Customer Loyalty: Turning New Customers Into Returning Customers With Exceptional CX
Customer loyalty probably isn’t at the front of your mind when you’re running marketing campaigns to try to capitalize on industry peaks – but it should be!
One-time sales may seem like a win for your business, but according to the 80/20 rule, your loyal customers are key to growing your sales for the long term. By not investing in them and nurturing them when trying to maximize customer loyalty, you end up losing out on potential revenue. In fact, 93.1% of respondents in Antavo’s survey who measured their loyalty program ROI said they saw a positive ROI.
A “good enough” Customer Experience (CX) isn’t sufficient to engage customers over the long term, even if you have a great product. Today, it’s seen as an essential part of customer service. To transform first-time customers into your brand’s biggest supporters and to be able to serve in customer acquisition in return, you need to provide personalized content. And doing that requires data about their interests and possible future behavior.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BUILDING CUSTOMER LOYALTY: AN OVERVIEW
Customer loyalty is a multifaceted topic. Let’s take a look at what it is, how it differs from customer retention, and how it can benefit your business.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER LOYALTY IN MARKETING?
Customer loyalty describes the feeling of loyalty a customer has towards your brand. Your loyal customers feel connected to your company, which in turn influences them to return to make more purchases.
Customer loyalty marketing is an effective and often overlooked method of generating revenue. It’s the magic formula that keeps your customers engaged and prompts them to return to your brand.
But don’t worry. “Magic” doesn’t mean “supernatural.” You can go for tried and tested methods to strengthen your relationships with your customers and generate more sales. By providing them with great products, service, and experiences, loyal customers may even feel confident enough to try new products (product recommendations are key here), which can drive your Average Order Value (AOV) and increase revenue.
CUSTOMER LOYALTY VS. CUSTOMER RETENTION
Customer loyalty is about more than just ensuring customer retention. In fact, customers don’t always return to your business because of loyalty. Many customer retention strategies rely on short-term benefits and shallow incentives, such as generic deals and discounts. On the other hand, loyal customers make repeat purchases because they genuinely value your brand, products, and service.
You might think, “If a customer is returning again and again, does it really matter what their reasons are?” We believe that it does!
Fundamentally, building loyalty comes down to understanding your customer’s mindsets. Why are they choosing your brand? Customers may be satisfied with your products and your customer service, but they’ll always be ready to make the leap to another business if they see a better offer or feel a stronger connection on other channels, e.g. social media.
In a market full of options, having a genuine relationship with your customers puts you ahead of your competition. That relationship can elevate your brand from a disposable product to a valuable part of your customer’s lives.
BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Loyal customers are in your corner. They’re worth investing in because they’ll take the following actions:
Repeat customers keep buying more of your products and generating revenue for your business
Loyal customers promote your brand to friends, family, and online followers free of charge
They engage with your brand, offering feedback and reviews
These repeat customer enjoy your products, and use them often (perhaps even publicly)
They stick with you through shocks and bumps
A high customer retention saves marketing resources you’d need to spend acquiring new customers
Investing in the high-value buyers who really “get” your brand builds trust and increases revenue for the long term. And having your best customers buying your products alleviates the pressure and costs of constantly acquiring new customers. Even better, research suggests that you can boost profits by 25% to 95% if you increase customer retention by just 5%.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship – your customers get what they need in a way that supports your business.
HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM
The best way to encourage customer loyalty is to provide customers with exactly what they want from your company. However, to do that effectively, you need to know them well enough to be able to cater to their needs in a way that feels right for them, through customer data. In fact, 63% of millennials are willing to share personal data in return for personalized offers and discounts.
From loyalty cards to birthday deals, most companies offer their customers some kind of loyalty reward. Offering standardized customer loyalty programs and newsletters won’t hit the spot. It works like any other relationship – if you’re not taking the time and effort to get to know your customers, it’s likely they’ll move on.
Unified, real-time data allows you to build a unified customer profile (UCP) that enables you to get a 360-degree customer view to tailor your customer’s experience, allowing you to:
Monitor customer behavior throughout the entire customer lifecycle: Unify and collect data before and after purchasing. All types of GDPR-compliant data are useful here: zero-party data, first-party data, and data from other sources such as your CRM.
Use this information to personalize your customers’ experiences: Create effective and personalized experiences for specific groups of customers. This promotes brand loyalty and drives repeat purchases.
This approach results in substantial improvements in customer loyalty. But before you go around Googling for a customer profile template, there’s an effective way businesses use to obtain, unify, and structure this essential data. Through a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
CUSTOMER DATA PLATFORM
A customer data platform (CDP) records and organizes customer data in a clear and understandable way.
Building unified customer profiles internally is taxing work. That’s where a well-crafted CDP comes in. CDPs capture and track GDPR-compliant data from multiple touchpoints, unify and segment your data into UCPs, and build on top of these with real-time data. They reveal insights about your customer’s likes, dislikes, interests, demographics, the channels they prefer to interact on, devices, pages visited, purchases, and more.
CDPs sort all this data to provide the big picture. Clear visualizations and intuitive dashboards help you understand your customers. Advanced CDPs will also give you AI-backed predictions on future customer behavior.
A CDP is now a fundamental part of your MarTech stack. But to really find innovative ways to connect with customers and build customer loyalty, your software needs to have more than just the fundamentals to match your goals. Mapp Cloud is an insight-led customer experience platform that makes it all about your customer. It puts your customer insights at the core of your marketing to make it actionable, helping to optimize the CX in a customer-centric way.
TACTICS TO INCREASE CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND RETENTION
With the right CDP, you can streamline the customer journey and build customer loyalty. But to use it well, here are some proven tactics for you.
1. LEARN ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS
Think of it as the 5 W’s: Who, what, why, where, and when. Many factors influence customer decision-making and as you keep collecting and building on top of your customer data, some parts of your customer profile might surprise you, and that’s ok. Real people don’t always behave as you expect.
To understand why customers behave in a certain way and what their likes/dislikes are, it’s vital to work with accurate insights that are based on real-time data. Having a platform that uses AI and predictions can help you even stay ahead of customers, making it easy for you to predict churn, trigger workflows, and hyper-personalize your content to re-engage these customers.
Check out how Air Charter Service upped their email-open rate by 26%, increased click-throughs by 52%, and click-to-open by 22%.
CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAMS
It’s more than just an annual happy birthday discount email. Customer loyalty programs reward your customers for sticking with you. Because members of your customer inner circle are so valuable to your business, you can treat them to the following benefits:
Special offers and deals
Try-outs of new products
Special events and company visits
Offering a little extra to your most valued customers expresses your appreciation and makes them feel special. When done in a cost-conscious manner, deals and rewards can drive revenue through increased purchasing.
But relying on loyalty programs alone isn’t enough. Many customers are looking for the best deal for them rather than a long-term commitment to your brand. That’s why it’s important to offer loyalty programs as part of a larger set of loyalty-driving marketing techniques.
Find out how Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer boosted its email open rate to 25% with an upgraded marketing program employing a customer loyalty program.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The most accurate data that you can rely on is zero-party data, because it’s straight from the customer itself. Engaging with your customers helps develop your relationship with them and can work as an opportunity to provide you with valuable data to help you personalize the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction.
Collecting zero-party data through surveys (think Net Promoter Score) and feedback are great ways to learn what your customers want – and they’re willingly giving you this data up front! In most cases, people appreciate brands asking what they think because it shows care. Even a simple two-answer question on sign-up provides you with key information.
This approach lets you work with your customers to ensure your communications and forecasts work for them.
PERSONALIZE, PERSONALIZE, PERSONALIZE
We can’t stress this enough. As you collect copious amounts of customer data and structure it in a digestible way using your CDP, you can draw actionable insights to start personalizing your content across your channels. Collecting data from the earliest moment possible will help you to build on top of their UCPs to customize and adapt your content to create a CX that becomes relevant and pleasant for each customer.
UCPs helps segment customers based on their preferences, demographics, and conversion rates to help you create personalized content relevant to them. Showing your customers relevant product recommendations that appeal to them can help your low-selling products get discovered, increase conversion rates, and drive your AOV. If done right, this can help you reduce price cuts and help you to sell products at full price to boost your profitability.
Learn how Vivienne Westwood boosted its open rate to 38% and click-through rate to 5.8% by personalizing its marketing using customer data.
AUTOMATED CATEGORY TRIGGERS
With a wide customer base, it can be difficult to keep on top of every customer. The right CDP can help you send automated messages to customers at regular intervals by categorizing customers based on how likely they are to make a purchase. If you identify a strong intent to buy, personalizing messages based on what’s relevant and appeals to them increases the likelihood of conversions.
Categorized messaging is a particularly effective technique for promoting high-value products to increase revenue and increase your customer lifetime value.
BE OMNI-PRESENT ON THE RIGHT CHANNELS
As you learn more about your customers, you’re able to see what channels they’re most active on. This helps you understand what marketing channels in invest in, to get the highest possible ROI.
Use your customer data to become insight-led and target customers at the right time, with the right content, in the right place. Personalizing communications at every touchpoint where your customers are active helps you improve the customer experience and drive customer engagement. Setting up cross-channel communications such as automated emails, SMS marketing, in-app, and even push notifications can increase clicks to help encourage conversions and keep your customers engaged with your brand.
HOW TO START GROWING CUSTOMER LOYALTY TODAY?
Using a CDP can help you understand each stage of the customer journey and understand the changing behavior of your customers. Paving a pleasant customer journey with seamless customer experiences can help you grow customer loyalty. Download the 100 Tactics Playbook to see what proven tactics work to help you acquire, nurture, grow, and retain customers to become brand advocates for the long-term.
This article was first published by Mapp. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.