Customer loyalty is a big shot in today’s business world. It’s the only facet that separates a billion-dollar business from a million-dollar one.
Just like celebrities crave for a fiercely loyal fan base to drive their stardom, businesses dream of amassing a fandom of intensely loyal customers that will take their business to stratospheric heights.
Businesses today leave no stone unturned in procuring an impressive level of customer loyalty. From low prices to mouth-watering discounts, businesses try their best to satisfy their customers and maintain a close touch with them.
However, not many businesses have succeeded in the customer acquisition game.
Truth be told, a lot of them still hinge on the pricing strategy to attract and maintain customers. Worse is, they think it’s the only winning mantra in the book to warm up to customers.
Well, such brands need to rethink their business strategies.
According to a report by Deloitte Digital, businesses can only build an increasing level of customer loyalty only when they connect with their audiences on an emotional level.
Customers today strive for empathy and a personalized touch from their relationship with a company. They may use rational considerations such as pricing, promotions and loyalty programs when any product suits their tastes and aspirations. And then drop their plans suddenly.
However, an emotional connection with the brand can influence a buyer’s mindset while making a purchase. According to Deloitte, an emotional connection towards a brand takes time to materialize, but once it happens, it transcends all other rational considerations, making them less important.
Tapping this emotional fountain is key to opening a perennial flow of loyal fans. 44% of the consumers recommend a business based on emotional criteria compared to 3% who recommend based on values or principles, a Deloitte study reveals.
Businesses know that it pays more to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one. Although their budget is allocated both for new acquisitions and cultivating existing relationships, the key here is to strike a balance between attracting new prospects to fill the pipeline and taking care of the old customers.
To expect an unwavering customer loyalty from your customers, you have to be real with them. Just blurt out the truth down to the bone in caring words, even if that means expecting an answer you are not prepared for. Try to help them the way they want to be helped; with the amount of handholding they like.
Customers expect genuineness from any business to forge trust in their products. If you hide behind your policies and be defensive about your practices, forget expecting any loyalty from them. Your customers are intelligent enough to see through your shady tactics.
Personalized loyalty programs are a good tactic to invoke loyalty among customers towards your brand. Through these programs, businesses can enhance knowledge about customer behaviour and preferences as well as their intentions and create fruitful loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs also serve as a channel to humanize interactions with customers where businesses try to be as responsive as possible. And when there is a reciprocal relationship between customers and businesses, brand loyalists are created.
So, when customers are interacting with your products, they expect more than just a transaction. They want to look beyond a platter full of low prices and discounts. It is the onus of the brand to foster an emotional relationship with their customers, once they show commitment towards it. However, if you fiddle with the trust customers have reposed on you, expect cold shoulders and sudden goodbyes from them.