Faced with the ever-growing offer of products and services, customers are increasingly volatile. Indeed, with a few clicks, a customer can decide to buy a product from another company. For this reason, the issue of customer loyalty turns out to be unavoidable. But what are the methods and the challenges of this loyalty? What place for customer loyalty in your marketing strategy?
Within the customer success mix of your company, it is essential to leave a place for an effective loyalty strategy. But what exactly does this term cover?
What is Customer Loyality ?
By definition, Customer loyalty is a customer’s willingness to repeatedly return to a company to conduct business. This is typically due to the delightful and remarkable experiences they have with that brand.
Definition of Relationship Marketing
As the name suggests, the goal of relationship marketing is to create a special relationship with your customers. This long-term relationship is beneficial for your business because it allows you to develop long-term benefits through relationships of trust. There are many tips and tools to build customer loyalty!
It is the opposite of what is called transactional marketing. The latter, on the contrary, is based on sales techniques that will trigger the act of purchase at the customer’s premises. The two are of course complimentary and have their place in your overall marketing strategy.
How to Increase Customer Loyalty
We can discern four axes to develop customer loyalty within your company:
- Keep in touch with your customers
- Learn more about your customers
- Create loyalty programs
- Provide relevant advice
To stay in contact
One of the best retention strategies is to maintain a constant presence. To do this, you must be present on as many channels as possible:
- Company website
- Social networks
The customer must be able to find information quickly if necessary. However, you must not over-solicit it under penalty of driving your client away.
Learn more about your customers
If you want to improve your services and get closer to your customers, you need to get to know them better. Better understanding their needs and their profiles are essential elements to offer more adapted and relevant offers. To achieve this, you can create satisfaction surveys and keep your customer file up to date.
Create loyalty programs
More and more companies are creating loyalty programs. Most often, this takes the form of a loyalty card. The more the customer buys a product or service, the more they will be rewarded. You can be more original by inviting your most loyal customers to private parties or to test a product in preview.
Customer retention through loyalty programs is a win-win initiative. For the customer, customer loyalty programs are the opportunity to access discounts or special offers. For the company, this is the opportunity to see a customer come back several times.
Finally, one of the most interesting ways to build closeness is to provide helpful advice. If you have a blog, you can create guides or tutorials. They can help your customers get the most out of the product they have purchased. It can also be an opportunity for you to subtly link this product and another complimentary product.
What are the benefits of retaining your customers and how will this ultimately increase your turnover?
Setting up a customer loyalty strategy is for you the possibility of improving the competitiveness of your company on several levels. Then, when the strategy is deployed effectively, it is the turnover that increases significantly.
1. The financial benefit of customer loyalty
First of all, strengthening customer loyalty translates into substantial savings. Indeed, retaining an existing customer costs 6 times less for a company than acquiring a new one. The effectiveness of the strategy then makes it possible to better use these saved resources on other projects or processes where they will be more useful.
2. Limit the rate of Churn
Churn Rate is an indicative figure informing you of the number of customers you lose. Every business loses customers and no business can claim to retain 100% of its customer base.
It is very easy to calculate this rate:
Step 1: Divide the number of customers you lost by the total number of customers over a given period
Step 2: Multiply this number by 100
This erosion of the customer base can be limited by the retention of the company’s customers.
3. Have more engaged customers
Finally, having loyal customers is also the possibility of eventually owning brand ambassadors. Assuming that loyal customers are satisfied with your services, they will seek to make it known to those around them. Brand ambassadors are customers who convey a good brand image of your business. For example, they can defend your company during an exchange between satisfied and dissatisfied customers on a social network or a forum.
Thus, loyal customers become powerful allies for your online reputation. This is an excellent form of passive and free influence for you.
4. The impact on your turnover
Ultimately, the impact on the company’s turnover should not be neglected, because a company retaining 5% of its customers sees its turnover increase by 25 to 55%. Therefore, building a good customer relationship is a winning strategy in the medium and long term.
How to measure customer loyality ?
Customer relationship management must therefore become a priority and it is necessary to put in place effective strategies and KPIs. In the field, several key indicators are recognized as benchmarks.
Before studying the most relevant indicators for your activity, it is necessary to look at the question of satisfaction surveys. This is an ideal way to learn more about satisfaction by collecting feedback on your services or products.
This is the foundation on which to base all your efforts, as it allows you to periodically monitor the evolution of customer satisfaction. During its construction, you will decide which will be the key indicators that you will integrate.
The CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score is a classic in customer satisfaction surveys. It is effective and gives a global view of the satisfaction of your customers at a specific time. In surveys, it manifests as a “Are you satisfied? ”.
To use CSAT, you will need to choose between the three most common types of scoring:
- Rating from 1 to 3
- from 1 to 5
- from 1 to 10
The NPS or Net Promoter Score is of particular interest to us in the context of customer loyalty. It comes in the form of a question like “How likely are you to recommend our services/products to those around you? ”
This allows you to know how much the client will praise the quality of your services in his circle, family, friends, or colleagues. Knowing that this decision to talk about your products positively correlates with customer loyalty, is essential.
Essential Read: NPS Industry trends 2021
This rate represents the percentage of customers who, after first purchase, make a new one. This rate is indicative of your ability to retain your customers and bring them back to your establishment. Note that to implement this indicator, you will need to be able to follow the evolution of your customers’ purchases, via a loyalty card for example.
It is quite close to the previous one because it allows you to know the percentage of customers who have made a new purchase of a product different from the previous one. The Upsell rate is interesting because if the customer risks buying another of your products or services, it is because he has confidence in the quality of your products and services.
You can calculate a loyalty rate by averaging the three previous indicators:
- Net Promoter Score
- Repurchase rate
- Upsell rate
To do this, you will need to ask three different questions answered on a scale from 1 to 10:
“How likely are you to make a new purchase? ”
“Are you planning to test any new products or services? ”
“Would you recommend our brand to your family, friends, colleagues? ”
Each of these questions will give you a score out of 10. You will then only have to average these three scores to obtain an overall loyalty rate.
Which indicator to use?
You can use all of these indicators in various studies or use only a part of them. There is no rule because it all depends on the issues related to your business. Depending on the needs of the moment, you can create a satisfaction survey integrating the indicators that seem most relevant to you to obtain information to deal with a specific problem.
The Challenges: Customer Loyalty and Online Reputation
For a company, retaining its customers does not only improve its turnover. Taking care of the digital customer-business relationship also means preserving your online reputation thanks to customer recommendations, a key element for the success of a business today.
Note that a satisfied customer speaks to an average of 3 people about their positive experience. A dissatisfied customer, for his part, shares his negative experience with 10 people… In other words, customer satisfaction has a significant impact on your reputation on the internet, but also off the internet thanks to word of mouth.
The impact of customer reviews on the perception of your brand
Retaining your customers allows you to keep acquired customers, but paradoxically, it also facilitates the acquisition of new customers. Indeed, if customers turn away from your products or services, they risk rating your business negatively on the internet. This rating has negative consequences on the perception of your brand for prospects.
If, on the contrary, your customers are satisfied and rate your business positively, potential customers will be reassured. The chances of them buying one of your products are much higher.
Additional Resource: Renewal playbook guide
Collect reviews to analyze this brand image
The strong correlation between customer loyalty and customer reviews on the Internet makes it necessary to collect customer reviews. Thus, instead of ignoring or fearing the presence of customer reviews on the internet, on the contrary, you should encourage the publication of customer reviews and take them into account in your business strategy.
The more there are, the more you will be able to collect them and then analyze their content. It is a chance for your business to improve its products and services. Indeed, the analysis of customer opinions allows you to learn more about the average level of satisfaction and the weaknesses of your services.
In addition, the more relevant and constructive information you have from your customers, the easier it will be to put in place a marketing plan to boost your company’s turnover.
Customer reviews improve your visibility on the internet
Finally, customer reviews guarantee you better visibility on the internet. Google’s search engine algorithm takes into account the average scores obtained by companies.
Consequently, having few customer reviews or a lot of negative reviews strongly penalizes your visibility on the internet. Especially since Google services such as the search engine, the Google Maps mapping service, or the Google My Business service are all linked.
Thus, it is possible to be more visible on all these Google services by deploying a strategy adapted to customer reviews and customer loyalty.
Customer Loyalty programs are a part of a bigger strategy. The more customer-centric your company becomes, the more it will thrive. Rewarding relationships drive value and retention. You also get more out of a single customer than you might acquire new ones.
But customer loyalty programs require hyper-personalization and a holistic approach. You have to perceive their needs and expectations. Learn how CustomerSuccessBox helps B2B SaaS companies in all-around growth.