In business there are a few ideas that we should be reminded of from time to time and one of them is how to improve customer loyalty and customer retention. We all know it in the back of our minds because we are all consumers, but it’s a good idea to review it periodically. After all, don’t you want to improve your customer lifetime value? Make them a loyal customer and, better yet, recommend your brand to a friend.
Take a step back and think about your customers’ journey. Think about their engagement with your brand in three stages: pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase. You can’t be good at them all, but you need to be above average in most touch points and you must excel in a few of them. These are your customers’ “magic moments” which reinforces why they like your product and service so much. Think these customer touch points through very carefully and formally define your company’s magic moments.
Let’s take the purchase of a car as an example. Pre-sales means a lot of online engagement. Here your online information and customer reviews are important. I like the way Honda does it, they have the customer reviews available right next to the product information. http://www.honda.co.uk/cars/civic/customer-reviews/
Pre-purchase means making the shopping experience as close to a reality of actually owning the product as possible. For car buying, it would be great to almost smell the leather seats and Bentley does a really good job of this with their car configurator technology. This is a magical moment! http://www.bentleyconfigurator.com/BentleyPublicHome.html
The buying experience, whether it’s an online activity or something you do in person has the opportunity to gain a loyal life-long customer too. Just look at the Fiat 500 Marylebone showroom, it is a great customer experience. http://www.motorvillageuk.com/contact/marylebone/
Lastly, don’t forget about the after-care and the post-purchase engagement. This will help build repeat customers. For a brand it can be fostering online communities of like-minded consumers or it can be a newsletter. Mercedes Benz does a great job with service and repair. Their dealerships embody the values of the brand and keep customer loyal. http://www.hughes-group.net/mercedes-benz/service/myserviceathughes/
Branding always sits along side customer loyalty. It’s important that a company keep reinforcing the customer’s purchasing decision through that warm fuzzy feeling that brand advertising delivers.
And, it goes without saying, you better be selling a stellar product or service in the first place or magical moments truly lose their shine.
Greta Paa-Kerner is a guest lecturer on digital and affiliate marketing and a management consultant through Ganduxer Consulting. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.