Customers give many signals in their online and offline conversations that can be measured to indicate customer loyalty. Often, we connect the idea of loyalty to transactions or purchases and use loyalty programs to assist with brand differentiation or reward customers for regular transactions that we hope will become a habit and lead to even more purchases.
But is that truly loyalty? Or is it a way to encourage a transaction habit? To me, loyalty develops through brand and product preferences that build over time through need, product experience, and convenience until the customer has such a great experience with a company and product that he wants to repeat it and share it with others. Some signs that a customer is loyal to a brand include:
The customer sees the brand as an influential factor in his or her life, a problem solver of sorts.
They see it as an extension of themselves.
They love the brand experience and want to repeat it and share it with others.
To sum it up: loyal customers want to see your company succeed.
When you are measuring loyalty across the customer relationship lifecycle, you are looking to measure trust, love, and ultimately the company’s connection with customers.
Trust that the company will help your customers solve their problems
Love in that the customers love the company’s experiences and how the company works
And ultimately, the connection and relationship between the customer, company, and other customers shows how the customer values the company and its offerings.
Loyalty is a direct relationship between the customer and the company. It also is a way to form a community. If many people are interested in solving a specific problem or share an interest in common, with the right guidance, leadership, connection, and shared values, they may be able to form a type of community. A customer community reinforces loyalty because the customers build relationships with each other in addition to employees and the company and the brand. When these customers gather for a common cause, trusting in the company’s vision and advice, over time, they fall in love with how the company approaches the problem and solution and see the value it provides in their lives. This is why loyalty is such a strong output of a strong customer relationship. The connection is very deep, emotionally charged, and filled with many connections and ties beyond the product or service.
This set of videos will provide some advice on how you could measure these qualities in your company conversations and interactions outside of purchasing to determine if loyalty exists. You can also discover if you aren’t allowing or encouraging your customers to communicate their loyalty to you, or if they are, understand how you may be able to recognize their loyalty sooner and develop a deeper relationship with them.