Investing in building a loyal customer base is one of the most rewarding things an organisation can do. The positive feedback loop created by brand loyal customers will help your business to sustain during tough times and continue to thrive under pressure. When a customer repeatedly chooses your products and services, regardless of the alluring temptations that competitors offer, it means that your company is exceeding expectations and achieving loyalty.
Engagement plays a vital role in creating this loyal customer base, and there are plenty of tools to help you automate and simplify the process, ensuring you're always delivering relevant information to your customers and offering support where it matters the most.
While there are many SaaS products available on the market, there are some essential tools we think every business should take advantage of when it comes to building and reinforcing customer loyalty.
1. Social advocacy tools
Social media plays a significant role in modern customer loyalty strategies. These public platforms allow businesses to build communities who openly share their experiences with your brand and provide social proof for the benefits of your products and services. With 3.8 billion people using social media globally, you stand to significantly expand your audience by leveraging social media tools.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide a convenient way for customers to get hold of you with questions and concerns. Even if some of the points they raise may seem negative, this gives your brand an opportunity to publicly resolve an issue and show customers that they are valued by being empathic to their problems.
What's more, social media platforms provide essential consumer behaviour insights. You can use the analytics and segmentation tools on these platforms to create accurate profiles and target buyers more effectively, giving you an advantage over competitors.
Take a proactive approach by responding to comments and reviews, ask questions, start an exclusive group for devoted fans, and share helpful information in the form of blogs, videos, and other online mediums.
2. NPS and surveys to gain customer feedback
One of the best ways to get an in-depth picture of how your customers feel about your brand is to ask them directly through a survey.
Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer experience. Using a 0-10 scale, you can gauge who your promoters, passives, and detractors are in terms of customer engagement.
Survey tools allow you to get illustrated feedback on anything regarding your products and services, enabling you to use this qualitative and quantitative data to make genuine improvements in your service delivery and customer engagement initiatives. Software options such as SurveyMonkey and Typeform are great for carrying out surveys and provides the ability to integrate with Incentivesmart’s platform so that you can combine and connect customer feedback and rewards together under one hub.
3. Loyalty programme
A loyalty programme is a fantastic way to add value to your customer experience. Their purchasing decisions will be affected by their ability to earn points towards rewards and gain more from each £ they spend with you.
By signing up for your loyalty programme, customers also give you excellent insights into their purchasing habits, their interests, and the level of loyalty they feel towards your brand. You can use the information you gather from loyalty programme members to tailor your content, promote exclusive deals, and get feedback from clients who already have a strong bond with your brand. A loyalty programme gives you a GDPR complaint and engaged line of communication which means you can test out new ideas, improve your retention strategies, and make use of referrals to grow your customer base.
If you're interested in checking out the Incentivesmart customer loyalty platform, click here.
Email is still one of the best ways to stay connected to customers. According to HubSpot, email marketing generates an incredible 3800% ROI for businesses.
With the right strategy and content, you can keep customers continuously engaged with your brand. Personalisation is key when reaching out via email; small gestures, like including the customers name and sending relevant content for their particular interests, will go a long way to ensuring your email gets opened. If you also have a loyalty programme, our data says that including the customers points balance or a customer loyalty offer will increase click rates by 11 times.
Make sure that emails are timed appropriately and that you don't bombard recipients with endless spam. Keep your emails informative and aligned with the interests that drew the customer to your business in the first place. For example, if they recently purchased a product from you, send them information and quick tips on how to get the most out of their new item. Are there complimentary accessories or upgrades? Mention those in your email and inspire the buyer to get even more utility out of their purchase.
5. Engagement tools that track customer behaviour
Your website can reveal a lot of information about how users interact with your content and what may be a roadblock when it comes to progressing through the customer journey.
Visual engagement tools like co-browsing can help you to guide customers to the right information and help them to get the most out of their browsing experience.
Tools like FullStory pinpoint when, where, and how obstacles in your user's experience (UX) are affecting revenue and retention rates. The software gives businesses visibility over the customer journey and automatically discovers, analyses, and ranks opportunities that you should be focussing on.
You can use information from visual engagement tools to target visitors with personalised messages and nudge them through the sales funnel with helpful content and customer support.
6. Live chat
Customers need resolutions to problems fast. Taking too long to answer the phone or putting customers through a long-winded automated telephone service will only frustrate them.
Enable your website with a live chat tool that customers can easily access when needing quick answers to questions.
You can have human operators responding to clients and having real-time conversations, or you can make use of chatbots during out-of-office hours to offer support on FAQs or collect key data so that human agents can call the individual back the next day.
Being responsive and giving customers an array of options when it comes to communicating with you will inspire confidence that you put customer service first. So, if you pride yourself on 10-minute response times, make sure you can deliver. Customers will be less forgiving if you have fallen short on your promise than if you are open about it being 15 minutes and delighted if you come in under.
Engagement tools exist for the purpose of enhancing customer experience and providing businesses with essential insights into their target market. This knowledge allows for creativity in product and service development as well as cost optimisation and business growth. Better customer experiences could drive revenue 8% higher than other industries and help your business to outperform competitors by as much as 80%.
If you're keen to learn more about how a loyalty programme can help maintain customer loyalty and improve the overall experience you provide to your customers, download the step-by-step strategy for improving your customer retention below.