Let’s start with some basics:
- Loyalty is arguably the most valuable commodity in today’s oversaturated business market.
- Customers have never been less loyal to the brands they choose to do business with.
Paints a pretty bleak picture. But with challenge comes innovation. And for brands who can disrupt the market and create a genuine, personalized experience for their customers, loyalty—and the revenue that comes with it—shifts from fantasy to reality.
Step 1: Know Thy Customer
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times, but this bears repeating: Mass communication does not work. As consumers, we expect relevant communications with real-time adjustments based on our most recent actions and behaviors. We want brands to know us.
The good news? Organizations often already have a wealth of data at their fingertips. The bad news? That data is most likely siloed or unhealthy, and in desperate need of an overhaul. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Brush it off, clean it up, and put it to work. It’s time to start translating all those 1s and 0s into tangible information that can inform the critical how, where, and what.
Step 2: That Was Easy
Things that are difficult: Running a marathon, waking up early, drinking enough water every day.
Things that shouldn’t be difficult: A customer’s communication with your brand.
One-way communication, like one-way streets, can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Transforming a simple customer question into a maze of unanswered emails, disregarded phone calls, and frustrated customer service. In the time of 24/7 outreach and Twitter channels devoted specifically to customer support, if you haven’t entered into a two-way dialogue with your customers, you are losing ground. And fast.
Because the simple fact remains, when customers can’t reach you (and easily) you open the door for the competition to come in and steal that loyalty and revenue away.
Step 3: Consistently Consistent
The hardest part about doing anything really well? Doing it again. And then again. Oh, and one more time for the people in the back.
Consistency is the lynchpin of an optimized communication strategy. While we may be living in a digitally enabled world, we haven’t yet given up on the more traditional aspects of communication. While some of your customers may prefer a text, others are still looking for that post card to arrive in the mail. And it is your responsibility to ensure that no matter how you communicate with your customers, the message stays consistently consistent.
Winning loyalty comes down to a few key ingredients: personalization, convenience, and consistency. And when you can master all three? Well, that’s a recipe for success.