Customers are becoming more demanding, better informed and increasingly empowered.
Traditional marketing is no longer working, and customers want richer and more relevant dialogues with the companies they deal with.
They want their preferences to be respected and their loyalty to be rewarded. Under these conditions, so-called "pray and spray" communications are destroying both relationships and brand value.
Amid these challenging circumstances, how can an organisation differentiate itself? With the best product?
No, because products can be duplicated.
With the lowest price?
No, because discounts can be matched and promotions can be copied.
With satisfied customers?
No, because satisfaction isn't the same as loyalty.
A number of studies have indicated that majority of the customers who defect are either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their former suppliers.
So, while customer satisfaction is clearly important, true loyalty is what is absolutely essential.
This is because loyal customers:
- Buy more and more often than other customers;
- Enhance profitability and cost less to service;
- Provide an invaluable referral system (i.e. they share, recommend and advocate).
In order to drive true customer loyalty, you need to understand customer's perspective, and know what they want - which usually includes statements such as:
- Treat me as though my business is important to you;
- Reward my loyalty and recognize me for who I am;
- Respect my preferences and the information that I share with you;
- Make it easy to do business with you, anywhere, at any time;
- Be relevant to my needs and circumstances;
- Help me realize my needs and dreams;
- Save me time and money;
- Connect me with people like me.
Which of these keys are you currently doing and which do you need to add to convert your satisfied customers to loyal customers?