Marketers think of loyalty as a technology platform or marketing campaign; they think it's a demand or lever to produce higher incomes, but that's a lot more. In its most successful iteration, loyalty is a state of mind that permeates all aspects of business.
We demand customer loyalty, and we pursue it fervently, but few marketers stop to realize that to get something, you often have to be the first to take that step. Marketers must prove their loyalty to customers before they can wait for anything in return.
Loyalty is the long term. Loyalty is what has helped brands survive in the last decade. This is what has prevented some brands from having to beg their customers to buy with 40, 50 and 60% promotions. Do you want to increase prices? Cultivate loyalty. Do you want more active customers? Promote loyalty. Do you want a more consistent customer base? Build loyalty.
It allows us to go through dark times, it raises us higher during good times, and it keeps gray hair just a little longer with a steady customer base that reduces the extreme fluctuations of seasonal buyers.
Actions speak louder than words
"Do what I say, not as I do" – that is the motto of many brand leaders, but the effectiveness of loyalty is directly influenced by the support, sponsorship and active advice of leadership. To be effective, loyalty needs broad support to change the way the brand thinks of the customer.
Brands are living ecosystems, and although there are always bureaucracies and factions, the higher the sponsor of the program, the more likely it is to unify everyone for achieve the same goals. The C-suite can drive priorities for the program that change the brand's state of mind and create an atmosphere that elevates the customer throughout the organization.
The state of mind of marketing
Marketers are pushed into factions focusing only on numbers. Each team has its key performance indicators and goals to reach by channel, and they often cannibalize or even hurt the client to achieve their short-term goals. This creates a terrible customer experience, whether you like it or not, it often shows how brands do not care about their customers.
Promotional exclusions are as lengthy as today 's novels, customer service can be a living nightmare, customer data is captured but never used for the benefit of customers, the customer' s. shipping takes too much time and is expensive. There are a myriad of ways to make customers feel undervalued. But they are usually symptoms of marks falling into the trap of numbers because they can not see the forest for the trees.
An easy way to prevent the key performance indicator trap is to create a key performance indicator that all teams drive. It can change every quarter, but there must be a consistent KPI in all teams to prevent factions from making the customer experience live.
All teams work in unison to solve problems, bring up specific experiences and foster change.
Shops are still vital
When we think of the customer experience, we are talking almost exclusively about the digital environment. But for customers, their expectations often depend on the level of investment required. It means time, energy, resources, and so on.
Digital has almost no investment for the customer. That's why everyone sails so often – but when people go to the stores, they spend a lot of time and effort. Online experiences have become so seamless that the in-store experience is increasingly lagging behind in comparison.
Store teams need to change their minds to think about the customer and the investment they make to enter the stores. Stores that recognize and reward customers for this behavior will produce repeat traffic and increase brand awareness, while mediocre or even benign store experiences will further damage the overall brand because customers have been disappointed when they have invested a lot more in the process.
Culture of the customer
It's hard to think of the customer on a large scale. This is an area in which retailers have an advantage: it is easier to control at a smaller level. But changing the business culture to focus on the customer and offering the best possible experience should be a hallmark of the brand.
It takes a transformation of mind to develop the experiences, campaigns and services needed to increase customer sentiment and loyalty. And if we ask for the loyalty of our customers, we must go first.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.