I remember sitting in the brand new conference room of an emerging consumer brand client who had just retained me to help the organization bust through a growth plateau.
As I listened to the management team banter about marketing budgets and the high cost of acquiring new customers, I identified one of their major challenges – high customer churn. I asked about the high churn and if there was a plan focused on building loyalty and retention with current customers.
The fascinating response I received was, “We just have a discount bucket that we use to email our current customers. We spend most of our budget on new customer acquisition and email is free.” This perspective is quite common, and its always a mistake.
I quickly learned the current sales plan called for 40% of sales to be generated from repeat customers, yet only 5% of the marketing budget was targeted towards loyalty and retention.
Probing further, I asked, “Why do customers stop buying from you and what incentive is there for them to keep their business with you and not switch to your competition?” Needless to say, I received several blank stares.
Their growth plan was missing foundational elements – serious investment, focus and action to build customer loyalty and retention to drive repeat sales with increased referrals.
My favorite example of a brand with massive loyalty is Apple. Clearly, Apple fans go to crazy lengths to demonstrate how much they adore the company, such as spending hours camped out in line for new product sales, arguing strongly in favor of all products, and even body tattoos.
Apple understands how to entice its customers by making product reveals, sales, and launches into exclusive events and delivering great omni-channel engagement experiences throughout the customer journey. They make it look easy and natural, but don’t be fooled, 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.
It is critical to understand and focus on your customers’ experience with your brand, products and services. Do you know how they feel when interacting with your business? If you don’t, it is time to start asking and listening… its extremely important. The more positive that sentiment is, the more loyal customers you will have!
Loyal customers are repeat customers and they refer new customers to you.
Make interacting with your business and the purchasing of your products or service a 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞. Your customers will keep coming back for more.
Reminder, it’s never too early to start investing in customer loyalty. Can you afford to wait? Share a 👍 if you agree in the comments below.