Building Loyalty, Getting Results

One of the most coveted assets any business can have is a loyal customer.  Loyal customers not only tend to spend more at businesses they patronize, they tend to forgive mistakes that other consumers may not and they are a powerful word-of-mouth extension of your brand.  A recommendation from a loyal customer to a friend about your business can be very influential.  A new study has been released that details what things consumers think are important in creating loyalty – these are things your business can employ to inspire loyalty among customers and increase your bottom line.

• The average American consumer belongs to 18 different loyalty programs of one kind or another

• Over one-third of online adults said that providing excellent 24/7 customer service was the best way to create a loyal customer

• 20% said that rewarding customers for purchases, positive feedback and referrals was a great way to develop loyalty

• 13% indicated that sending them exclusive or relevant offers and specials would inspire loyalty

• 12% said loyalty could be developed through providing personalized products & services and 10% said simply knowing me when I call or visit would build loyalty

What Does This Mean To You

Most every business needs as many loyal customers as they can get.  Not just to keep the registers ringing, but also to spread the word about everything they can offer.  Social media has given shoppers a platform to either crow or complain about companies or the service they receive.  Loyal customers can be your social brand evangelist. There are digital tools that can help you achieive many of the suggestions that came out of the study.
Customer Service – Is your website easily navigate-able? Is the information up to date? Do you have a
live chat area where customers can interact with staff? Does your mobile site offer mapping, directions and a click-to-call feature? Are you incentivizing staff to perform top-notch customer service
Shopper Rewards – Does your company offer a points-for-purchase program? Do you monitor social media and thank customers for feedback – positive or negative? Are you looking at geo-location social networks like FourSquare and rewarding customers for checking in?
Targeted Offers – Are you collecting email addresses and text information? Are you adequately informing customers up front how and how often you will contact them? Do you legally know what your
responsibilities are?  Are your offers truly targeted and giving the receiver value?  Are you asking them
any questions that may help you develop targeted offers?
Every business is different.  There is no one cookie cutter approach to develop loyal customers. By asking questions about your current efforts and leveraging technology, your business can create a loyalty strategy that is unique to your needs.  For more information on digital tools that can help you
win loyal customers, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: COLLOGUY; ClickFox; eMarketer

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