Drive Customer Loyalty By Truly Getting to Know Your Customers


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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 1 of 2 in a series about how to under­stand your customers.

Cus­tomer loy­alty is dri­ven by a mix of vari­ables, but there is often a divide between how your com­pany is struc­tured, and what the cus­tomer actu­ally expe­ri­ences when inter­act­ing with your brand and com­pany. Usu­ally – and unfor­tu­nately — there is a dis­con­nect between what a com­pany does inter­nally and what the cus­tomer sees, and it is this mis­match that often leads to poor cus­tomer loyalty.

Fre­quently, when com­pa­nies exam­ine how to increase cus­tomer loy­alty, they focus on the exter­nal fac­tors, rather than the inter­nal fac­tors that influ­ence the exter­nal out­comes. Com­pa­nies become reac­tionary to cus­tomers’ sat­is­fac­tion and loy­alty rates, but instead of fix­ing the root causes – what their cus­tomers actu­ally want – they place Band-Aids on the prob­lem and don’t seek to under­stand what is really dri­ving cus­tomer loyalty.

Why focus­ing on exter­nal fixes doesn’t work

What is your man­age­ment team’s reac­tion when receiv­ing poor cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and loy­alty scores? Do pro­posed “solu­tions” look like this?:

–          “Let’s cre­ate a cus­tomer loy­alty pro­gram to reward cus­tomers when they pur­chase more.”

–          “Let’s launch a new adver­tis­ing cam­paign that com­mu­ni­cates how great our prod­uct is.”

–          “We can slash our prices and have a sale – our prices will increase cus­tomer loyalty.”

All of these “solu­tions” are reac­tionary, and they are com­mon courses of action that may not be fix­ing the root prob­lem of why you are unable to gain cus­tomer loy­alty.

Instead of focus­ing on reac­tions and changes you can make to your prod­ucts, shift your par­a­digm of how you under­stand cus­tomer loy­alty: Seek to under­stand your cus­tomers, first. Then you can cre­ate pro­grams that fit your cus­tomers’ pref­er­ences and actu­ally drive loyalty.

Do you know what mat­ters to your customers?

It is easy to think myopi­cally and assume that your cus­tomers under­stand the things that dif­fer­en­ti­ate your com­pany from the com­pe­ti­tion. True cus­tomer loy­alty, how­ever, hap­pens when your cus­tomer ser­vice and prod­uct devel­op­ment are formed as a result of know­ing who your cus­tomers are and what makes them choose your prod­uct over another.

So how do you seek to under­stand your cus­tomers and increase their loy­alty? The first step is to talk to your cus­tomers. Sur­vey them, or even con­duct focus groups. Find out how they per­ceive your brand, what their per­cep­tions are of prod­ucts that are sim­i­lar to yours, and, most impor­tantly, find out what mat­ters to them.

After you have taken the time to sur­vey your cus­tomers and get to know what mat­ters to them, you can then work on solu­tions that will sat­isfy their needs. Per­haps they’re not inter­ested in another loy­alty pro­gram, but what they’re really inter­ested in is hav­ing cus­tomer ser­vice reps who they can speak to and who are truly help­ful. Or, maybe their cus­tomer loy­alty is dri­ven by con­ve­nience; they want to go to a web­site that is easy-to-use, has quick deliv­ery, and low ship­ping rates. Even if you design the most inno­v­a­tive pro­gram designed to drive cus­tomer loy­alty, unless it is what your cus­tomers actu­ally are look­ing for, it won’t work.

How to get to know your cus­tomers bet­ter through surveys

Are you ready to get to know your cus­tomers bet­ter? If so, we’ll explain how you can design sur­veys that will help you under­stand your cus­tomers bet­ter so that you can cre­ate cus­tom pro­grams that truly help drive cus­tomer loy­alty. Stay tuned for Part Two of this series.

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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