Building Customer Loyalty With Online Feedback
In light of Valentine’s Day we must remind ourselves how meaningful customer relationships are, so we’ve dedicated this blog to emphasizing the importance of customer loyalty and how to enhance it through online customer feedback.
Why is customer loyalty so important?
Some businesses are so focused on bringing in new customers that they often forget the importance of nurturing customer relationships, much less instilling a sense of loyalty in their customer base. Has your business lost sight of how critical customer loyalty is? Here are some reasons why you should earn their loyalty and never let it go:
1. Loyal customers keep on giving
Remember that your most loyal customers will keep coming back to you. A study carried out by Gartner Group showed that 20% of your existing customers generate 80% of your profits. And what’s more, because these customers are already loyal to your brand, they’ll also be more likely to try out new products, enabling your business to easily upsell and cross-sell its products and services.
2. Loyal customers are practically free sales representatives for your brand
Returning customers who are really happy with your brand tend to share this with friends and family. And what’s great about this word-of-mouth marketing is that nearly 84% of global consumers believe recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy sources of information about products. This is a great way for your business to strengthen its brand and reinforce it among potential customers who may not be familiar with your products or services.
3. Customer loyalty is a differentiator
It can be hard, especially for smaller businesses, to compete with larger brands and their “army” of loyal customers. There are a number of different elements working against these businesses such as resources, money and general brand awareness. But this (mostly) monetary disadvantage doesn’t mean these companies can’t have a big fanbase of their own. According to Inc., small business are much more responsive and approach customer issues on a much more personal basis. For example, in their survey, they looked at what percentage of small businesses and large business actually follow up on their customers. For small businesses this was around 68% while large businesses came out to around only 30%.
So knowing what you know now, how can you build up this customer loyalty? Feedback, of course!
The role of feedback in building customer loyalty
You’ve probably all heard that “bringing in a new customer costs the same as retaining five existing customers”. While this is very true, don’t let it fool you. When it comes to customer feedback, every customer is important and attentiveness may mean the difference between a one-time customer and a returning customer. If you want your customers to be loyal to your brand, you need to listen to them and let them know they are being heard from the start.
Here are some important tips for boosting customer loyalty:
1. Stick to real-time feedback
Many companies are accustomed to collecting feedback and only analysing it once a week or even once a month. However, within the digital landscape it is becoming easier for your visitors to switch providers. I mean, these transitions can happen in the blink of an eye and in between this month and last month’s feedback review, there’s a high chance you’ve lost quite a few of potential customers to your competitor – all because you couldn’t help them in time.
Real-time feedback enables you to know exactly what your customers are saying the moment they say it. And once you have these insights, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. This involvement gives customers the feeling that you are actually listening to them and taking them seriously; a quality that can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2. Ask relevant questions
Are you familiar with the term, ‘question routing’? This is used when you want the customer to answer a follow-up question based on their previous response. So, for example, let’s say you’ve asked your customer to fill in an NPS score. Based on the score they provide, you can ask relevant questions that will trigger them to provide you with an explanation as to why they’ve given you that score.
Some of you might be scratching your head right about now, thinking okay, but what does question routing have to do with customer loyalty? Well, think of it this way: the more information you have about the customer’s experience (e.g. why they didn’t achieve their goal or why they’re not satisfied with your website), the more ‘ammo’ you have to enhance that experience either right away or in the future.
3. Don’t forget to court your enthusiasts
You’re going to have plenty of customers who complain or experience lots of problems. It’s inevitable. But don’t let yourself get tied up in the negative cases only. There are plenty of enthusiastic and happy customers who leave feedback sheerly to let you know you’re doing something right! And more often than not, these are those same customers I mentioned earlier who will spread the word on how great your brand is! Remember, positivity is contagious.
All you need is love
As you can see, customer loyalty is something every business needs. After all, it’s the ‘new marketing’ and a great way of building up your brand. So be sure to give your customers the love they need with feedback.