Can you enhance your company’s customer loyalty and retention?
Some brands have already noticed that customers don’t seem to keep coming back as they once did — has customer loyalty gone forever? Due to more choice, companies are more competitive when it comes to price and product selection.
So, how can your business encourage customers to be loyal and stop consumers from heading elsewhere?
How vital is customer loyalty?
A study from Bain claimed that customer loyalty is essential to turning a profit. Having loyal customers is an indication that a business is providing a sought-after service and that they’re meeting the needs of their market.
Titled “The Value of Online Customer Loyalty”, the Bain study found that the average online clothing consumer wouldn’t create profit for the seller until they had bought from the website four times. This translated to a customer staying with a business for 12 months to allow the company to break even. In addition to this, a shopper’s tenth purchase was found to be almost 80% larger than the first. Statistics like these demonstrate how important it is to hold onto customers.
Following repeat website visits and multiple engagements with a brand via social media, customers will start building a bond. These customers begin to trust this business too and this leads to customers recommending the service to others. This can then lead to new business from those who have learned about the brand’s positive reputation through word-of-mouth.
Cross-selling prospects will also open up as a result of customer loyalty. For example, if a customer trusts a business as somewhere to buy a new dress or men’s shirt from, if they were in search of new shoes, it’s likely that they’d go to the same place — knowing the quality of service to expect.
According to research, 86% of customers are willing to pay up to a quarter more for something if they enjoyed a positive experience during the purchasing process. This is important to bear in mind too, as businesses can look to increase their prices if customers are aware of the good service that they offer.
Lowering friction points
Encouraging loyalty revolves around bringing down those annoying friction points that may turn customers away. These are points where the customer resists the sale even though they may have had the intention of purchasing. This could be down to confusion, aggravation or tiredness. A company must work on reducing these instances in order to keep customers on their side and generate sales.
The CRM Barometer states the below about customer service:
- 85% of UK customers would leave a brand because of a poor customer experience.
- 52% of customers said that handling problems quickly with no queue is an ‘outstanding’ customer experience.
- 36% said that having customer service available across many channels was vital.
- 22% said receiving relevant communication at the right time and through the right channel was important.
Clearly, customer don’t have much patience in 2018. And, in many ways, technology has made the sales process easier. From giving the customer instantaneous access to customer service channels, to the ability to see a full product range with the click of a few buttons. How else can companies reduce friction points through technology?
Are you on board with one-click-buying? This usually involves a customer inputting their payment and delivery information one time only and the website remembering this — enabling customers to simply make a purchase with the press of a ‘buy now’ button.
Customers have a wide choice when it comes to making a purchase — such as in-store, through a website or through social channels. This allows the customer to shop however they feel most comfortable and through a platform that is most convenient to them — hopefully giving them a positive purchasing experience with few friction points.
It’s also critical that companies provide good images to show customers why they should buy and alleviate this friction point of uncertainty. This allows the customer to learn more about the product or service and find out if this is for them. A form of this technique is also used through influencer marketing, where individuals wear the products so that people can see what they look like on ‘normal’ people rather than just on the models on the website.
Make your site simply to utilise. This is achieved through easy navigation, mobile-friendly platforms and fast-loading pages.
Personalisation is key to retail brands and consumers of the future. According to the DMA’s Customer Engagement 2017 report, 72% of customers would like loyalty offers to be more related to them and their needs.
Consumer data can now give you an unprecedented insight into exactly who your customer is in real-time. Through this, a company should be tailoring offers and communications to truly target that audience. Not only does this make the customer feel valued, it also brings to their attention products and services that they may be genuinely interested in. Communications like these are more likely to result in a sale.
Keeping our consumer is crucial. Although people are less likely to stick with one brand, there are things that companies can do to improve the likelihood that a customer will stay loyal. From taking time to reduce friction points, to introducing tailored services, a business must understand its customer’s needs to stand out from the rest.