Written By Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
In this digital-era, there are so many of your customers who have access to the internet. A platform that could either be your friend or foe. Online reviews and feedback can have such an influence on your business that it will encourage you to adapt to the new generation of spenders. Your goal with all the influx of online reviews and opinions is to turn it into customer loyalty.
Converting feedback into loyalty
Word-of-mouth marketing is so crucial today that every company is trying to take the best advantage of it. You won’t be spending a penny on your marketing and advertising budget if you could efficiently invest in building customer loyalty. With loyalty-based marketing companies are able to reinforce their online presence and cater to their customers; whose modus operandi is information driven and extremely precise. It is such customers whose demands and needs that companies must try to satisfy by delivering the utmost personalised experience.
Such customers’ demands are the ones that set the benchmark for your company. Their inclination towards thoroughly researching before consumption is what pushes them to voice themselves to such an extent. Such are the customers who develop a much more personalised relationship with the brand and they are the ones whom, when it comes to brand advocacy, are far more forthright. Ultimately they are the ones who have the power to construct or destruct your online (and offline) reputation.
The advantage of customers who read reviews often are that, they are the ones who end up leaving reviews copiously. As you interact more with this generation of spenders, you will come to learn that acclimatising to their needs and experience is what will generate their loyalty towards your company. Companies need to learn to focus their efforts towards their customers in such a way that the customer loyalty becomes a contagious target for all employees.
1. Early intervention
Your main goal after a customer completes a transaction is to connect with them on a personal level. You should be able to capture their sentiment and feedback towards your product or service. By reaching out to them within this short period of time, you can capture some very precise feedback when the customer’s memory is still fresh.
Moreover a quick feedback intervention is extremely important and it gives you the golden opportunity to pinpoint customer issues before they take to websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. This not only saves you from losing out on potential customers but, it also allows you to retain existing ones by resolving issues; creating a certain level of trust and loyalty with your brand. Additionally an immediate intervention will impress your customers showing them how much you care about their interaction.
2. Service Recovery Paradox
In case you weren’t able to find out about a customer’s feedback before they unleashed their thoughts on an online review site, then your next best alternative is to act upon the feedback. The service recovery paradox is a situation where the customer thinks more highly of a company after it has corrected a problem with their service, compared to how he or she would regard the company if no service failure happened. Now don’t go around intentionally giving a customers a bad experience so that you can provide them with a service recovery.
You should aim to fix every problem that a customer has encountered to fill up the customer loyalty bucket to its rim, without any leaks! Whether it is an apology, a resolution to the issue, or a compensation, be prepared to go the extra mile so that the customer is satisfied. They will end up being even stronger brand advocates than your existing loyal customers.
3. Adapt to the customer feedback
Excellent companies with a strong reputation and constant growth know that that the key to success is to shape your offering according to the customers’ needs and desires.
If you can take the time to read through all the online and offline reviews (which you always must), then you can best optimise your product or service to how the customer wants it. This not only will keep customers coming back, but they also know that it will be the best product or service for them as compared to your competitors.
4. Providing substantial rewards and incentives
Now although you may have a loyalty programme in place, take a look at it from your customers’ perspective – through a customer experience lens. Do they believe themselves to be a loyal customer to your company? Perhaps a loyalty program doesn’t define the extent of their loyalty. They may just be using that programme to save themselves that last dollar. Avoid forcing a loyalty programme membership into your customer’s life, rather earn their loyalty through the provision of an outstanding customer experience. Go after the problems that they are facing and compensate them for the inconvenience that you have caused
After you’ve earned a promoter for your company keep them loyal to your brand by offering them various non-transnational benefits and perks that makes them fall in love with you, whether you give a discount or not!
Furthermore, a well-designed reward program that attracts your most loyal customers will often result in narrative reviews emphasizing the value-added experience, therefore motivating others to engage with the brand who are also hoping to earn similar opportunities.
As I have mentioned before, all the customer feedback and reviews directed towards your company is a goldmine of information for you. It is ultimately up to you to go through every single bit of that feedback and act upon it. So capturing the voice of the customer and adapting to it is what will propel your business towards success. When your customers now that you are listening and taking action they wouldn’t mind being an outstanding promoter for your brand
After all, Damon Richards once said:
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care