However, there is a growing shift and sensitisation towards building customer experience with the intent to develop longer relationship with customers and build brand loyalty. With the open markets and low barriers to entry, competition has gone skyrocketing; keeping a check on customer attrition has gained parallel importance to acquiring new customers. It has become a sheer necessity to turn one-time customers into lifetime brand loyalists to ensure constant flow of revenue, the buzz word now is LTV or Life Time Value of a customer.
This has forced both small and established businesses to direct efforts onto different practices that deliver better customer retention rate. Companies are employing strategies like membership opportunities, special offers, customised promotions etc to extend their customer relationship. But, out of all these ways, one that has gained so much importance that it has become a parallel field to marketing is Customer Experience. Building a sound customer experience is also a sure shot way to developing a lasting brand loyalty. Further, in the article we will talk about delivering the right perception through customer experience to build brand loyalty.
Customer Experience - A Brief Introduction and Its Importance
Best Practices to Make Devout Customers and Enjoy Higher Brand Loyalty
Customer Experience is defined as the impression a brand leaves on a user who interacts with their business irrespective of the platform. This means the quality of interaction users had with your platform, hurdles they faced while making a journey with your brand while online - searching for you, experience on your website/app, exploring other touchpoints to reach you like social media, helpline number, or email; as well as while offline – in your store or point of purchase.
The concept of customer experience plays a pivotal role in keeping users hooked to your brand and nurturing them to brand loyalists.
Here are some statistics that support our claim:-
77% of businesses accepted that documented personalized strategies to deliver enhanced customer experience helped them exceed their revenue goals in 2018.
About 50% of loyal customers have switched to a competitor company because the previous one failed to deliver a relevant and satisfying experience.
93% of users tends to repeat purchases with brands who offer exceptional customer service.
60% of loyal customers will buy more frequently from their preferred companies.
Customers with an emotional relationship with a company have a 306% higher lifetime value (LTV) and will suggest the company at a rate of 71%, when compared to the average rate of 45%.
77% of customers have successfully maintained loyal relationships with their preferred brands for 10 or more years.
Not only this, even popular brands like Apple, Google, Uber, and Zomato revealed that their customer experience strategies have helped them gain the success and brand loyalty they have now.
They disclosed that by improving their customer experience, they discovered various new opportunities and ways to engage a wider audience and do better business. Some of their observations were.
A positive experience make a user think of your brand, whenever they wish to buy products/services you offer.
Satisfied customers not only visit the platform more often, but also share their positive experience with near and dear ones. This encourages others to interact with your brand and see what kind of experience they might be delivered with.
An improved customer experience strategy brings more reviews that are positive to your platform. This helps to improve your brand's online presence.
Customer experience has a direct impact on brand loyalty. There are various practices apart from loyalty or reward programs, which can help you to boost customer experience and eventually, brand loyalty.
The foremost way to build an engaging customer experience and improve your brand loyalty is to understand your users.
When you have a clear idea of what drives their needs, how urgent is the nature of their purchase, what alternatives they have and what they expect to get from your business, you will find better opportunities to connect with them and alter your customer experience strategies accordingly. Example for a high involvement purchase like an insurance policy, you would want to reach out to your users with the information they need at the instance they want it. You may look at deploying one-click-access solutions like chatbot, self-help etc. Once you have understood the need of your customers’ better you will find it easier to match their expectation level and build a bridge that connects them with your brand at an emotional level, eventually enhancing your brand loyalty.
Brand loyalties are a function of the experience a user has with the company’s way of work. Complex and lengthy processes often lower down the user morale and prevent them to continue their journey with your brand, especially if they are left unguided during the process.
Therefore, it is again imperative to look into the loopholes and streamline your process. Meaning, it is necessary to determine what the touchpoints are, how the users make a journey, what obstacles they face, etc. and eventually, work upon them to simplify the whole process and guide them through till the end. When it comes to simplifying processes, we can take an example of banking. There is generally a lengthy process of online loan application, it is important that a customer is guided through their e-banking log-in to filling the loan application form with requirement details and submitting the supporting documents. Leaving the user un-guided in this process will only make them confused and reaching out to your competitor.
Multiple touch points are available with a customer today if they want to reach to their brand. But the challenge comes on the company side when their channels are not integrated and all the touchpoints act as individual entities. For the customers it means, they cannot continue the conversation they started on one channel to another. They have to repeat the entire previous conversation at every point. That is a big disappointment for customers and a major hindrance towards their loyalty.
To combat this situation, the best customer experience strategy is to adopt the Omnichannel way of life. Omnichannel integrates all the channels a company deploys on a single dashboard, giving a unified view of conversations happening with a customer, across channels on a single screen in a timeline format for easy tracking. Since it is a single screen solution, any agent can check the previous conversation with a customer, irrespective of the channel and can engage with them using the previous engagement thread on any channel. Users therefore, get to enjoy continuity of their engagement journey with the brand while switching from one touchpoint to another.
Nothing works better to impress a customer and build brand loyalty than prompt response. The best way for a business to ensure accurate service delivery and to improve their FCR or First Call Resolution rate is to integrate their telephony with their CRM on an Omnichannel platform. The integration will ensure that all the conversations with a customer are captured on an easy to find single screen format so that the agents have contextual understanding of where the customer is coming from and with the CRM integration, the agents are aware of the progress in the customer's ticket.
To build strong customer loyalty it is imperative to collect feedback from customers. This should be done in a non-intrusive way after any transaction. This will provide a quick insight of the service that customer has received and proactive action can be taken to further improve it. In general, CSAT surveys are done after calls or over email or even after chat. Good analytics platform would provide a better insight of customer experience and goes a long way in building customer loyalty.
Marketing your business to create a phenomenal brand presence is a complex process. But, by understanding the importance of customer experience and introducing the aforementioned ways into your outreach strategy, you can not only get an upper hand in building everlasting relationship between your customers and your brand, but also generate a positive word-of-mouth.
Let us know if you found these points useful and how have they helped build your brand loyalty.
Author Bio: Akanksha is an IT enthusiast, having an experience of 7 years in marketing and promotion. She has experience in varied industries, in positions working across the line of marketing. She is a day dreamer, an avid reader and a crazy traveler when she is not working.
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