During one of my recent breakfast events we discussed the shifts that have occurred in customer behaviors. It would seem that customer decisions, responses and actions are more erratic and unpredictable then ever before. Where it was once common for customers to remain loyal to a product, service, brand or company, today it would seem this has all changed. Customer loyalty as we know it, is no longer.
What I’ve found in my work however is that customer loyalty itself has not changed, what has changed is the degree to which factors influence loyalty.
Here are some of my observations as it relates to sustaining loyal customers:
- There is a greater selection and variety of products and services than ever before.
- Accessibility to products and services is easier than ever before.
- Ease of navigation across the web allows everyone the opportunity to research options and opportunities.
- Search engines (i.e. Google) have made it possible for anyone to source and compare options within seconds.
- Globalization has dramatically increased markets and altered our perceptions relative to where we buy.
- Companies like Amazon, Ebay and iTunes have created perceptions of immediate satisfaction.
Based on my work with recognizable brands such as Pepsi Co. and Honda, as well as research of companies such as Google, P&G and Stanley Black and Decker, I’ve found that there are ways in which the most recognizable brands today are ensuring they sustain customer loyalty despite the factors outlined above.
I call these the Five Keys to Customer Loyalty:
- They have a prominent online presence, incorporating customer centric information that supports education of customers and differentiation in their market.
- They use technology that supports improving their S.E.O. standings in order to ensure their prospects and customers can find them quickly and easily.
- They remain focused on continually maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of customer interactions. They recognize that every conversation is an opportunity to make or break a relationship.
- Information that is communicated across their marketing platforms is focused solely on maximizing and delivering value to their customers and prospective customers. This message is consistent across all media, and clearly understood and communicated by everyone who interacts with the customer.
- Variety and diversity are the key ingredients to ensuring the right solution is available at the right time.
Question: Are you positioning your company and brand in a manner that ensures ongoing customer loyalty? How are you addressing the five keys to customer loyalty above?
© Shawn Casemore 2014. All rights reserved.
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