Customers are done being treated like a commodity or a financial number. If companies want their loyalty, they need two things: (1) engagement and (2) amazing customer experience.
In exchange, statistics show that satisfied consumers are willing to pay more for an excellent interaction with the brand. They can also become amazing brand advocates. Online positive reviews can achieve a conversion rate of over 250 percent.
Because of the huge benefits of brand engagement and customer experience, industry experts now insist that these should be priorities for every business. The problem is, many companies are still trying to figure out how to do them, according to a Qualtrics survey.
For those who find themselves in this same boat, they can consider the following ideas to improve their customer satisfaction and loyalty:
1. Use Multiple Channels to Build a Community
Here’s the thing about engagement: not all leads will be worth it. For cost-effectiveness and strategic marketing, companies instead need to focus on a quality audience. These are individuals who show the most interest in the brand and are likely to purchase a product or a service.
One of the best ways to narrow them down is to build a community across several channels. Build a Facebook Group, launch an Instagram page, or create a Twitter account. Create a membership page using WordPress or communicate with them through Discord.
In all these places, run promotions that help bring awareness and elevate the engagement not only between community members and the brand but also among themselves. Offer vouchers and discounts and, most of all, allow users to communicate directly with the company.
Starbucks is one of the companies that have been successful in building brand advocates through communities. On their page, users can share ideas, which can be a source of inspiration and innovation for the brand. Even better, consumers feel they contribute to the success of the business.
2. Create a Comprehensive Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs still work. In the data shared by Code Broker, 18 percent of consumers engage with the programs they signed up with. Meanwhile, a Bond result suggested that over 80 percent of members redeem the benefits of their loyalty option.
However, Code Broker also shared that while a consumer signs up with almost 15 loyalty programs, they are only active in half of them. How can a business ensure they belong to that half? One strategy is to make the program as comprehensive as possible.
First, include online shoppers in the program. After all, e-commerce sales now account for 14 percent of the total retail revenues globally, and experts believe this will only increase in the coming years.
For instance, online VIPs can receive brand-bearing virtual prepaid cards, which they can use anytime to enjoy discounts on products and services. Businesses can also partner with other entrepreneurs and allow these cardholders to use the code to buy from affiliates.
Second, design loyalty tiers, each with exclusive incentives or offers. Doing this can:
- Encourage customers to interact more with the brand and spend more to maximize the benefits the higher levels offer
- Help the business improve their marketing strategies to increase the number of customers that can move up the tier
- Encourage repeat buying and referrals
- Promote a feeling of satisfaction as customers feel the benefits they receive from the brand match their level of loyalty and spending
3. Launch a Win-back Campaign
While companies definitely need to acquire customers, they need to nurture the existing ones, including those who have already left or become unengaged.
In the end, marketing to this group will still be five times less costly than promoting the brand to new leads. Moreover, loyal customers are at least five times more likely to repurchase and seven times to try new offerings.
Thus, every business may need to launch a win-back campaign. What is it? It is a step-by-step plan to encourage those who have stopped buying or disengaged with the brand to come back:
- Know the reason for leaving. Customers avoid interacting with the company for many reasons, but getting to the bottom helps ensure the same issues won’t happen again.
- Provide a reason to come back. Include incentives such as discounts or virtual prepaid cards in the win-back e-mails. Inform them of the positive changes the company has made on customer service ever since they left.
- Give them the option to say goodbye. Sending a notice that you may remove them from their newsletter anytime soon may help give them time to decide to come back. Otherwise, it benefits the business since it can direct its attention to customers who prefer to stay.
Engaging customers and providing a memorable customer experience is not a one-time thing. Nor does a company achieve these overnight. Instead, they are both an ongoing process, modified as customers’ needs and preferences, as well as the effectiveness of marketing strategies, change.