Drive Customer Loyalty By Truly Getting to Know Your Customers: Part II


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In honor of Cus­tomer Loy­alty Month, we’ll be focus­ing on top­ics that will help you increase your cus­tomer loy­alty. This arti­cle is 2 of 2 in a series about how to under­stand your cus­tomers. In the first arti­cle, we exam­ined why it’s impor­tant to first under­stand your cus­tomer to help you increase brand loy­alty. In this arti­cle, we’ll show you how to cre­ate effec­tive sur­veys so you can under­stand your cus­tomers bet­ter.

What is “cus­tomer loy­alty” exactly? What is that sticky, though some­times neb­u­lous qual­ity that causes cus­tomers to choose a brand again and again? For dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, the rea­sons why peo­ple will choose a prod­uct con­sis­tently varies, and each cus­tomer, of course, is dif­fer­ent. To uncover what makes your cus­tomers loyal to your prod­uct, you can’t apply a blan­ket pol­icy and hope that it will inspire cus­tomer loyalty.

Dis­cover, instead, what makes your cus­tomers tick. What do they look for when pur­chas­ing prod­ucts in your cat­e­gory? What makes them return to a prod­uct and remain loyal to a brand? The best way to answer these ques­tions is by ask­ing your cus­tomers through sur­veys. You can cre­ate your own sur­veys and send them out to cus­tomers, or you can use pro­grams such as Sur­vey­Mon­key that have sur­veys tai­lored to brand loyalty.

Keep in mind that there are also plenty of cus­tomer sur­veys that aim to mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, sur­veys about their pur­chas­ing expe­ri­ence, prod­uct sat­is­fac­tion, and sur­veys that mea­sure the Net Pro­moter Score. In this exer­cise, you’ll be specif­i­cally seek­ing out infor­ma­tion about brand attrib­utes so you can under­stand cus­tomer loy­alty better.

Below we’ve out­lined ques­tions to get you started.

First, start off broad

You will first want to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how cus­tomers see the indus­try as a whole. Here are sam­ple ques­tions that will give you a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the marketplace:

  • What are some traits you look for when shop­ping for (insert your indus­try category)?
  • When you think about (insert indus­try cat­e­gory), what brands do you first think about?
  • What are some pos­i­tive words or asso­ci­a­tions you have with (insert brand category)?
  • What are some neg­a­tive words or asso­ci­a­tions you have with (insert brand category)?

Now you can get more specific

Your next set of ques­tions will be more spe­cific and seek to uncover what spe­cific attrib­utes peo­ple look for in your cat­e­gory. You can use the responses from the first ques­tion above to help you write this next ques­tion, since you’ll have a bet­ter idea of people’s asso­ci­a­tions and what they look for when buy­ing in your cat­e­gory. For exam­ple, if you man­age a cell phone car­rier, indus­try asso­ci­a­tions may include low-cost plans or flex­i­ble con­tracts. Hone in on what is most impor­tant for peo­ple. Here is a sam­ple question:

  • What is most impor­tant for you when choos­ing a cell-phone carrier?
    • Low-cost plans
    • Stores or out­lets in con­ve­nient locations
    • Supe­rior cus­tomer service
    • Bun­dled plans
    • Flex­i­ble con­tract terms
    • Write in your own ________

Get really specific

Finally, under­stand how your brand is per­ceived by ask­ing peo­ple a ques­tion such as:

Which of the fol­low­ing traits best describes (insert your brand name)?”

Is there a gap between what peo­ple are look­ing for in the cat­e­gory and how you are per­ceived? If so, what changes can you make to help drive and improve cus­tomer loy­alty? Are there inter­nal and struc­tural changes that you can make? Do you need to improve and change your approach to cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing? Do you need to re-configure your con­tracts? What really mat­ters to your cus­tomers? Uncov­er­ing this will help you tap into the key com­po­nent that dri­ves repeat busi­ness and word-of-mouth mar­ket­ing: Cus­tomer loyalty.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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