The bond between a loyal customer and a dedicated company is like the bond of a family. The members of a family never betray each other – they might not like everything about each other, but they never stray far away and they always return to one another, no matter how many new people come into the picture.
A successful customer experience aims to establish exactly this kind of a bond. Think about the old shoe-company or toothpaste manufacturer that your parents introduced you to when you were a kid. You developed a deep attachment with them and as adults, you are most likely to introduce the same brands to your kids, passing on the legacy of the companies that your parents trusted to the next generation. This is the age-old business cliché of goodwill that takes generations to establish and holds good even in this fast age of digital marketing. It is the result of intricate analysis of customer experience, dedicated delivery of satisfaction and consistent quality of product.
Understand your customer’s emotions
Customer loyalty is all about developing an emotional bond with the customer. In order to establish that bond, a company must invest time and resources in the systematic management of customer experience. Try to accurately map the needs, preferences and tendencies of different segments of your target group with the help of professional analytical tools and data collection. Studies reveal that even in this age of unlimited choice, customers have a natural urge to stick to the one brand that gives them more satisfaction. Deliver a customer experience that is so emotionally gratifying that your customer will never have to think of switching over to your competitors.
Expand, but never neglect existing customers
It is a proven fact in business management that trying to retain existing customers is at least 5 times more cost-effective than trying to acquire new ones. If you invest all your resources in getting new customers, you are sure to neglect the existing ones. To reach new customers you have to beat a thousand competitors; but it takes little effort to hold on to customers who are already loyal to you. The benefits of having a loyal customer base include:
- Cost reduction and greater profitability through repeat sales
- Exponential increase in the sale of ancillary and supplementary products
- Free advertising through word-of-mouth and referrals
- Less sensitivity to price changes and less risk of switching brands (long term customers)
Never compromise with quality
The ‘service quality model’ in business dictates that if the actual performance of a product is more than the prior expectation of its quality, then customer satisfaction tends to be high. Satisfaction level also remains high if the value of the product is perceived to be greater than its price (value for money). These two points are of utmost importance in delivering a highly satisfactory product – the quality must be uncompromising and the product should not be disproportionately overpriced. This ensures lasting repeat business.
Make sure that you deliver instant and personalised follow-up service to your customer’s grievances, suggestions, complaints and queries. Probe in detail to see if they have any grievances, because for every person who vocalises his complains, there are many who are silently discontented.
Create ‘Brand Recall’
Ensure that your customer never forgets you. Go the extra mile to find out who needs to be reminded (through offers and promotions) of which product at what time. All a customer needs to ensure your repeat sale is a little nudge. Brand recall is the process through which consumers can instinctively connect and associate with a particular brand.