Why is Customer Loyalty & Engagement Important to Retailers
Todays marketplace is challenging to say the least, partly due to the rise in consumer expectation of a personalised tailored experience and partly down to the technological age. Consumers now have readily available information to undertake vast amounts of research before they ever intend to buy. The time of expecting customers to be loyal is over! Brands and retailers now recognise that they must work harder to drive customer engagment and build customer loyalty. Companies know they need to be customer focused. The increasing emphasis is now on customers rather than the products or service they use. Products may change and adapt, but customers need to be retained to provide ‘customer lifetime value’. Net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer (Wikipedia).
Add to this the pressure of consumers expecting retailers to anticipate and meet their needs, you have a challenging environment in the marketplace.
Driving customer loyalty is about looking after your customers once they have come aboard your brand. The way you treat customers matters, as it impacts how likely they are to look elsewhere for what they need. If natural brand loyalty is diminishing, you need to give customers a reason to stay with your company. According to LinkedIn 68% of customer will leave your company if they believe you don’t care about them. See a chart on factors influencing customer loyalty.
Customer engagement is therefore about encouraging your customers to interact with you and share in the experiences you create for them as a brand and business.
With technology constantly evolving but some shopping habits remaining the same, retailers need to be agile enough to serve both needs. Retailers are constantly focused on experimenting with new innovations both online and in-store to remain relevant to evolving consumer demand.” Matthew Shay NRF President and CEO
How To Gain Customer Loyalty:
Developing your company brand is key to driving customers to your business, the more a consumer resonates with your brand the more likely they are to buy from you again.
Monitor and understand changes in consumer trends within your marketplace. This ensures you can adapt and offer services and products they want.
Engage with your audience through product communications. Communicate through a variety of channels but the one that you can see your customers have shown most engagement with previously.
Customer service. Deliver and offer enormous value, your customer service can set you apart from your competitors and be instrumental in retaining customers.
Provide value. This is over and above value perceived based on your pricing. More about adding value by providing relevant information about new products or services that you know your customers might be interested in. The latest tech or product development they might want to purchase.
Communicate with VIP customers – loyalty programmes are common place, however, how you deliver them to make your customers feel valued and nurtured is key.
Quality – Unless you are working on a principle of pile them high and cheap, always ensure you are offering good quality.
CRM – Customer relationship management is important before, during and after purchase. The customer journey is not just about the sale, if you truly want to look after your customers and build a relationship with them.
Create Custom Content – provide the content and information that addresses their questions or concerns. Create a community where the customer feels you are anticipating their needs and interests before they even realise them.
Lastly listen to your customers – feel brave enough to drive conversation and then when you receive feedback – act on it so you can continually improve your offering both products and customer service. Research is a great way of understanding consumers perceptions and opinions of your business, so you are kept informed before your loyal base turn to competitors.
Infographic – How To Keep Customers Loyal
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