What is Emotional Customer Loyalty?
There are many ways of promoting customers’ sense of loyalty to a company. These include products and offers, and quality and service. cadooz can advise you on the best tips and tricks in this regard.
According to studies, discounts and offers alone no longer suffice when it comes to establishing long-term customer loyalty to a company or brand, and do little to make customers less inclined to swap providers. However, companies that succeed in inspiring enthusiasm and satisfaction, in turning customers into fans, are more likely to prevail against others, and to reap numerous, more concrete benefits.
Why is Emotional Customer Loyalty Important?
Your business success depends on decisions that will affect your (potential) customers. Do they shop with you or with your competitors? Companies that work only with prices, offers and service do too little to set themselves apart from the competition. In these circumstances, customers feel that it is irrelevant whether they buy from you or elsewhere. So, if you’re unlucky and your competitor happens to be offering a lower price or an especially topical offer, you will likely lose out.
Are There Advantages to Having Emotionally Loyal Customers?
Wouldn’t it be preferable if customers were so convinced of your company that they would willingly do without the little discounts offered by competitors, or wait a few days for a product to become available from you? There are lots of advantages to having emotionally loyal customers:
- They buy more regularly, stay in your shop for longer (online or bricks-and-mortar) and spend more money.
- They tell others about their positive experiences and recommend “their” company to others, thus serving as multiplicators.
- They will continue to shop with “their” company, even if friends and family advise them not to—they are loyal.
- By providing feedback, emotionally loyal customers can contribute a great deal of information useful for market research purposes.
- Companies with emotionally loyal customers suffer less customer losses and enjoy greater sales stability and more reliable growth.
Important: Satisfied customers are not necessarily emotionally loyal customers. Emotional customer loyalty goes far beyond customer satisfaction. It brings about “consumer engagement”, that is, a strong sense of emotional investment in the company or brand that influences customers’ perceptions and purchase decisions. Customers identify with “their” company, even feeling pride in the fact that they shop there. This is why all companies are keen to promote emotional loyalty. But how can they best go about this?
How Does Emotional Customer Loyalty Arise?
There are many facets to emotional customer loyalty. Encouraging it is basically about perceiving customers as people and catering to their needs. And while considerable differences may exist between online stores and brick-and-mortar stores, and between B2B and B2C strategies, when it comes to promoting loyalty in these areas, many things work in the same way:
- Addressing customers personally is key. Don’t leave customers hanging around and waiting, address them actively, signaling that it is important to you to know how they feel and what they need
- Connections arise between people. Customers who have a fixed contact person will feel loyalty more quickly and easily than those who have to keep explaining who they are and what they want every time they contact the company, or whose only contact option is an anonymous email address.
- Address customers by name wherever possible. This is of course more difficult to implement in bricks-and-mortar stores than when communicating by email. However, regular customers in particular will feel a sense of happiness and belonging if you address them by name. The likely result: their deepened sense of loyalty will make them more likely to return.
- Anonymous mass emailings with no personalized elements and no personal contact data should be avoided.
- Openly present your team to customers—or find a figurehead, someone to represent you company and give it a human face.
- Offer rewards Little extras (vouchers, samples, benefits-in-kind, etc.) always inspire happiness. They cost very little and provide your customers with a positive experience.
- Give back some of your company’s success to your customers! Competitions, parties, events with famous personalities may be costly affairs. But this will be worth it if they leave a positive impression on your customers.
- Take customer complaints seriously! Customers that you argue with will not return. Worse, they are likely to tell others about their bad experience and could well cost you other customers. So even if you find customer complaints unwarranted or hard to understand, make sure you convey to the customer that you will look into the problem and try to find the best possible solution.
Change Your Perspective
By actively seeing things from customers’ point of view. You can consider, from a person-to-person perspective, what their needs are at the various stages of the purchasing process and work out how best to address those needs. Real people, with their rough edges and particularities, are much better at inspiring customer loyalty than sophisticated, well-oiled sales machines. After all, we all know that we are fallible and are therefore more inclined to forgive a person his/her mistakes. If a strong basis exists, that is. Real interest in consumers and their needs are the cornerstones of emotional customer loyalty.
We would be happy to provide you with further support in this regard. Contact us to discuss which options, whether gift cards, rewards or incentive events, would be best suited to promoting customer loyalty at your company. We look forward to hearing from you!