Customer Retention Strategies: How to Get Uncommonly Loyal Customers
In addition to attracting and starting with the right customers, loyalty is realized as a function of treating them right with service levels that will have them wanting to tell their friends about you. How you say it matters a lot.
Customer loyalty of this order goes beyond the transaction, beyond commerce. Uncommon customer loyalty is earned. It adds a layer of meaning in the customer relationship. It takes more than having the right customer service policies in place. Emotion is involved.
Customers often cite real people, specific gestures of appreciation or go-beyond-the-call-of-duty service experiences as reasons for their loyalty — not automated emails. In a survey frequently quoted in the annals of loyalty marketing 101 on why customers leave, it was found that 68 percent defect because of a company's attitude of indifference towards them. How are you treated as a customer of companies you buy from repeatedly? The great experiences always stand out.
Most marketing communications influence how a person feels about a company or brand. But marketing that triggers emotions in consumers leads to more action. It moves them beyond the first purchase to repeat purchases and long-term loyalty. Interestingly, it was a neurologist who was credited with the aphorism, "reason leads to conclusions, emotion leads to action." That principle applies here.
Of course there are tactics. Advertising gurus have always known that evoking an audience's emotions — love, greed, fear, guilt, pride, jealousy, pleasure — works. But go beyond the clever headline. When service is truly personal, when sentiments of appreciation and thanks are felt, when real people stand out and care, then uncommon customer loyalty can be achieved. "How can this scale?" some may ask.
There are no easy prescriptions for such states of business. Nonetheless, it's worth trying very hard to create and nurture loyal customers. Your business' improving profitability depends on it.