It is no secret that the digital customer is more empowered than ever. Nearly 50 percent of shoppers own smartphones and almost everyone agrees that the advances in tech have only benefited them to look for ‘options’. This means taking their business elsewhere if their requirements are not met.
Companies deal with this by introducing innovations and providing various services and features that make the interaction with the customer as seamless and efficient as possible. From chatbots to meeting scheduling tools to additional self service channels, companies are doing it all so that customers can quickly access the information and help they need.
But what do customers really need? Apart from a great product, customers value personalised and prompt service. A delightful customer experience combines the best of both – convenience of technology with the personalised, customized human touch. So how do you drive customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive and digital era?
All your clients – existing and potential must have the ability to quickly access your company’s service on whichever platform or device they desire. Today, customers expect to find online services and products they need without hassle or unnecessary delays.
NOt being able to find or receive the services they want will easily divert them to a competitor with a better approach.
Omni channel experiences are now the de facto expectation and customers want flawless experiences both on desktop and mobile.
Aim to build engagement before loyalty:
IN this flippant age of switching tabs and websites within the fraction of a second, you need to focus more on engagement and less on loyalty. A healthy customer interaction that makes your customer feel important and valued will naturally lead to loyalty.
Use software and tools
If you are not using productivity tools to drive customer engagement then you are truly missing out on a great opportunity.
For example, a meeting scheduling tool eliminates the need for multiple emails and calendars to book a client meeting or potential customer appointment. There is no need to send multiple emails to schedule your meeting or sending your prospects a payment link. All you need to do is to send a single scheduling link that is integrated with your website and other software – it takes care of everything from bookings to reminders to payments.
One example of an industry uses online scheduling tools effectively is healthcare. In fact, Accenture has predicted that nearly 39% of all medical appointments will be booked online by the end of 2019.
Apart from this you do need a modern and user-friendly website and an active social media presence to announce rewards and loyalty offers.
Implementing Loyalty programs for better loyalty
Making loyalty happen in an increasingly competitive market is the tough part. There are many ways of doing this but you can start with a bonus point system. By doing so, you will motivate your customers to use more of your products and services, collecting points that they can use as discounts for buying your products.
Another system that many have found effective is a referral program. Offer your customers added loyalty benefits and premium service when they refer their friends and family to your business.
Here are some ways to implement a strategic loyalty program:
- Begin with a points-based bonus system
- Introduce a tier system to reward loyalty and drive more purchases
- Partner with similar vendors to promote all-inclusive offers
- Set a budget, set goals and measure the impact
- Decide which customers you want to target specifically
An important point to remember is that customer analytics plays an important role in the success of any business. Use data and analyse the buying patterns and preferences of customers to understand what kind of campaigns and rewards work the best and will be appreciated by your customers.
Finally, remember that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. You can mobilize and activate your loyal customers to recruit new ones for your brand.