Loyalty programme should not be the only tool for client winning and retaining. Whichever discount you give, whichever scripts you created, your client is not a puppet. Person looks around and notices what he or she likes and dislikes. Let us discuss the ways to increase the audience loyalty and loyalty programme efficiency. These ways help business to win clients' hearts even during crisis!
Manage the corporate company on-line
Even young enterprise which works on local market should know the rules of ORM (on-line reputation management). On-line reputation management helps to present itself correctly and form the positive target audience opinion. What do we mean by on-line space? Any grounds in Internet where you interact with your target audience. It does not just consider the sale:
- social nets accounts
- thematic forums
- landing page, on-line shop, corporate website
- reviews websites
- on-line maps and reference books
ORM is the part of brand marketing and promotion plan. Large corporations entrust the reputation management separate departments. Small scale enterprises can work on on-line reputation on their own, as these companies' market presence is limited by just few grounds. Usually they are: maps with company location, corporate website and couple of accounts in social net.
Work with negative feedbacks
One negative feedback "steals" from you 10 clients. While one positive feedback will attract up to 5 new customers. That is why one should remember about post written about your company in Internet. One should discriminate trolling, fake feedback from competitors and actual negative feedback from client. What you should do in case people write negative feedbacks about your company?
In no case contact the client and ask to delete the feedback. Be sure, it will get out, and your reputation will erode. Never ignore the audience's complains. Work with it and benefit from it:
- Respond to real negative feedback. So you prove yourself being ready to solve the problem and fix errors.
- Watch your language style and be polite, never offend in response.
- Analyze the client negative experience and change to better. Clients might share really precious information about dishonest employees, poor service, inconsistency in prices on-line and off-line.
- Do not overuse standard answers, it is important for individual approach to every client. Even to the one unhappy with purchase and writing a lot of nasty things. The matter-of-fact tone excuse cannot replace the individual approach, in case your goal is to resolve a conflict, not just write anything.
Forming the positive reputation
We do not recommend dirty methods of reputation improvement:
- to buy positive feedback
- to pay for the articles in media
- to pay for competitors denigration
- to fool audience through thought up facts and content
One cannot establish strong positive reputation on-line neither with fair methods, nor with dirty ones. But fair ones work more effective, are more reliable and work for you in long-term perspective. Strategy can be nonstandard or conservative, agressive or quite passive. These actions are necessary for any script of on-line behavior:
- Be present in the grounds where your target audience abides. It is impossible to work on reputation if the core of your target audience uses actively Instagram, and your brand is not present in this social net. Another example: never ignore high-profile thematic forums. Clients are not going to look for you; instead, you must find them.
- Stimulate the customers to write honest feedback. Especially if they are happy customers. Good service in parlor? Write about it and get 5% discount on the next visit.
- Collaborate with opinion leaders of your target audience. It is expensive but effective way to form the positive reputation. People trust blogger more often than news or nice content at your website.
- Follow the trends and express your social position, in case it is fine from corporate ethics point of view. For example, baby products shop might participate in charitable events and provide targeted assistance to subscribers in difficulty. Ecological brands can regularly inform the audience about need for garbage separate collection and rejection of plastic bags.
We increasingly solve many routine tasks on-line. From air ticket purchase to kindergarten selection. The positive on-line reputation is just as important as the off-line word of mouth, if not more so. You have large choice of tools of client loyalty increase through company reputation management. Go ahead!
Individual audience communication
Individual approach to client elicits one's positive emotions. Nobody likes hearing standard and snide answers in frame of communication. Do not limit the individual approach with just clients' problem solving. Apply it to the positive situations as well. For example, say happy birthday to customer, saying his or her name. If person is contacted this way, it attracts one's attention and invites to discussion. Nobody wants to be faceless wallet spending money in shop. We all want more individual attitude, not hundreds of wishy-washy e-mails.
Advertisement should, like the communication, elicit some emotions. Even if you have no idea who will read your advertising post in social net, make it more pally and vivid: include emotions, interesting hashtags. Communication digitalization has difficulty with personal approach. But knowing about modern tools helps to be in one flow with your client and communicate pally. World is sickened with advertising, marketers create more and more sophisticated sale funnels. But individual client communication mitigates the business's goal — to get the money from customers.
Increase the service quality, client support
Perfect service is impossible
For sure, you have the clear standards of ideal service in your company. Fast delivery to door, delivery person is polite and accurate, support service can solve any client's problem (as you have scripts for all possible situations). But the problem is an ideal service is possible for an ideal client only. Alas, the ideal is unreachable. If you receive the complains about service, it means the client loyalty drops. Keep in mind — you cannot please everybody. Your support service cannot solve all clients' problems. That is why each delivery, service case, fix case are unique. Your client can forget to shift the delivery time, skip one's allergy to gluten in bakery, or the need for a change from large bills. Seems, that your service is quite high standard, but the clients are not satisfied. One should know, that the company will never be ideal for each and every person. Still, you need to increase the service quality, as the majority of clients would appreciate your effort, get positive experience and make the repeat purchase.
What should be improved in case of poor service?
- Security. Did you promise anything? Keep your word, because the customer has entrusted his or her time and money to you.
- Responsiveness. Do not leave your clients behind after the purchase. Later they might have questions about product usage features, individual effects of cosmetic procedure etc. Help them to figure everything out, it would increase the loyalty and stimulate to make the repeat purchase.
- Individual approach. Do not shut the door client with nonstandard demands. If you are able to help the person with unusual need, then you would have the useful experience and the positive feedback and recommendation.
- Standards. Flexibility and individual approach are important, still the standards help to establish the positive experience and faster positive decision about purchase.
- For example, support service managers should say client's name, if they have this information in CRM. Salesroom must always be clean and opened exactly on time. Standards make client's path to the cash desk simpler, faster and more pleasant.
Everything starts with a person, and the service does. Problems with personnel nullify good technical supply and contracts with reliable providers. Personnel management is crucial for service quality and customer loyalty increase.
Provide regular training and make the result permanent. One can invite coach or do everything on one's own. After seminar finished, conduct a survey or test on studied material. Better the employees know the corporate standards and service, lesser is their stress from conflicts with clients, and higher is the work quality.
Do not stop educating senior employees; pay special attention to trainees.
Audit the personnel work. It can be done by mystery shoppers. It is crucial to audit regularly ans analyze the dynamics of service quality.
Employees should be motivated to maintain the high level of service. Apply rewards and penalties. The goal of penalties is to not harm the employee, but to push him or her to increase the work quality. Service is the environment that surrounds the client before, during and after the purchase. Inconvenient, troubled and useless environment pushes away even the loyal customers. And of course it does not increase the positive attitude from new clients. Work on service level. It should resolve customer's troubles and meet reasonable standards, but not to be perfect.
Launch modern and convenient trade grounds
"Person should buy conveniently" — this simple phrase if often forgotten by business. Simple example from our lives. There are two shopping malls in front of us. First one has AC, attractive exterior, extra service for customers, lacks marginal people, it is safe there. But the prices above the average. The second shopping mall has lower prices. But there is construction debris near the gates, the road is bad, no parking, it is muggy inside, light going out, garbage is everywhere. Which shopping mall would you choose? Most likely, you would go to the first one and pay more. The same works for on-line shops. People appreciate their time and comfort, they respect themselves. That is why the process of purchase, from seeking the consultation to electronic bill receiving, should lack obstacles.
What decreases the audience loyalty?
- Obsolete website design. Yes, business is judged by its cover. Ugly packages suggests the business owner not really concerned about brand. The quality, also probably is so so.
- Absence of website mobile version. Mobile traffic outran the desktop one even a few years ago. Smartphone is the tool of life management. Person would not sort out bad design of mobile website or switch on the laptop to shop in your on-lie store.
- Poor security of client personal data. It concerns both personal information (name, e-mail, phone number) and payment data.
- Speed of resource usage. Does it take much time to open the webpage? Does mobile application freeze all the time? This situation must be fixed, as nobody would like to use unpredictable (or predictable in negative sense) resource.
On-line resource must work fast, be clear and satisfy the client needs. Facing your website is client's experience, and it is crucial to make it positive.
Maintain the decent quality of service
The main way to win the target audience positive attitude — to maintain the decent quality of service. Despite crisis, season of the year, manager's mood or clients being moody. The positive experience and fulfillment of quality expectations build the base for trust to brand or shop. The trust is the important step to long term loyalty being formed.
Convenient website, friendly service, strong reputation — all these are just the complementing factors on the client's path to the main event — product or service purchase. Person enters the shop with the expectation of desired thing to be bought. Competent manager and professional service help to make a dicision on purchase faster. After the purchase the customer has nice impression of the shop. The basic loyalty is being formed. But it all can fade in case the service quality is poor. Nobody likes to be cheated. But if the brand follows through on promises, then it will be more difficult for competitors to poach the client with every of next purchases. Client becomes used to buy this particular brand. This habit is the part of loyalty, and is based on trust.
We know, how difficult it is to maintain the big scale loyalty programme or launch new scripts for client winning during the crisis. Sometimes business must cut the discounts and maintain the promotions for VIP-clients only. But that's no reason to stop working on audience loyalty increase. Do not depend on loyalty programme:
- Communicate with clients, use the individual approach and be ready to leave the one-size-fits-all official style.
- Monitor the way and the substance from which the on-line corporate reputation is formed.
- Work on negative feedback and build the basis for positive reputation.
- Improve service quality, go on with personnel training.
- Pay attention to website, social nets accounts, mobile application.
- On-line resources must open and process fast, conveniently, and resolve client's tasks.
- Maintain the good service quality, because that is what we pay the money for.