Back Loyalty One Customer at a Time

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” – Loa Tzu

One of the foundations of business will always be customer loyalty. Intuitively people know that it’s easier to keep the customers you’ve already got, than it is to find new ones. A quick online search even turns up a few handy rules of thumb, such as new customer acquisition being up to 7 times more costly than retention of an existing one.

Given the events of the past few years, one industry where this “back to basics” approach to business is resonating especially strongly is the world of banking. Banks have suffered hits to both consumer perception and loyalty. The recent Bank Transfer Day online movement as well as the research Empathica has done with our Consumer Insights Panel serve to reinforce this new reality.

For many firms this means earning back trust and loyalty one customer at a time.

One of the most interesting observations I’ve had helping customers with CEM programs over the years is how sometimes the most valuable customers can be the ones who are most unhappy.

These customers present two opportunities. First, they identify areas for improvement (presumably that’s why they are unhappy) and second those same customers are often in a position where a more personal touch at the time of a bad experience can make a huge impact.

If you think about your own experiences, there’s probably nothing more empowering than having a business reach out to you to find out more about your particular concerns. Think about it, how many times have you been somewhere and seen an irate customer demand to “talk to the manager”. What if a business could intercept that same customer before they reached that boiling point? From the consumer standpoint, this can kick off a very personal dialog that can be empowering. From the brand or branch perspective, the feedback gathered can be a valuable learning experience to drive positive changes.

Customer rescue programs can help you get to the heart of what’s making your customers dissatisfied – before they have the chance to destroy your brand. Through the use of surveys, banks can create “trigger responses” that will flag dissatisfied customers or those who have the potential to become one. When these people are identified, key stakeholders (e.g. customer service or branch managers) are notified. This gives you the opportunity to repair and deepen the relationship, as well as provide an incentive for the customer to return.

That’s one simple way where technology can help to win back trust, one customer at a time.

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