In today’s crowded business market, organizations have to spend even more time engaging with their customers in order to build loyalty. This loyalty, after all, is what continues to drive sales and help the business thrive within their organization. But, how does a company begin to move from customer satisfaction to loyalty?
Traditionally, companies have focused on loyalty programs to build a strong customer base. While these programs are effective, new strategies are necessary to continue to attract and build relationships with consumers. Loyalty programs typically include a reward after so many purchases, or if the customers spend a certain amount of money. The reward is either a significant discount or a free product. Today, nearly all companies offer some sort of loyalty program. Because of the overload, many customers simply don’t participate in the programs. Statistics show that, on average, consumers are members of 18 loyalty programs, but are only active in 8.
Social media has also helped to evolve the customer loyalty landscape. Through social media, businesses are able to build relationships with their target audience. Today’s consumer is focused on two-way dialogue with companies, and when they aren’t able to receive instant communication, they become frustrated. Because of this, it’s important to have a strong social media profile on several networks, including Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Within your social media activity, you need to monitor and react to consumer comments, as well as providing useful content. Social media profiles should serve as the brand’s personality. Through interactions with consumers, it’s easy to portray this personality. Most consumers visit social networks as a way to escape. Because of this, it’s important to stay away from negative comments and focus on fun, interesting thoughts. This will keep consumers interested and engaged in what you have to say.
Companies can engage with consumers by responding to tweets, or thanking them for posting on their Facebook wall. Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge good and bad feedback to enhance the relationship and engagement. Other consumers monitor the page and will see how a company reacts to negative feedback. How this is handled can also impact and influence another customer’s perception of the company, as well as his or her loyalty to the organization.
Furthermore, a business’ front line staff is who consumers frequently engage with the most. Because of this, it’s important to implement appropriate training to ensure they are focused on providing the best experience and customer service for customers. As there are many competing companies within every industry, experiences are what build brand loyalty. Making sure your staff are aware of this fact — and rewarded for their efforts — will only build loyalty among your customer base.
Moving your customers away from simply being satisfied to being loyal is beneficial to your company in numerous ways. It not only enhances the reputation for your organization, but can also positively impact the company’s revenues. Because of this, building relationships with consumers are more important than ever to ensure you are separated from the competition and building effective and long-lasting relationships with your customers.