There is much talk these days of empowered customers and how important they are for success in business, through constant online feedback, reviews of your products & services and customer loyalty systems.
And most Organisations try to earn loyalty through ‘Customer Loyalty Systems’
Yet all the statistics show that most customer loyalty systems at best don’t work and at worst are a complete waste of money.
For example, most research actually shows that 70-90% of customers have no loyalty generated by loyalty systems and can be lured away from a company by a price promotion from a competitor. This is no loyalty at all!
So what are the reasons for this and what are the answers?
Firstly, the reasons.
- Most loyalty systems are designed by marketing departments to give value to the company. Customers generally see through this and just use and abuse them as it suits them.
- Customers are rarely motivated by money or extra value alone and if your customers are motivated by this you have a very shaky business. Customers who are purely motivated by finance will have no loyalty whatsoever to anything apart from money or price.
- Most loyalty systems are similar and relatively hard work for the customer.
So what is the answer?
We believe the answer is simple and obvious – common sense. Businesses need to:
- Accept that customers want to be loyal to businesses that are worth being loyal to. Put another way – if you want to receive love, you have to spread love. This is an area where most businesses go spectacularly wrong – they set out their systems to benefit themselves and tack on customer loyalty systems to paper over the cracks. We work with businesses whose customer loyalty system is an integral part of every operating aspect of their organisation. Their business is designed to make customers fiercely loyal as their number one priority. We call this a customer-focused mission.
- Remember the customer’s real needs. Customers are rarely motivated by money alone (and remember, those that are motivated primarily by money factors will be the least loyal customers possible!). Our work with businesses focuses entirely on the customer’s real needs: the emotional needs of attention, trust and an easier or better life. Customers will naturally be loyal to businesses that work on the relationship in ways that genuinely matter to them. To us this is common sense and but it very much isn’t common practice.
- Realise that the best customer loyalty systems in the world operate by caring and listening. The businesses we work with operate world-class proactive feedback systems that listen to their customers obsessively, demonstrate genuine care and react to the customer feedback both individually and collectively. As a result, they achieve phenomenal levels of customer loyalty, continual improvement and innovation based on the feedback received. In a nutshell, these businesses regard feedback, and their reaction to feedback, as a key business driver for loyalty, innovation and marketing systems. They exploit it in the most powerful and constructive ways to drive phenomenal levels of customer loyalty, cross-sales, up-sales, reputation and referrals.
So what is the best customer loyalty system in the world? In this age of transparency and the empowered consumer, it is genuinely caring about your customer.
Therefore, putting in systems that address what the customer really needs from your product or service and glueing it all together with world-class feedback and response systems, enables the customer to be fiercely loyal to you for all the right reasons…..and it is not some feeble price or collector system that’s tacked on to less than customer-focused business practices.