Cultivating Long-Term Customer Loyalty
Martin Häring, Chief Marketing Officer at Misys offers advice to B2B marketers on putting the client at the heart of the business
Cultivating long-term loyalty in your customer-base not only takes time, it also comes down to a well-thought out and executed strategy. Ultimately, businesses that will thrive in today’s highly competitive landscape are those which put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
According to a study by Walker, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as a key business differentiator; just one of the many reasons why marketers must re-assess their strategy.
The problem is the overriding focus many businesses have of driving a product-led culture rather than being customer-led. For large multi-product enterprises, the temptation is to organise the business by function and product-line, which can result in a siloed approach to growth that neglects customer satisfaction. Organising the business in this way also increases the chances of clients receiving a fragmented experience, which is a less than ideal situation. Business lines and functions may ‘do their bit’ to improve performance and sales of a particular product or service, but if your customers aren’t happy, you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
Championing a customer-led culture should be at the top of your business’ priorities. Not only do satisfied customers help improve business image, they will be more likely to come back and endorse your services or products. Further supporting this, a report by Bain & Co found that a customer is four times more likely to move to a competitor due to poor service rather than product dissatisfaction. And this isn’t just something multi-product businesses need to be aware of, it’s a practice we should all be adopting.
Making use of data is the key to unlocking a better understanding of your client’s motives and needs, and will also allow you to drastically improve and personalise the services delivered to them. From the first click or interaction a customer has with your business, they are already evaluating the experience they receive. Using this to your advantage, combined with data from right across the client journey can provide significant insight and help to predict potential shortfalls in customer satisfaction, allowing you to react ahead of time.
By understanding the customer journey and consequently driving improvements in the cross-functional experience provided to the client, organisations can augment engagement where it is needed most. It enables businesses to increase customer satisfaction levels, open up new sales opportunities and scale up endorsements and advocacy.
Over the last two years through the launch and adoption of the Misys Connect client engagement programme, Misys has seen client references accelerate $200M of sales pipeline, $50M of which has turned into won deals. Over the same timescale more than 80 customers have publically endorsed the company, including Barclays, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Unipol.
With a wide array of customer data on tap, businesses should be using it to enhance their services for the good of the clients. Not only will this help build life-long relationships with existing customers, but it can also open doors for prospective new clients.