Every company executive will agree that having loyal customers is a key to business success. But what are executives really doing to encourage customer loyalty? Most businesses will point to their customer care training or customer relationship management (CRM) system and count on these tools to build loyalty. Some will point to their monthly newsletter or discount program to demonstrate their efforts. All of these are good attempts.
However, they are not enough. They might make an impact, but creating customer loyalty is something that must be the center of the company. Fostering true loyalty and engagement with customers starts with the basics—and we’re laying those out for you in our top tips, listed below!
- Aim Toward Ideal Business Outcomes, but Stay Agile
- Have the Right Data Collection Tools in Place
- Act on the Data You Receive
- Continuously Improve Your Processes Based on Market Changes
Customer Loyalty Tip #1: Aim Toward Ideal Business Outcomes, but Stay Agile
Ideally, you’ll know where your business is heading in 12 months, three years, and five years. But, since the onset of the pandemic, we have learned the hard way that everything can change in a heartbeat. For these reasons, an agile customer listening strategy is critical to survive and thrive.
Providing your customers with an open channel for communication and feedback engages your customers and strengthens your relationship with them. Engaged customers are more satisfied, more loyal, and more likely to promote your company than unengaged customers. They go out of their way to show their association with your company. An engaged customer also supports you during both good and bad times, because they believe that what you have to offer is superior to what your competitors have to offer.
Engagement takes your customers beyond passive loyalty to become active participants and promoters of your product. Engaged customers will want to give you more feedback—and you should be ready to handle it! All this translates into more engaged customers who will spend more money with you over time.
Loyalty Tip #2: Have the Right Data Collection Tools in Place
Enterprise feedback management (EFM) is more than just collecting data. EFM adopts a strategic approach to building dialogues with your customers. By wrapping customer dialogues with technology, your company creates a structured, searchable, and quantifiable body of information that can be used to drive critical business decisions.
By having the right feedback collection tools in place, you:
- Empower customers to give feedback through common advertised channels
- Centralise reporting for proactive surveys and complaint management solutions
- Structure quantitative feedback into a drill-down or rollup report
- Make open-ended feedback intuitively searchable
Loyalty Tip #3 Act on the Data You Receive
Collecting data is a great start—but taking action on customer feedback is the next and most important step for creating loyal customers. Once you’ve validated the data against your program goals and established trends and patterns, it’s time to make a plan.
Businesses use a variety of statistical techniques to make predictions about the potential for future events. Furthermore, predictive analytics may be used to ascertain the degree to which answers from a survey relate to particular goals (such as loyalty and engagement). Tactical knowledge of action items that impact an outcome preserves resources wasted on ineffective programs, and competent statistical modeling reveals which tactical options have the most impact.
Analyse data using a statistical technique to reveal the most important areas of focus. Then, ask your analyst about common statistical methods including correlation, multiple regression, factor analysis, and logit models. Finally, recognise that the important areas of focus may change over time to respond with changes in the economic, competitive, and demographic environment of your business.
Loyalty Tip #4: Continuously Improve Your Processes Based on Market Changes
Whether you are applying lean principles, 6Sigma, Kaizen, or a combination, a continually improving experience program is what we are all striving for when it comes to best practice. Every time you seek to optimise your program, you have the opportunity to eliminate non value adds and other waste components which get in the way of operational processes. Every improvement should have a “customer first” approach, which will help customers feel valuable and more loyal with every action.
Want to learn more about what it means to continuously improve your customer experience, customer loyalty, and your bottomline? Check out this paper which outlines the Continuous Improvement Framework, InMoment’s unique approach to truly value drive experience programs.