Customer loyalty and why it's a cross-business concern

“Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.” Jeffrey Gitomer, American author, professional speaker, and business trainer

There’s no denying that customer loyalty is a vital component of business success.

For most mature brands 85% of growth is from loyal customers and 84% of consumers are more likely to stay with a brand that offers a loyalty programme. On top of that, it costs almost five times more to attract a new customer than generate repeat business from an existing customer.

So, don’t fall into the trap of seeing a loyalty programme as simply a marketing feature or technology bolt-on. Getting your whole business on board is the key component of any successful customer loyalty campaign.

From marketing and sales to customer support and senior management, an ongoing, unified approach is the best way to build and maintain customer loyalty and successfully build your brand.

For, as Jeffrey Gitomer said, “You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.”

Loyalty programmes: discounts vs value

Most loyalty programmes are designed to reward repeat purchases through discounting. However, unless the level of discounting is sustainable over the long term, this approach doesn’t drive true brand loyalty. Savvy customers may also see it as an attempt to simply get them to spend more money.

A better approach is a value-based loyalty programme. This is where the rewards on offer are aligned with your customer’s values and needs, which can help to build trust and strengthen their loyalty to your brand.

Also, don’t be afraid to offer something completely different. 80% of customers prefer loyalty programmes that offer surprise deals or gifts over more traditional benefits.

Have a customer-centric approach

“If you’re trying to build brand loyalty today, an emotional connection is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have.” René Vader, Global Sector Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG International

Think of your loyalty programme as an ongoing relationship. To work best, the whole company should embrace a customer-first approach to help build a strong emotional connection with the customer at every touchpoint.

Why is this important? Fully engaged customers spend more than 23% more than the average customer.

Whether it’s cultivating engagement via marketing efforts, creating a social community that allows customers to interact with each other, or focusing on customer service, which has a huge impact on brand loyalty for 96% of customers, a cross-functional approach to connecting with your customers is best.

Create a personalised experience

Today’s savvy shoppers don’t just like personalised experiences, they expect them. No less than 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand offering personalised experiences.

In exchange for their loyalty, customers expect their personal data to be used to give them value that is tailored to them individually (think Amazon recommendations).

Utilising customer data specific to their interactions with your brand also helps to tailor a unique experience that they won’t get anywhere else, which can help to set your business apart in a busy marketplace.

Be consistent across the business

As well as offering a customer-centric and personalised loyalty programme, it’s vital that your approach is consistent.

The best loyalty programmes empower all areas of the business to reward engagement, whether it’s customer service adjusting benefits to meet customer enquiries, marketing rewarding social engagement, or sales using loyal customers to test or launch new products.

Doing so helps strengthen your relationship with customers, builds trust, and develops brand loyalty.

Want to know more?

Not only have we created a guide to introducing brand loyalty with Shopifybut you can also discover how to retain customers in the age of Amazon here.

If you run an ecommerce store, we can help to create a cross-company loyalty rewards programme that offers customers a unique experience. Get in touch to find out more.