5 Loyalty Tools
According to Jess Huang of the McKinsey consultancy, consumers are changing: nowadays, they spend more time on their phones and many digital channels. This gives brands greater access to people but also generates excessive competition, so loyalty tools have become highly valued in order to stay afloat in the market.
On the other hand, digital trends have raised the bar on customer care and how a relationship develops with it. Therefore, industries that usually didn’t have loyalty programs are now considering them.
On this occasion we will give you 5 tips to retain your customers as well as examples of tools that you can use in order to achieve it.
But before that, we would like to highlight the differences between customer loyalty and brand loyalty. The first is when you offer a series of benefits (discounts, gifts, BOGO, reward cards) that seem attractive to customers and make them come back to you… until they may find someone better elsewhere. Brand loyalty goes deeper, it is when the consumer returns to you not only for the price-quality convenience, but because he or she really believes in the mission of your company. It is then a matter of first achieving loyal customers so they would later become brand loyal customers.
Although all the tools that we show here have as a starting point to achieve customer loyalty, the final objective of these tips is that you also achieve the brand loyalty of your customers.
Know your buyers well
It would seem that offering the best product or service is enough but it is not; if you want to retain clients, you will need to do more: know their preferences and anticipate their needs to figure out how you can continue to solve what competitors will strive to solve better than your company. You should know when they use your product, what it represents for them, how old they are, what their preferences are, how long they have been buying from you… This is achieved using market research studies or the increasingly necessary Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) that allows you to have an overview of what people are looking for in your brand.
An example is Highrise, a CRM that offers its users full access to contact and customer information as well as tools to monitor negotiations and sales. Although it is simple and inexpensive, it is the ideal option to take the first step out of the old Excel sheet and try loyalty tools.
The information will help you to have predictive statistics to better understand the behaviors that really motivate your high-value customers to buy your product or service and, based on them, design a loyalty program that responds to those behaviors. Each type of consumer requires a special type of program and a CRM is the ideal tool to identify and group them.
Create human relationships
Perhaps the number of consumers of your company is so big that it will be impossible for you to meet them one by one, but it is important that they feel a direct bond with the brand; the most human contact possible will always be a factor that will make them see your product or service as something more than just that.
A great example of a company that has succeeded is Netflix, whose CEO Reed Hastings has based the success of his business on what he calls consumer science. This not only in terms of its content offer; they have also decided to use a closer, fun and original language both in their advertising and in their customer service, where customer is not the center, but an obsession, so they do not aspire to customer satisfaction but to a long-term delight relationship.
Social networks are great loyalty tools to generate more interactive and customized relationships that are part of the long-term day-to-day life of both captive and potential customers. However, it must be done properly, most of the companies talk to their customers through social networks but only a few establish adequate attention to them.
If you decide to get started with social media management, tools like Zoho offer Social CRM tools to interact with customers from different social networks.
See complaints as an opportunity
It is very difficult for a company or its staff to accept complaints with the required philosophy. While they can be a reminder that a mistake has been made, they are actually a great opportunity to detect brand perception, especially if we take into account that a big amount of dissatisfied customers do not communicate it, and 79% of those who dared to share their complaint on the internet were ignored.
Well handled, a complaint can become a loyal customer. A call made by someone with a first and last name and a kind voice willing to offer a solution with empathy is something that is priceless for many people and adds value to the company.
Platforms and loyalty tools like Zendesk help you better solve complaints by easily getting the answers they need by providing a personal touch on a large scale.
Stop thinking about providing a service but about a long-term relationship instead
As in the case of Netflix, it is important not only to strive to provide the best service or product, but to really create a long-term relationship where your customers live with your brand on a daily basis.
Try to have regular contact with your customers, but not by inviting them to buy, but by providing value. Remember that you already have the tools to know what they think, what they are looking for and what they need. Now is the time to give it to them in order to keep you on their minds and in their hearts. So when they think of buying, they will think of your brand.
That is the philosophy of inbound marketing: attracting customers to your brand for the valuable content you generate, then maintain communication with them to get to know them better and provide solutions to delight them with resources that will help them acquire your products. HubSpot is a company that offers several loyalty tools to make all of this possible.
Create brand experiences that reward your loyalty
Now that consumers are more willing than ever to try new brands, loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers. These programs make people willing to choose you over the competition, increase the frequency of their purchases and even be able to pay higher prices to stay with the brand.
There are several loyalty experiences, a simple and popular example are the frequent customer cards, they generally accumulate points that can be redeemed or they accumulate visits that after a certain number offer rewards. A good tool to generate this type of strategy is Exchange Solutions, which allows you to create them in a personalized way. Throughout this article, we provide you with several examples of tools that can be used for each of the subjects addressed. However, there are many more options that we are sure will help you transform your clients into ambassadors of your business.