Loyal customers are important to beat competitors

To stand out, great online reputation and investing in customer experience should be your main goal.

Customers too are increasingly focused on the experience they have with a company. Customers want a consistent, simple and optimised experience that takes every worry out of the purchase. But because of the overwhelming number of options customers have nowadays, it is less likely they will stay loyal to your brand. Which contradicts with back in the days, when customers, once chosen for you, likely stayed loyal.  That was also part of convenience: getting a new company was time-consuming because of the research you had to do. Nowadays, customers have a quick search on Google, and they are able to compare every service or product in a handy overview. Therefore, giving customers the absolute best experience with anything that your brand has to offer is more important than ever.

However, in order to get loyal customers companies need to stand out from the rest. Creating loyalty is a complex and effortful journey. Research found  that getting new customers is 7 times more expensive than maintaining existing ones, so it is extremely beneficial to your company when customers become loyal.2Therefore, creating customer experience focused not just on conversion but also on maintaining customers is key to your business success.

So, how do you get loyal customers through customer experience?

1. Processing fluency

According to the Harvard Business Review, it all has to do with ‘processing fluency’: The ease with which information is processed.3 The brain processes information easier that you have seen before. So, repetition increases processing fluency. Also, Customers want the easiest option because it takes them fast through the whole purchase process. They already know you and know what you do. This makes it easy for the brain because you are familiar. They know what to expect. Buying a different product makes it way harder to process things: it is all new. Familiarity is the key to processing fluency. Customer experience should therefore also be familiar.

Processing fluency holds in this age as much as it did back in the days. As a company, you should still strive to be familiar with your customers. The only thing is, nowadays every company focusses on the customer experience that is familiar. So, how do you stand out? This has to do with consistency. Being familiar and reliable to your customers is all in favor of increasing the processing fluency. But what really makes processing fluency turn into loyal customers is giving them an experience that consistently fulfills their expectations. Give them no reason to even doubt your company. This way they will stick for as long as you keep up with the quality of the customer experience. Always giving them the experience they want.

2. Personalising

In order to hold onto customers, you should reward them. Give them something in return for their loyalty. And getting your customer something they personally want is the best way to do that. In that way, customers will have a feeling that you invested time in them, that they are special to you. Loyalty guaranteed.  

So, how do you do that? You collect your customers data. Scary? Not at all. Customers actually like their loyalty to be rewarded. According to a Loyalty Report, 87 percent of the people are willing to have their activity tracked, if they get access to personalised rewards.4

You probably already use the data in order to engage with the customer on an emotional level and to add value to the service offered. To extend their loyalty you should tailor their needs. Ask questions about their lives, their hobbies and their preferences. The Dutch Airlines KLM is actually a great example. Using contest into winning airline tickets, they ask your preference: “which city would you prefer to go? Edinburgh, San Francisco or Dubai? Would you prefer visiting waterfalls, a castle or a zoo?

Whatever you do, make sure you give away personalised discount for something your customers are looking for.  

Customers that spend big and frequent need to be rewarded differently than customers that spend less frequent and big. In order to give personalised rewards, you should know this information from the data that you collected.

3. Omnichannel customer experiences

Because of the give power to the customers and their wide range of choices, it is key to be customer oriented as a company. Giving customers the best service has become a priority.

According to a study by Exolevel, 89 percent of the people expect retailers to allow them to shop for products through a channel they found convenient.5 This means that companies should invest in getting an omnichannel customer experience. Engaging with customers at the right time on the right channel is key for customer loyalty nowadays. Companies should create a seamless experience across all their channels. That means customers can engage with products and services while moving between channels, without any interruption in their journey.

Another perk of omnichannel is the ability you have to track customers via several channels. This gives the opportunity to create a more complete profile of your customer. That way, you are able to bring the customer a more personal experience with your brand and they will feel more engaged.  Keep this experience up consistently and you might get yourself some lifelong loyal customers.

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