Tindering for loyalty
We’ve been working with clients who have a strong focus on customer loyalty for over 15 years. These clients recognise that satisfied customers are not always necessarily loyal customers. Loyalty makes consumers dependent in a positive way. When I’m on a shopping expedition in a supermarket, in a chain where I’m bombarded with the very latest deals, I can’t help but ask myself: how loyal am I? Am I influenced by price, special deals, habits, a tip from my hairdresser or a poorly written Dutch review?
Use it don’t own it
And is my experience relevant? We know that younger generations are less possession-oriented and are focused on the sharing economy. Instead of exorbitant mortgages or personal loans for a cool car, they are looking to experience and share. ‘Use it don’t own it’ is the new mantra, and it applies to companies as well as consumers. We lease, become members, borrow and share. And, in all honesty, what do manufacturers prefer: a one-off purchase of 40 laptops or 40 two-year lease contracts? Longer-lasting customer relationships mean more new purchases and higher profits.
If we look at the definition of loyalty, it describes a strong relationship between an individual and a business, one which is constantly expressed by repeat purchases despite external influences and the marketing efforts of competitors. That’s what loyalty is, but how do we achieve it? What can we influence?
Do what you promise
Products and services will firstly have to meet your promise. This is not always the case, unfortunately, and I understand why consumers regularly tinder through life looking for better and new providers. Whether you say that you are the best, the most exclusive, the cheapest or the most reliable, you’d better make sure you meet the expectations! Because practice often teaches us differently and, with the many social media channels, this is no longer an open secret.
People share their positive and negative experiences, and consumers are taking control. We all know what happens when our reputation is lost or broken. Research shows that satisfied customers share their experience with eight other (potential) customers (source: CRM in De Praktijk). Dissatisfied customers, on the other hand, share their experience with an average of 22 other (potential) customers. This means that a dissatisfied customer could cost you as much as 30 new customers, so make sure your front door is open and your back door closed.
Armed with a clear vision, approach and focus, we work with our clients to meet consumer demands. No multi-year plans and sky-high investments, but short cycles, analyses and adjustments. Consumers develop and competitors develop. The focus should always be on anticipation, ongoing development and the customer. It may seem obvious, but let’s be clear: you have to work hard to generate and maintain customer loyalty before you can start earning. In the meantime, people from every generation are tindering on, looking for their knight in shining armour. Loyalty has to start somewhere...