Build customer loyalty in 4 steps

There is nothing better for a business than loyal customers. But how do you go about building loyalty?

Customer loyalty refers to customers who continue to do business with a brand in preference to competitors. Many factors contribute to customer loyalty, including brand trust, positive emotional connection, personalized experiences across all channels, and actionable insights from customer feedback.

This article will look at how brands focus on these four elements to build customer loyalty.

Trust is the key to brand-customer relationships

Trust is not just a necessity in business relationships, but in all relationships. Whether it’s between two family members or a customer and a brand, if trust isn’t there, there can be no relationship.

Trust involves estimates of the likelihood of a person or brand’s behavior. It is a state of vulnerability for one who trusts the other, and a feeling of trust and security about how one is going to act.

When we go out during the day, we know the sun will be in the sky – it doesn’t take an element of trust. The sun has always been there, and we know with absolute certainty that it will be there throughout our lives.

Other things require trust or faith. When the meteorologist has been correct for a year in his weather forecast, we trust him when he says that it will rain today at noon. It’s not that the meteorologist is infallible, but he hasn’t betrayed our trust so far, and we’re confident he’ll be correct in his predictions.

Customers feel the same when it comes to brand trust. For example, suppose a customer buys a set of five kitchen knives, but when it arrives, it only contains three pieces. That customer’s trust in the brand could be shattered and they could leave to find another business to rely on. Therefore, with this trust will go customer loyalty.

Michelle Wildenauer, senior vice president of strategic services at The Lacek Grouptold CMSWire that the last two years of the pandemic have permanently changed consumers and marketing.

“The future of customer engagement and loyalty is about total loyalty, which focuses on engaging the rational and emotional sides to resonate, build trust and connection, and drive action,” Wildenauer said. “Total Loyalty is about creating brand-driven well-being, touchpoints and experiences that make people want more.”

Related Article: Setting a Benchmark for Consumer Trust

Emotional connections are increasingly important

A report by the Lacek Group entitled The new face of loyalty revealed that changes in customer experience and loyalty are driven by expectations for more personalized, immersive, and connected brand experiences. In the report, 80% of consumers surveyed said emotional benefits help maintain engagement in a loyalty program.

Wildenauer said it was not about one type of advantage over the other. “It’s a balanced approach that appeals to a wide range of generational and regional segments. An engagement approach that addresses both rational and emotional motivations helps programs evolve to deliver richer experiences and targeted value to customers.

Consumers today are more interested in the values ​​of the brands with which they do business. Half of respondents in the Lacek Group report said the importance of brand values ​​has increased in recent years when it comes to joining or maintaining brand loyalty programs.

“Sharing brand values ​​is a key step in establishing an emotional connection with customers,” Wildenauer said, adding that understanding your customers’ emotional connections to your brand is key. “And then, infuse your brand’s emotional connection into every customer moment.”

Customers expect personalized experiences

Personalization using data that customers voluntarily provide can be seen as the online version of a smile and a welcome.

Customers understand that throughout the process of doing business with a brand, they provide data that tells a story about them. As such, they expect these brands to know and treat them as the individual they are. Personalization, when done correctly, is an important driver of brand loyalty.

Movable Ink, one of the leading content personalization providers, recently published a report which stated:

  • 60% of Gen Z shoppers aged 18-24 will trade data for more personalized experiences
  • 44% of retail consumers are willing to give their location and mobile number to a brand for personalized experiences
  • 60% of US consumers are willing to share information with brands they feel loyal to

The report also revealed the top two reasons customers unsubscribe from brand communications — because brands communicate too frequently (42%) or send irrelevant content (39%).

Britt Mills, vice president of digital customer experiences at Mobility, told CMSWire that customers in the past were used to being asked to tell a brand about their likes and dislikes. However, today’s consumers expect hyper-contextualized experiences that are specific and easily accessible.

“Customers aren’t interested in constantly reintroducing their needs to brands and also feel exhausted from subscriptions,” said Mills, who pointed to Uber as a great example for brands to follow. “Their very specific application architecture includes arrival and departure times, location pick-up zones as well as driver and passenger information, effectively tailoring their capabilities to the specific customer.”

Uber customers never have to repeat their name, location, or payment information, and the app remembers past addresses the customer has been taken to, so they don’t have to retype the address. ‘address. Uber personalizes the experience.

“Another example is digital banking apps,” Mills said. “These platforms offer personalized support by leveraging users’ unique payment history, such as flagging expensive subscriptions and bills.”

Related article: Improving Your Individual Personalization Efforts

Feedback strengthens customer relationships

Dave Mingle, Vice President and Global Head of Customer Experience at Reputationsaid leveraging customer feedback to build on previous successes and make targeted improvements is key to building customer loyalty.

“It shows customers that you’re listening to them and want to use your interactions with them to optimize their experience,” Mingle explained. “When faced with loyalty challenges, brands should also assess the tools and technologies at their disposal and consider investing in a customer feedback management platform.”

Processing feedback from all channels of a brand can be time-consuming and overwhelming when done manually. Fortunately, technology can simplify the task.

“A platform that brings together all public and private feedback in one central location will save time on operational costs and allow brands to leverage a wealth of feedback to improve customer experience, which, in turn , will build customer loyalty,” Mingle said.

Creating an effective customer feedback loop is one of the most important best practices for improving customer loyalty and retention, according to Mingle, who suggested that when brands do this, they should leverage both private comments, such as polls, direct messages, and emails, as well as public comments, such as comments on social media and review pages.

“An overall strategy for managing, learning and acting on that feedback should also be a priority when working to turn current customers into repeat customers,” Mingle said.

Keep your customers happy and loyal

It costs brands less to create and retain customers than to win new ones. To earn that loyalty, brands build and maintain trust, create positive emotional connections, turn to hyper-personalization, and listen carefully to customer feedback.

Businesses that listen and are attentive to customer needs can bring those customers back again and again.

Joseph P. Harris