Customer Satisfaction is the key to the success of any business. When customers get satisfied and happy with the experience they are provided, they become the most powerful marketing tool for your business. Satisfied customers make more repurchases and give you more business.
On top of that, they share their positive experience with other people, which impacts the market. Researches suggest that 74% of the customers agree that word of mouth is an important factor influencing their purchase decisions. In this way, satisfied customers create a bond with you and your business, and they become loyal to your brand.
This article will explore what Customer Satisfaction is, What is Brand Loyalty, how it is essential, and how you can grow customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
What is Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty?
Customer Satisfaction is the degree of happiness and fulfillment of the customers with the products, services, and overall experience provided by an organization or seller.
When customers are fully satisfied with their experience with the products and services, they make repeat purchases. When repeated multiple times, it builds a relationship between the sellers and the brand, and the customers become loyal to the brand. This trustworthy relationship creates Brand Loyalty.
Brand Loyalty is a pattern of consumer behavior in which customers choose a particular brand over its competitors to buy products and services. It describes the positive relationship between a customer and a seller brand wherein the customer trusts the brand over any other brand.
But why do loyal customers trust a brand so much? This trust is built up by continuous positive experiences with that brand. So we can say that Customer Satisfaction is the key to creating Brand Loyalty.
Let’s understand why Brand Loyalty is vital for your business to grow.
Why is Brand Loyalty Important?
Brand Loyalty is crucial for the growth of any business. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the business comes from 20% of customers. These customers are none other than happy and loyal customers. It would not be wrong to say that a bunch of loyal customers can become a reason for the success of any organization or brand.
Let’s understand more about the importance of Brand Loyalty by exploring its benefits.
Benefits of Brand Loyalty
- It gives a Competitive Edge for the business
- It does marketing through word of mouth
- It helps in better customer retention
- It increases goodwill and brand recognition
- It helps to make more revenue
Let’s learn more about these benefits of brand loyalty.
1. It gives a Competitive Edge for the business
In today’s market, every organization and brand is doing their best to market their products and services, and customers are also trying new products and services. But when you are able to generate Brand Loyalty with the satisfaction you provide to your customers, you will gain a competitive edge in the market, and your customers will not easily get attracted to your competitors.
2. It does marketing through word of mouth
Word of mouth is a significant factor that determines your sales. Loyal customers not only make repurchases but also attract more customers through their positive word of mouth, and it affects the buyer’s decisions. Research suggests that around 88% of the customers trust the brand that their friends and family recommend.
3. It helps in better customer retention
It is almost five times costlier to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Customers’ brand loyalty retains them to stay longer with your brand and not switch to your competitors. Because of your loyal relationship with them, loyal customers are less likely to switch to your competitors. Even if they face some issues, they directly approach you or share feedback to get it resolved rather than just switching to another brand.
4. It increases goodwill and brand recognition
With customers staying for long and spreading good word of mouth about your business, brand loyalty increases your goodwill in the market. People start to recognize your brand which ultimately attracts more customers into the business.
5. It helps to make more revenue
Loyal customers make repurchases and give more revenue in their entire customer life cycle. Moreover, they are the most efficient source of marketing for any brand. When customers recommend your brand to their friends and family, they bring more customers into your business. Both these factors ultimately generate more revenue and profits for your business.
Let’s explore some examples of successful brands in generating brand loyalty.
Successful Examples of Brand Loyalty
1. Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a yearly paid subscription program that provides additional services to its users like the 2-day shipping of Amazon products and streamlining capabilities through Prime Video. The subscription with an annual fee proved to be successful for the brand. Researches suggest that prime members make on an average 24 orders per year, which is double compared to non-prime members.
When we talk about Revenue, researchers say that Prime members spend around $1300 per annum on the website, whereas non-prime members spend around $700 per annum.
Sephora is a perfect example of going out of the box and providing unique experiences to the customers for delivering the next level of satisfaction that they can’t get through discounts alone. The multinational company based in France has 3000 brands offering beauty products like tools, nail color, lotions, and cosmetics.
Its loyalty program, Beauty Insider, provides access to a community of like-minded people to interact with each other and talk about the topics they love. They also get exclusive experiences like meeting brand founders, looking behind the scenes at how their favorite products are made, and participating in beauty events and shows. The initiative proved successful, with 35 million members being part of the program.
Domino’s is a brand of pizzas and is among the top fast-food chain around the globe. Domino’s has developed a good base of loyal customers that prefer Domino’s pizzas over any other brand. It is an excellent example of providing personalized experiences. It offers personalized pizza recipes and so many topping options for the customers, among which they can choose the flavor of toppings as per their taste.
Moreover, it operates in many countries and takes care of the needs and cultures of different countries. Separate menus are available with Domino’s in different countries.
WhatsApp is an online communication platform that enables its users to communicate through messaging, voice calls, and video calls across the globe. WhatsApp is an easy-to-use application. The Brand Loyalty of WhatsApp is ever-increasing, and there is no other competitor at the moment who can give competition to Whatsapp in the market. It has now become a part of many people’s lives around the world.
Starbucks is a popular coffee giant. It launched an app-based loyalty program named ‘My Starbucks Rewards’. The app is very easy to use, and the customers can quickly load money into their accounts through the app. This app allows the customers to place orders, track them, and collect them from their nearest Starbucks branch.
They also get ‘stars’ with every order, which they can redeem afterward for free drinks and other edible items. The loyalty programs proved successful, connecting around 23.4 million members using it.
Now, let’s explore some great ways to increase Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty.
Ways to Increase Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty
- Establish Clear Goals and Values
- Maintain Transparency
- Live to your Commitments
- Delight Your Customers
- Be Expert in Matters
- Focus on providing Exceptional Customer Service
- Provide Welcoming Experiences
- Provide Personalized Experiences
- Adopt Omnichannel Approach
- .Maintain Consistency for older Clients
- Focus on Empowering Employees
- Go beyond your rules to support the customers
- Collect Customer Feedback
- Admit where you are Wrong
- Respond and Take Action on Feedback
- Reward Customer Loyalty
Let’s learn more about these tricks and understand how you can use them to increase Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty.
1. Establish Clear Goals and Values
Identify and establish clear goals and values of your company and display them in your vision statement and slogans. Be clear on the objective of your organization and the purpose it serves for the customers, and be firm on them. Your values should not be just a philosophy to write for your customers. Instead, they must be practically implemented, and the customers should feel it.
For instance, if your vision is to provide pure and healthy edible products to consumers, you must be firm about it and never compromise on the quality and purity of your products. If you follow your values and vision honestly and firmly, the customers will trust you more than any other brand and become loyal to your brand, even if they have to pay a higher price.
2. Maintain Transparency
Maintain transparency in what you do and what you can provide to your customers. If you are a small business, never pretend to be a big one. Show honestly what you are and what you can serve. Be transparent about your processes, about the quality of your products, your services, and whichever way you can be. The more transparent and honest you are, the more strongly your customers trust you and the more likely they are to become loyal to your brand.
3. Live to your Commitments
Never make fake promises to your customers, and when you make commitments, live up to them. Do as much as to satisfy your customers, but learn to say No when you cannot do what the customers want rather than making fake promises. And once you or one of your agents have committed, go out of the way to fulfill it even if you have to bear a slight loss for it. Remember, losses can be recovered, but customers’ trust cannot.
4. Delight Your Customers
One of the best ways to boost Customer Satisfaction and loyalty is to exceed customers’ expectations. When you provide to the customers more than they expect, they feel special, and their experiences become amazing. To delight your customers, you can give them free gifts, discount coupons, or complimentary services. You can also prepare what customers can need in the future and provide them on time. All these small things that exceed customers’ expectations make them delighted and boost their loyalty to the brand.
5. Be Expert in Matters
You must be an expert for the customers in matters of concern. Be available for your customers to resolve their queries and issues. Build such authority in your area that there is no such issue or query that you and your support agents can’t resolve.
Make available content for your customers like help articles, podcasts, videos about certain problems that they may face. And if this can’t help, your customer support agents must be able to help the customers at the right time. These things help build trust among the customers about your knowledge and experience, and they would prefer your brand over others.
6. Focus on providing Exceptional Customer Service
Customer Service is one of the most critical determinants of Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty. Researches suggest that 96% of global customers agree that customer service is a crucial factor determining their loyalty to the brand. So always focus more on providing outstanding customer service if you want to win the customers.
7. Provide Welcoming Experiences
‘First Impression is the Last Impression’ – the quote relates perfectly to welcoming your customers. When we talk about welcoming the customers, we do not refer particularly to the Hotels and Hospitality industry. We are referring to every industry. When the customers approach you even at the first stage of the customer journey, when they are just deciding on which brand they should choose, then also you must provide welcoming experiences to the customers.
Deal with them with complete courtesy and try to understand their requirements. Even if they do not choose you, don’t show your frustration to them. Instead, tell them that they are always welcome. These things create a very positive impression on your customers and potential customers. Moreover, when they become your customers, always welcome them whenever they come with a problem and provide solutions to them in a friendly way to satisfy them.
8. Provide Personalized Experiences
Personalization is a great way to build a good relationship with your customers and boost their satisfaction and loyalty. Studies suggest that around 80% of the customers prefer to buy from those companies that offer personalized experiences and solutions to the customers. When you provide tailored products and services to the customers, you build a personal relationship with them. This gives them immense satisfaction as they get exactly what they require and build loyalty towards your business.
9. Adopt Omnichannel Approach
One of the most effective ways to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty is being omnipresent. This means that you should be available for the customers on multiple channels. Nowadays, people use a variety of channels for different purposes. The key is to serve them through the channel they prefer. For this, you have to be present on multiple channels, whether it is payment options, support, or anything where the customers need to contact you.
10. Maintain Consistency for older Clients
Companies focus on attracting new clients and giving them new offers to prompt them to do business with them. But at the same time, if you ignore the older clients, it will not be suitable for your business. Remember that existing customers are your primary stakeholders and give you a lot of business. Research suggests that 65% of the business comes from the existing customers only. So you must take care that you consistently provide amazing experiences to your existing clients in order to retain them and get continuous business from them.
If you give exciting offers to your new customers or potential customers but charge high prices from your existing customers, it’s like penalizing them for loyalty. Instead, ensure that you provide them with more benefits than you offer to the new clients.
11. Focus on Empowering Employees
To provide excellent Customer Satisfaction to your customers, it is necessary to empower your employees so that they can serve your customers well. Firstly, ensure employee satisfaction because satisfied employees are more engaged towards the organization’s work.
Secondly, provide them with the necessary training they need so that they can serve the customers better. If a customer asks a query, they must be able to respond at the moment and resolve customers’ queries and concerns.
And most importantly, they must have some authority to make minor decisions like giving a small discount, waiving off late fees if it’s not too late, applying an offer whose validity has just finished a day ago, etc. When customers make such requests, and your employees entertain them without going into the long process of obtaining approval from their seniors, it increases customers’ satisfaction and makes them more loyal to your brand.
12. Go beyond your rules to support the customers
It’s good to follow your policies and stay firm in your values, but remember that rules are made for people, and it’s better to break them sometimes. For instance, you are in a service-based industry, and you have a customer who always makes his payment on time. But in one instance, he forgets to make the payment, and a late fee is applied to his bills. He requests you to waive off the late fee, as this was the first time delay and that too a minimal delay.
Now, even if, according to the policies, you can charge a late fee, it will be much better if you entertain his request and waive off the late fee from his bills. Going beyond the rules in such instances will enhance customer satisfaction and increase their loyalty to your brand.
13. Collect Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback is crucial for every business to collect. With Customer Feedback only, you get to know how customers perceive their experience with your products and services. It helps you understand what customers expect from you and what you should do to live up to their expectations.
Getting this vital information enables you to serve your customers well and in the way they want to be served. By getting feedback, you can make your action plans, improve your products and services, and do the right thing to satisfy your customers. Use good Customer Feedback Software to share Customer Satisfaction Surveys with your customers to collect their feedback, measure satisfaction, and improve Customer Experience.
14. Admit where you are Wrong
There is nothing more frustrating for the customers when they make a complaint, give valid logic where you were wrong, but you don’t admit your mistake. This turns them down and creates a poor experience for them. Researches suggest that 32% of the customers would leave the brand they once loved with just one instance of a poor experience.
So even if an experience is gone wrong, admit your mistake, apologize to the customers, and do whatever it takes to improve their experience. Never argue with the customers, especially when the fault is at your end.
15. Respond and Take Action on Feedback
The worst thing you can do with Customer Feedback is to do nothing with it. Collecting feedback and not doing anything with it makes the entire effort of collecting it go useless. So always respond to Customer Feedback and take the necessary actions required.
Thank the happy customers, ask the customers what you can do to improve their experiences, apologize to the unhappy customers, take actions to improve their experience, and close the feedback loop effectively. When you take action on Customer Feedback to improve Customer Experience and tell them what you have done to improve their experience, it gives a very positive feeling to them and can even change negative feedback into a positive one.
16. Reward Customer Loyalty
Reward your loyal customers for being loyal to your brand. Ways of rewarding can vary. It can range from giving a small additional discount to running a full-fledged loyalty program to benefit your customers. Ensure that whatever you do actually benefits your customers and rewards their Customer Loyalty, and it’s not just for the sake of just having a loyalty program.
Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty are necessary for any business to survive and grow and they are both interrelated to each other. Without satisfying the customers, no business can survive, and to be successful, every business must have some loyal customers. When you are able to satisfy your customers, it generates Brand Loyalty in them. Then they choose you again and again, and eventually become your loyal customers. Loyal customers not only make repurchases but also attract more customers with their positive reviews and word of mouth.
So to make your business successful, you must always focus on providing maximum satisfaction to your customers and creating great customer experiences. You should collect customer feedback, work on it to improve customer experience and always encourage customers’ Brand Loyalty by rewarding your loyal customers.
Martech failure? 50% say loyalty programs don’t offer much value
The goal of martech is to add value for business and customer via personalized experiences which increase brand engagement. Loyalty programs seem like the perfect channel for this. So why is there such a huge gap between customers’ expectations for those programs and what they get?
Half of all US customers say loyalty programs don’t offer much value, according to a report from digital insights firm Incisiv and Punchh, a customer loyalty services provider. This is a real problem, given the huge impact these programs have on customer retention, satisfaction and brand advocacy. Customers who sign up for them engage with that brand 70% more than those who do not.
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The gaps. So what is it customers want and aren’t getting?
- 70% prefer to manage loyalty programs via app.
- 26% Top 150 retailers and restaurant chains have a dedicated loyalty app.
- 67% expect surprise gifts.
- 28% Retailers and restaurant chains send gifts, offers or discounts on special occasions
- 75% prefer instant discounts/redemptions.
- 16% Retailers and restaurant chains offer instant discount on purchases instead of reward points.
- 72% expect personalized rewards.
- 48% Retailers and restaurant chains offer some form of personalization.
Enough with the cards already. It’s 2022 and people have been irritated about physical loyalty cards for decades. In case your own experience isn’t proof enough: 43% of shoppers say physical cards are the biggest obstacles to claiming rewards. And, this shouldn’t be surprising, 57% of shoppers like to engage with loyalty programs on their mobile phones. This means a digital rewards card is the bare minimum if you don’t have an app.
If you do have an app, it should clearly provide more functionality and benefits than a card. The more it does that, the more people are likely to use it. Over 70% of shoppers are more likely to participate in a loyalty program that provides access to loyalty cards and rewards via its mobile app. However, only 4% of grocery retailers offer enhanced rewards or benefits on their apps.
Make members feel special. Joining a loyalty program signals that a customer values your brand (37% of shoppers are willing to pay to join or upgrade to a higher tier of their loyalty membership). Make sure they know you feel the same about them. Nearly 60% say loyalty programs don’t make them feel they are a part of an exclusive group. How? Well, 46% want premier or exclusive access to sales and promotions.
Why we care. I can’t tell you how many websites I registered with and forgot about that send me an email on my birthday. I get them from a few loyalty programs as well. I’ve never gotten one with an offer or a discount.
The bare minimum martech stack provides data unification, digitization and channel integration. A good one offers real-time analysis of customer behavior (past purchases, browsing history, etc.) combined with things like product attributes and availability to create an attractive personalized offering. For the customer, loyalty programs have to be more than a way to earn points. They have to give something unique and special. If your stack can’t tell you what that thing is, there’s something wrong with it.
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