Loyalty strategies have become a sales promotional tool that every business seems to be considering or practicing. With customer data being tracked everywhere, along with the growth of external data sources and loyalty process service providers, manipulating customer purchase habits to achieve your growth objectives seems reasonable. Make sure you are not putting the cart loaded with loyalty rewards and incentives before the horse.
What Today’s Customers Want
In today’s highly competitive marketplace many quality products are at parity. To overcome this obstacle, brands strive to create a relationship with customers and differentiate their product from the competition.
Before any loyalty sales promotional campaign is launched, step back and look at the customer relationship you have already established. Successful marketing organizations are continually researching and evaluating how to make their business more appealing to the customer. The customer loyalty process begins with the way customers are treated, at every point of connection. Customer’s want a hassle free experience and to be treated with respect and individuality.
Six out of ten customers will not return to a business based on poor service, not poor products. Customers define a positive experience as: a service provider that understands how they feel and who has empathy for their situation. When the inevitable mishaps or complaints occur, understanding the customers need for empathy and being treated as an individual offers you the opportunity to “exceed customer expectations” and make things right to build loyalty on the front lines. One of the best ways to see how you score with your customers is to ask them. The one survey question that rates customer perception about their experience is: Would you recommend us to a friend or family member? On a scale of 1 to 10, if you are not scoring a 9 or 10, you are not exceeding expectations, merely being an at parity provider of goods and services.
Build Loyalty By Exceeding Expectations
Keeping the customer relationship going strong in the ever changing business environment is a challenge. Customers needs and industry changes create a fickle following and businesses need to stay current, or peril.There’s loyalty and there’s trust. Trust is defined as ‘a reliance of something in the future’. Providing both products and service that strive to exceed customer expectations is the key to successfully launching a loyalty sales promotion program. The benefit of a loyalty strategy is the constant interaction with a broad cross-section of customers provides feedback about customer wants and needs to adjust and improve your products and service delivery. It also gives you the opportunity to extend your brand image and customize a unique level of service as you communicate with individual customers, with the respect and empathy they require.
Launching a Loyalty Sales Promotion Strategy
Peter Drucker, the famous Management Consultant and author is quoted as saying: ” Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in, it is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for…Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value”.
These wise words hold several keys to building a customer loyalty program. People will pay for what they get out of a product and find value in what is useful to them. Brands within the same category are often at different price points based on their branding strategy, production and media costs and distribution channels. Different customer segments will have varied uses for a product and value it based on their individual need.
Establishing your strategy to segment customers by their anticipated wants and needs and exceeding expectations in the day-to-day, front-line customer experience builds the foundation, tone and manner to carry through in the customer loyalty communication program.