Customers are the very lifeline of every business.
This basic understanding is common among business inclined people driving the affairs of any organization. It is also a common knowledge that without customers, a profit oriented business entity would seize to exist. Agreeably, this have been one of the major reasons why businesses work round the clock devising strategies to retain customers and, increase their loyalty as well.
Now, what exactly is loyalty and how does it apply to customers? Loyalty is a strong feeling of support or allegiance to a person, cause (business/brand) or nation.
Rephrasing: summarily, a customer with strong feeling of support or allegiance to a business, would be:
1. A patron who is satisfied with your process, product or service
2. A patron who has come to believe in your ability to deliver
3. A patron willing to make referral, and recommendation for your brand. Etc.
Customer loyalty cannot be bought or forced, but influenced through strategies that works for your business. However, there are some basic strategies that have proven beyond failure for centuries now, to be effective in winning customer loyalty for businesses and they are summarized in the following points.
1. Business Process Improvement
2. Business Feedback Management
3. Customer Appreciation and Loyalty Programmes
1. Business Process Improvement:
This focuses on the methods or functions related to structured activities in a specific sequence that produces a service or product for customers. For most business organizations, the processes involved in their course of service delivery, is static and very rigid to change.
Yes, it is understandably right to have a standard, process and quality control that must be routinely followed to ensure a level of consistency for the service you provide. However, this should not override the need for continuous research on industry trends and patterns capable of shaping the future of your industry. As an organization, this function can be carried out by the management staff or outsourced to reputable organizations like fulcrum.
This is practically what births trendy innovations in a business place, capable of attracting, retaining and increasing the customer’s loyalty. Trendy business innovations and process improvement as of today, has been more evident in the banking and tech industry with so much gains to show for it.
2. Business Feedback Management:
As a business, from time to time, customers (irate, unhappy, satisfied and loyal) provide us with an honest feedback in the course of service delivery. What these set of customers say to us in these times matter a lot and can be leveraged upon to improve business processes as earlier discussed.
Particularly, it is important to observe here that constructive feedbacks do not just come from customers alone, but from staff, and other stakeholders alike. However, what most organizations do with these feedbacks can be equaled to outright neglect of information and quality insights, vital for the success of a business brand.
From our research, we can deduce that most of such organizations failed to see the obvious benefits of continuous training for its management team. Management training is a prerequisite for the success of organizations, willing to make significant impact in the market they serve, as well as retain and increase their customer’s loyalty. Management training are usually outsourced and best provided by a competent training organizations capable of delivering the game changers for your business. fulcrum can help in this capacity.
3. Customer Appreciation and Loyalty Programmes:
Everyone likes to be appreciated for the contributions they make, no matter how small the impact; this is literally true and applicable in business. Customers are first humans or governed by humans (individuals, corporates, multinationals, government institutions, nations, etc.), and they have feelings that should be well managed.
Developing a customer appreciation and loyalty programme for your patrons wouldn’t be a bad idea because, it has be proven consistently beyond doubt, that business brands builds more loyalty among their customers by implementing an appreciation or loyalty programme. These programmes tends to endear customers to a brand, deepens spends and boost referrals as well.
Now, if you have a loyalty programme, that’s great. However, you can audit your loyalty programmes for more effectiveness or create such programmes if you presently don’t have any in place. fulcrum can help you achieve this, effortlessly.