Part 1: Customer Loyalty - What is it & Why it Matters
According to Forrester Research, 95% of businesses said their number one priority for 2019 is providing a great customer experience.
Customer experience drives customer success, and customer success can be a major competitive advantage for companies. Successful customers are happy customers, and happy customers are more likely to stick around longer and invest more money than those who aren’t.
In this blog series, we’ll break down what customer loyalty is and why it matters, how to measure customer experience and loyalty, and steps to automate and report on customer happiness.
Part 1: Customer Loyalty - What it is & Why it Matters
Part 2: Measuring Customer Experience & Loyalty Using HubSpot
Part 3: Automating & Reporting on Customer Experience & Loyalty in HubSpot
Along the way, we’ll offer tips on prioritizing growth opportunities, and where customer experience initiatives may fit within a business growth strategy.
What Is Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty is earned by providing customers with perceived value, satisfaction or success from your product or service, and making positive emotional connections. It relies on providing enjoyable, trust-building experiences that help your customers grow and succeed as a result of working with you so that they become loyal promoters of your brand.
Why it Matters - The Impact of Customer Loyalty
More than ever before, customer loyalty is paramount to the success of your business. It’s easier than ever for a customer to find and leave you behind for a competitor, and unhappy customers can tarnish your reputation with a 20-second post online or third-party review.
It’s no secret that the cheapest customer to acquire is the one you already have - up to 25 times cheaper, but the value of helping your customers succeed and keeping them loyal to your brand is paramount to your future growth with new (prospective) customers, as well.
Referrals and online reviews of your product or service from successful, loyal customers can grow your company faster than any in-house sales or marketing. Seventy-two percent of consumers "say that reputation influences buying decisions," and even more say that they turn to reputation to break a tie between otherwise equal products or services.
The bottom line - the future success of your business relies on the success and loyalty of your clients today.
Gaining Loyal Customers - Customer Loyalty
Loyalty, like revenue, grows when you focus your business strategy on your core market – solve their needs, exceed their expectations, and provide valuable benefits through quick and easy to find information on your website, educational resources, (of course) your sales or customer support teams, and everything in between.
Although, a business strategy centered around exceptional customer experiences doesn’t come easy; it relies on you building out efficient and sustainable support operations to:
Solve customers’ challenges
Answer customer questions
Provide helpful information
Quick response to negative experiences
This type of support doesn’t have to come solely from interactions with your team, nor should it - some people prefer to engage with you digitally, rather than with a person. The key is that you listen to your customers, help them succeed, and provide quick solutions to the challenges they have. Let’s look at some ways to produce positive customer experiences that help your customers succeed and turn them into loyal promoters of your brand.
Solve Customers’ Challenges
The first and most important thing you need to do is effectively solve the challenges your customers face. Provide your customer support and resources as they work through their challenges, or work towards achieving their goals, using your product or service. It’s important to make sure you get confirmation these solutions align with their expectations, needs, and preferences.
Answer Customer Questions
Solving your customers' challenge is step one, but questions are guaranteed to arise - it’s important to guide them to easily accessible resources when they come looking for them.
HubSpot utilizes the HubSpot chatbot functionality on their website to guide customers to resources or people that can answer their questions, rather than leaving them on their own to search the pages of their site to find what they’re looking for.
Here at Denamico, we use the Knowledge Base functionality in the HubSpot platform to create a resource database full of content and how-to instructions that customers can turn to and search to find answers to common questions.
Provide Helpful Information
In addition to answering common questions, content that educates your customers in areas your product or services has a direct impact can be a great way to help your customers grow. Providing advice and recommendations that align or can be executed through your product or services is a great way to coach your customers on their journey, provide value, and help them achieve their goals.
Databox, a business analytics platform, created a template gallery full of proven, pre-built reports built out by their community of experts, which customers can use and customize to simplify the creation of their own reporting, or simply browse to get their own ideas flowing.
Outreach, a sales engagement platform, consistently publishes blogs that educate their customers on sales tips and tricks to help improve sales strategies.
Drift, a conversational marketing platform, has built a resource library full of content to help their customers better understand conversational marketing execution strategies through education on how to build a chatbot, how to talk to different types of website visitors, and more.
Quickly Resolve Problems
A critical aspect of customer experience and success is being immediately available and responsive to problems if and when they do come up. A lot of trust can be gained from admitting your mistakes and doing everything you can to jump on making them right. The worst thing you can do is let a negative comment, review, or customer go unnoticed. Be human - listen to their feedback, be genuine, and communicate clear expectations around how and when you’ll have their issue resolved.
Data helps business managers improve efficiency, increase profits, and make informed decisions about future business growth opportunities that drive the company forward. You must track your customers’ experiences and perceptions to measure loyalty to your brand and to quickly identify and take action in situations where you’re falling short.
Tracking and reporting on customer feedback and loyalty can, and should, be used to make strategic decisions about your business.
In our next blog, we’ll dive into how you can leverage HubSpot to support, automate, and measure your customer experience and loyalty, and use that data to make informed business decisions to grow.