What’s the secret to customer loyalty?
Brands must manage expectations and experiences to earn it.
- Loyal – these are the only safe relationships. Customers have formed a nearly unbreakable, emotional bond with a brand.
- Predisposed — these are the best relationships. Your customers have no complaints, but when something better comes along – and it will – they will leave a brand in a second.
- Transactional – these are most of your relationships. With every brand promise, all you are doing is setting up an exchange.
- Hostile – are a small number of your relationships. They are dissatisfied and will tell everyone.
I love the following metaphor and premise as Kane feels:
- The difference between loyal and satisfied customers is the difference between cats and dogs. While a dog anxiously awaits your return, a cat is only bothered by you because it knows you’re the one person who’s given it food.
- Satisfaction is about the past; loyalty is about the future. You must satisfy customers but those who are satisfied are not necessarily loyal.
Building customer loyalty is simple and complex, so what indicates loyalty?
Kane believes that true indicators of customer loyalty are found in experience, not the outcomes, and in those touch points that are important to the customer not the marketer.
Loyalty is about fostering trust, belonging and purpose:
- Trust is engendered by managing expectations.
- Belonging means knowing your customer more than a segment or a demographic buzzword (e.g. millennial, baby boomer of GenZ).
- Purpose allows both your company and customers to strive for something bigger than themselves.
Loyalty answers three questions:
- Do you make my life safer?
- Do you make my life easier?
- Do you make my life better?
Marketers who answer “yes” to these questions have a winning approach, but Kane cautions there isn’t only one formula for positive responses.
The key to customer loyalty is to understand your customers so well that you manage their experience and earn their trust in your relationship.
How are you creating and fostering loyalty?
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