“Businesses build strong relationships with customers to promote future transactions. From a financial perspective, it is far less expensive to keep customers than acquiring new ones,” – Entrepreneur.com
Business enterprises share a dynamic relationship with modern customers. We may state that this has evolved from the times of antiquity when bazaars and informal markets hosted merchants and tradesmen that offered a variety of produce and merchandise to their customers. In modern times, brands and businesses have realised that the key to customer loyalty lies in deciphering the needs, preferences, requirements, and trends that populate the universe of customer behaviour. Once this information is captured, business strategists can utilise this data to create avenues of customer fulfilment. We note that various tools (such as advanced analytics, behavioural recording tools, and data from customer touch points) are leveraged to understand customer behaviour.
Commercial organizations can choose to allocate certain responsibilities to their business managers. These duties include intelligent customer engagement techniques that help a business to understand various customer segments. For instance, a business manager can choose to chat with customers using online instant messaging tools. The resulting nuggets of information can enable businesses to draw insights into customers’ minds. The subsequent offerings of the business will likely fulfil customer expectations, thereby highlighting the key to customer loyalty for such businesses.
In a similar vein, brands and businesses can elect to hold regular interactions with customers in a bid to boost the ranks of happy customers. For instance, an FMCG business enterprise can convene meetings with key customers in an attempt to gain feedback about pain points in the firm’s products. We note that this technique can help to uncover the key to customer loyalty because the firm can develop improved products subsequent to customer feedback. That said, we note that such interactions represent a healthy aspect of customer relations because they boost customer confidence in a business or enterprise.
Brands and businesses can build electronic databases that can be populated with heavy doses of customer information. The prime objective would be to record information regarding customer purchase history and customer contact information. We note that these silos of information can empower a brand to create focussed marketing campaigns wherein, customers are offered products and services that complement their purchase histories. These actions hold the key to customer loyalty and must be iterated and refined throughout the customer cycle. Interestingly, we note that information systems that capture such data already exist in the form of CRM systems. Therefore, brands and businesses should exert themselves to develop and operate information-rich techniques in a bid to understand their customers.
A novel approach to discover the key to customer loyalty can be activated when businesses invite customers to view plant and machinery. For instance, an automobile manufacturer can elect to boost its knowledge of key clients by conducting a guided tour of the manufacturing premises. Visitors and clients can be impressed by the impeccable quality standards enforced in said premises. We may state that this exercise enables the business and its clients to boost their mutual understanding. The experience may help customers to achieve future purchase decisions with said business. In light of the above, we may state that such experiences hold the key to customer loyalty in certain lines of business.
E-commerce operators have acquired a certain reputation that hinges on their ability (and propensity) to offer frequent sales on a wide range of products. These selling techniques hinge on the knowledge that modern customers appreciate reducing selling prices on a range of consumer products. Therefore, e-commerce businesses can be advised to initiate a second selling season after the first sale has expired. This technique can extend the benefits of a sale to shoppers that failed to participate in the original online sale. Grateful and happy customers will likely respond by participating enthusiastically, thereby revealing the key to customer loyalty to online business operators. An additional benefit offered by this technique lies in the fact that the subsequent sale will enable business operators to clear inventory and create space for new items of merchandise.
Modern CRM systems have provided businesses with a key value proposition in terms of customer information. Therefore, brands and businesses should work to find patterns in customer behaviour and fashion certain bespoke marketing campaigns to target some customer segments. For instance, an online business operator can elect to track customer-spending patterns and select repeat spenders for special offers and privileged treatment – this is one of the techniques fostering genuine customer confidence in a brand and remains key to customer loyalty in modern fragmented markets. We note that the delighted customers would stay true in the face of marketing offers from competing brands, thereby enabling the online business operator to secure future revenue streams.
Affluent customers traditionally remain willing (and able) to spend extra dollars in return for superior service standards. This represents common knowledge among marketers and therefore, brands and businesses must leverage this information to boost customer loyalty. For instance, a commercial airline service operator can enable affluent customers to pay additional dollars to secure seats with longer leg space. This campaign rests on the premise that said operator understands the priorities and preferences of their customers. We note that the success of this campaign rests on relevant customer information in possession by said operator. The special gesture extended to the affluent customers may enable the airline to win their future custom and thus demonstrates the key to customer loyalty in this instance.
Modern commercial organizations must realize that investing in customer relationships can often be vital to customer loyalty. This statement is premised on the fact that a long-lasting commercial relationship with a customer or group of customers can consistently boost business bottom lines. Therefore, brands and businesses can be advised to create ‘customer clubs’ and encourage their regular customers to join said clubs. Members can meet at sponsored venues twice in a year and share views, reviews, and offer suggestions to the sponsor. We note that this approach enables the commercial operator to engender fellow feeling among its regular customers, while ensuring that customer defections remain at minimal levels.
Certain low-key exercises can help to generate significant results over the long-term. This holds especially true for business enterprises that are serious about their commercial future. Hence, these businesses can elect to send regular polls and questionnaires to their customers through electronic vehicles such as email. The ensuing conversation should enable the brand or business to gain deep insights into customer wants and requirements. We note that this low-key strategy is matchless in terms of eliciting deep information from a swathe of individuals and patrons across multiple customer segments. Subsequently, the brand or business can wield the information to fashion useful products and services that enjoy high uptake in the markets. We note that this key to customer loyalty can be activated by most businesses by investing time and patience.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that businesses can deploy to cultivate customer loyalty. Modern market landscapes demand that businesses should cultivate and retain every individual customer in a bid to survive and to outperform the competition. These twin imperatives tend to drive most business decisions and enable brands to perform in the face of uncertain market realities.