Until recently, companies established their customer attraction and customer loyalty strategies as separate commercial alternatives. What do we do, which resources do we use to attract new customers or to build loyalty with the customers that we already have?
Market evolution is leading us increasingly to interrelate both of these processes, to the point where the strategy of building customer loyalty may be one of the keys to the attraction of prospects.
Today, the value of a product or service is more than the intrinsic usefulness within it. The need for differentiation has made companies holding trademarks to add to their articles or services a series of additional advantages linked to the purchase or user experience that provide added value. This “plus” which has been understood as a loyalty tool up until now, is being used nowadays as a sales strategy against the competition.
In a viral and interactive world among users, the impact of customer satisfaction and a good customer loyalty strategy (after sales service and customer service, loyalty card, refunds, discounts policies or points cards) becomes the best way of attracting new customers.
However, do we really know what customer loyalty is about?
Beyond the simplification when we say that loyalty means retaining customers (a customer can never be retained, because if they are not satisfied with the product, they will end up not buying, no matter what efforts we make to build their loyalty), customer loyalty starts by exceeding the expectations that the user has with respect to the brand, by gaining their trust through:
- Credibility and the company’s and brands’ image.
- Reliability of the products or services.
- Correct service and security conveyance during the process of purchase and after sales service.
- Honesty in each contact.
- Interest for the customer, always looking for mutual benefit.
This means that a loyalty plan is not a set of actions produced by the marketing department of the company, but relies on the engagement of the company’s entire staff in a joint effort to ensure customer satisfaction.
Therefore, customer loyalty is a much more complex concept than the idea that we had in the past, and as time goes by, it is becoming more and more complex. It is not just about activating a points programme, discounts, rewards, but about the way in which the brand interacts, and links to its customer. The stronger this link is, the greater the possibilities to gain customer loyalty will be.
The more we know clients’ profiles (their interests, their needs, their purchase history, their profitability, etc.), the more effective this approach will be, because we will be able to segment our target and offer each kind of customer those actions that we consider more appropriate to gain their loyalty and increase their value.
Take a look at a Case study for a loyalty program campaign!