Retaining customers and keeping them loyal should be a priority for any business. Harvard Business Review has reported that it is anywhere from five to twenty-five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one.
Given their value, it’s vitally important that you notice what keeps your customers coming back, what they respond to, and take immediate action when you experience a fall in customer loyalty.
Reading this article, you’ll notice an overriding theme: your customer loyalty will likely fall when you don’t prioritise their experience and fail to see things from their perspective. In pursuit of pushing more sales and reaching new markets, existing customers are all-too-often deprioritised.
Let’s dissect the issue further by exploring 4 key reasons why loyal customers abandon ship, and what you can do to correct the issue.
Customer loyalty will likely fall when…
1. You fail to collect customer feedback and data
Why guess what your customers want when they’re already telling you? Your customers are giving you their honest opinions on social media and review sites right now.
This data is rich in useful insights that can drive your marketing, branding and product strategy, and keep customers coming back for more.
The Symanto Insights Platform harvests data from the organic conversations and reviews on popular sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot and many more online channels.
It uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology to make sense of qualitative, unstructured text data. In other words, it turns organic conversations created online into measurable data.
The Symanto Insights Platform measures customer sentiment by topic (aspect-based sentiment) and enables you to easily identify customer pain points. Delve deep into each topic to pinpoint exactly what is causing negative sentiment, and view all related conversations so that you don’t miss a beat.
Aside from review sites and social media, here are some other examples of textual data that can be fed into the Symanto Insights Platform:
- Email/pop up surveys
If you have a specific set of questions for your customers, send out surveys to your mailing list, or set up a pop-up survey on your website. The Symanto Insights Platform is connected to popular survey platforms Typeform and Survey Monkey, so you can get insights from open-ended questions in your surveys.
- Chatbot / live chat transcripts
Customers seeking out customer service support are your golden ticket to discovering customer pain points. Upload transcripts into the Symanto Insights Platform for a full analysis of the topics discussed and their sentiment towards them.
- CRM data
If your CRM database is filled with unstructured, underutilised data, you can upload your database into the Symanto Insights Platform as a CSV file or spreadsheet.
2. Your customer service is less-than-optimal
It’s all well-and-good listening to your customers, but unless you’re responding appropriately, you won’t reap the benefits and sustain customer loyalty.
Customers are now accustomed to receiving immediate (or near-immediate) responses to their customer service requests, but are also frustrated by automated responses, or being redirected to FAQ pages that fail to address their issue or respond to their emotions.
This paradox means that it’s increasingly challenging to meet customer’s varying needs. But failure to meet their requests and their emotional needs all builds a negative experience of your brand in the eyes of the customer.
Thankfully, AI is helping to facilitate great, personalised and emotionally responsive customer service.
Symanto’s Emotion Text Analysis API enables you to detect requests from upset customers so that you can prioritise your response. Use Symanto’s Communication Style API to differentiate between customers seeking information, and those seeking action.
Both these APIs can also be used to help you build a more empathetic, human-like chatbot that responds sensitively to the customer’s specific needs and emotions.
3. You don’t reward customer loyalty
Don’t let your customer acquisition strategy come at the expense of your existing customers. If you’re offering new clients generous perks such as a free month’s subscription, consider how you can use some of that bandwidth to reward existing customers for their repeat business.
Here are some commonly used customer loyalty rewards:
- Point-based rewards program
Points-based reward programs are as strong as ever because they work. Customers gain points with each transaction and can use points to partially pay for their next purchase.
- Special discounts
Reward existing customers with special discounts around special events. Add a personal touch with a %off birthday discount.
- Exclusive / early content
Draw customers in by offering first access, priority shipping or exclusive digital content (e.g. online events, tutorials, collectables, etc.)
4. You don’t stay in touch
Consistency is key when it comes to brand awareness. Out of sight, out of mind plays out as true for brands as it does for old uni friends. You need to stay relevant in the mind of your customers.
- Email newsletters
Email newsletters are alive and well and have a much better engagement rate than other forms of digital marketing, driving more conversions than either social or search. Your mailing list comprises your most loyal customer base. They’ve decided they want you in their inbox.
Sending regular emails is a great way to foster and invest in customers who already have a relationship with your brand.
To get the most impact out of your emails, make sure to personalise content. Most email campaign tools enable you to send out targeted emails based on prior purchases or how the customer has previously interacted with your site.
- Social media
Stay relevant to your followers on social media by posting regular content. There’s a lot of conflicting advice online about how frequently you should post. The algorithms change at such a rate that it’s wise to stay dubious of anyone who claims to have the definitive answer.
Instead of focusing on frequency, aim for consistency and quality to keep your fans and followers engaged.
- Respond to reviews and online comments
Brands that respond to reviews (good and bad) are the exemplars of superior customer service. Engaging with customers who have taken the time to share their feedback will show anyone watching that you care about the customer’s experience and are working on improving your processes.
Start by listening to your audience
The key to customer loyalty is to make the relationship go two ways. Listening to your customers should be at the very core of your brand, marketing and product development strategies. Only once you know what your customers want from you can you respond appropriately and take steps to keep your customers happy and loyal.
The Symanto Insights Platform is the tool you need to understand your customer base and how they feel about your brand, your products and services.
To get started, get in touch with us, or register today to start your free 21-day trial.