How loyal are your customers? Would they choose you over your competitors? Questions like these should be asked within company boardrooms on regular occasions. Since customers hold the life and death of businesses in their wallets, it pays (quite literally) to foster sound customer loyalty wherever possible. So, what exactly is customer loyalty really, and are there ways to drive customer loyalty using digital marketing channels? We’re answering these questions below:
Customer Loyalty Defined
There’s a stark difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Here’s an example to illustrate:
Customer satisfaction is when you go out of your way to assist a customer that had a bad experience with your brand, and they are happy with the resolution. However, there’s a slim chance that this customer will ever spend money with your company again.
Customer loyalty is when that same customer has been treated so well in the past, that one bad experience won’t sully their commitment to the brand and the company. However, to ensure that loyalty flame burns strong, the brand should endeavour to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
So, satisfaction is when the customer is happy after an interaction with the brand.
Customer loyalty is when the customer is happy with the brand in general, and they prefer to partner with the brand over any competitor brands.
Ways To Drive Customer Loyalty
- The first way to drive customer loyalty is by bringing the customer into the organisational fray – in a big way. To be customer-centric, brands should put the customer and their needs first when planning and executing digital marketing campaigns. If you create marketing content that has been created specifically with the customer in mind, there’s a much better chance that they will engage with the brand in a meaningful way. This fosters brand loyalty (especially if competitors aren’t personalising their touch-points.
- Next, we’re talking about adding value. Few things impact brand loyalty more than addressing customer issues promptly. Value is added to the brand/customer relationship when brands help customers with complaint resolutions, a call for help, or general inquiries about the product or service. The quicker a brand can offer answers to their followers’ questions, and resolve issues that arise, the better chance for loyalty to grow. When customers are left stranded for days on end, their loyalty to the brand will slowly dissolve away.
- Finally, we’re talking about emotions. Nothing is more powerful in marketing than being able to elicit an emotional response from the audience. Emotions drive people to action, and when brands touch on the right emotions, regularly, they start to develop loyalty in the customer – who starts to rely on the brand, its messages, and its products/services for their emotional wellbeing. This is also a factor in bolstering brand loyalty with that customer.
Satisfied customers are loyal customers. Loyal customers are the essence of any business. To understand the nuances of customer loyalty development, one needs a sound understanding of basic marketing and advertising concepts.
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