Top Stories of the Week: Five Ways to Keep Customers Loyal and more

Let's take a look at some of the best customer service news and articles of the week:

Five Ways to Create and Keep Customer Loyalty.

In a recent Forbes article, Jenne Barbour explains that where it might seem customer loyalty is disappearing these days, “it is actually just evolving.”

She offers five tips on how to keep customers loyal in changing times:

  • Keep pace with expectations. What satisfied customers in the past won’t always satisfy them today. Your competition isn’t standing still, don’t you.
  • Deliver integrated value. Recognizing each customer individually and understanding their unique relationship with your company “proves that you know him or her as an individual” when you serve their needs.
  • Connect in the Mobile World. Welcome to the world of digital disruption. You have to reach your customers on their preferred devices, and that’s increasingly smartphones and tablets.
  • Be Transparent. People want to know how you’re using their data. If you’re sharing it be up front about it. Respecting the need to keep them informed builds trust.
  • Focus on Customer Engagement. Much money is wasted on ineffective ads that customers tune out. Spend it engaging customers instead.

The Customer Loyalty Infographic.

B2C has a truly informative, extensive infographic compiling data on customer loyalty programs. Some highlights:

  • 58% of all survey respondents buy from those stores and brands whose loyalty programs they belong to at least once a month.
  • A 5% increase in customer loyalty would increase the average profit per customer by 25-100%.
  • 69% of consumers say choice of retailer is influenced by where they can earn customer loyalty rewards and program points.
  • 67% of customers said surprise gifts are “very important” for loyalty programs.
  • 77% of millennials say the most important driver of brand loyalty is a great product. 69% say it’s brand recognition and trust.

Most Important Customer Experience Touch Points.

According to Larisa Bedgood in CustomerThink, a recent survey of marketers found that “desktop website experience” is the most important touch point in the customer experience, cited by 90% of the marketers polled.

The mobile website came second at 86%, followed by email, telephone support and sales, digital advertising and social media, in sixth place at 76%.

Bedgood offers three areas of improvement for the customer experience:

  • Establish a single customer view. The first step is to identify the customer data sources that need to be integrated to give you a single customer view, which lets you treat customers as individuals.
  • Engage and listen to your customers. This involves segmentation, where you offer different deals to different customers, and personalization, where you use the data you have to individualize your marketing as much as possible.
  • Optimizing the digital customer experience. According to research cited by Bedgood, “63% [of companies surveyed] are planning to enhance their online experience, 46% are looking to add or improve their mobile offerings, but only 39% want to improve their in-store experience.”

Mapping the Customer Journey: How You Move Forward.

The 1to1 Media blog notes that while mapping the customer journey is crucial, it’s hard to get right: “Thinkjar recently reported survey data that revealed that 72 percent of customers said that journey mapping missed their needs.”

The blog post cites recent research focusing on why companies miss the mark when it comes to customer journey mapping, and what can be done about it:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is focusing on the customer journey through data analysis to the point where it “divided its digital team into journey managers who look after an entire journey, and also armed them with the right training and resources early on. They found that loan applications initiated on mobile devices were dropping off – because the process had not been optimized for mobile, costing them business through a bad customer experience.
  • Foot Locker recently initiated a program called “Customer First Initiative,” to help the company better understand how customers experience the brand and optimize the experience around each touch point. It’s based on customer feedback and uses coaching programs to educate employees about what’s most important to customers.

Customer Satisfaction: Marketing’s #1 Success Metric.

MarketingLand reports on recent Salesforce research in their “State of Marketing” report finding that 35% of marketers surveyed identified “customer satisfaction” as the top success metric for the second year in a row, edging out perennial favorites revenue (33 percent) and customer acquisition (24 percent).

“When a comparably priced service or a product of similar quality is available within a few clicks, as it is for many offerings, then keeping customers requires that they have positive feelings about their dealings with the brand,” the article explains.

That’s it for the week, hope you had a great one!

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