Updated: Aug 7
“If you think your customers are brand-breathing, evangelised fanatics, you're wrong: brand loyalty is dead, and your marketing is to blame.” Ivan Mazour, Founder and CEO, Ometria.
In order for brands to maximise their customer relationships they must engender loyalty. It sounds crazy, but today brands still continue to spend millions on acquisition strategies whilst neglecting the long-term (more profitable) relationship. Relationships when cared for properly engender trust and a genuine, mutually beneficial value exchange.
We invest so much energy and time searching for and trying to tempt potential new customers. All too frequently we forgot about the customers we have and how we can work to develop long term relationships with them.
The key to unlocking loyalty is driven from challenging the convention of what’s valuable, and working back from there.
Where some brands attempt to pay you to be loyal, the most successful ones, earn it. As Jeff Bezon (CEO of Amazon.com) states “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Amazon Prime is perhaps the most effective loyalty scheme ever. Amazon Prime members spend twice as much on Amazon as non-members. Customers justify the price of membership through the free shipping, videos, music & e-books. But the net effect is to make Amazon their first and often only port of call.
So what can we learn from Amazon to drive customer loyalty:
1. Customer experience is the true driver of loyalty
2. Understanding must be at the heart of the experience - Analysts should look at the full customer journey, extracting and analysing multiple structured and unstructured data to understand the customer.
3. Reducing friction will change behaviour
4. Become data empowered - Any business decision should be informed by insights. But for this to happen employees need to feel empowered to do so. They need to understand it to feel the confidence to use it.
5. Don’t be reactive, be proactive - Customer expectations are high, they not only want you to react quickly when they need it but they also want you to be proactive to anticipate their needs. This means you have to listen, monitor and then act.
6. Break the silos - A great customer experience requires alignment across the business. Brands who excel in generating an outstanding customer experience have moved from the silo-based pyramid structure to a radial organisation where key capabilities are aligned to the customer’s needs.