Repeat business: how to drive customer loyalty in today’s marketplace
Customer loyalty isn’t what it used to be. In fact, the Customer Experience Network’s recent whitepaper, The Changing Face of Customer Loyalty in Retail found that:
- It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.
- The probability of selling to a new customer is between 5 and 20%, whereas the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%.
- Loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.
With diminishing loyalty and an increasingly competitive marketplace, retailers must fight hard to earn loyalty and repeat business from customers. Here are four key ways in which they can do so:
- Revolutionise customer service
The modern customer is time poor, and unafraid to shop elsewhere if the service they receive is less than ideal. Many customers are searching for products while multi-tasking, and the decision to buy is made quickly – based on the level of information and service they receive.
To get customers over the line, your offering needs to be targeted and simple: informed by a robust customer experience solution that operates behind the scenes. This means providing consistent branding so your products and services are easily recognised, and ensuring a logical and uncomplicated purchase path – regardless of whether your customer is purchasing online or in store. Armed with the right technology solution, you can isolate important information and craft it in a way that appears simple and seamless for the customer.
To radically improve customer service, it’s important to offer fast, low-cost delivery (or incentives to compete with providers who can offer rapid delivery, like Amazon); enable greater self-service, and use data to show more in-depth awareness of customers’ needs.
- Make it personal
Personalisation has been a key theme in retail for a while now. Customers want tailored offers that demonstrate that the retailer understands their needs. Customers 2020 research found that the customer of the future will be “more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalise the experience.”
The rapid evolution of technology has enabled businesses to deliver highly personalised customer experiences. To provide your customers with a simplified experience, your technology solution needs to provide curated access to detailed customer data. And only with the right data at your fingertips can you ensure that your customers are receiving what they need at any point in time.
- Provide a valuable omni-channel experience
To truly drive customer loyalty, brands need to be providing very carefully crafted omni-channel experiences, where customers receive the same service, information and advice – regardless of how or where they are interacting with a brand.
According to research group, Aberdeen, companies with well-defined omni-channel customer experience strategies in place achieve an average 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate, compared to those without.
When marketers engage customers across multiple channels, multiple devices, and multiple platforms, and leverage customer data to create personalised messages, customers are drawn back into an intimate relationship with the brand because they are treated as individuals.
Matt Keays, Chief Information Officer at successful jewellery brand Michael Hill, believes data has a crucial role to play in-store, as well as online. “Digitalisation should foster doing things faster and more efficiently” with staff provided instant access to information to support the sales process, he says.
- Use data to evolve the supply chain
While traditional CRM solutions give you the power to manage your pipeline and close sales, what happens after a customer makes a purchase? Do you have the information you need to deliver upon your sales promise? How do you ensure a repeat sale, or encourage your initial customer to refer you to family and friends?
Retailers today need to put data at the very centre of the sales and marketing experience – using it to inform every customer interaction, as well as to track and monitor supply chains and ensure customers have accurate and real-time access to the data they need.
With a central data repository – and an overarching technology solution – retailers can connect with customers in real-time, provide proactive service, personalise the information that customers are receiving, and ensure no opportunities are overlooked.
Find out more
Read more about how Sable37 helped Michael Hill to engage customers here.