We all know that in customer service industry there is a very tough competition and thus it becomes very critical for a business to keep gaining new customers and make a genuine effort in retaining them so that they can ensure progress of their business.
As said by Jim Rohn- “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than the worth of million dollar advertising“.
And because of this major reason customer loyalty is becoming a new trend in the field of customer service. However, a call center needs to understand that converting a customer into a loyal one is a never ending process.
And because of this reason, it is extremely important to look for various marketing strategies to attract new customers and turn them into loyal customers of your brand and services.
But for achieving that the call center management must have a clear understanding of what customer loyalty is and how to accomplish that goal with their performance.
There is no doubt that use of the best call center software will surely help a contact center in covering almost all the aspects of a great service but doing proper marketing to get the attention of prospects is also very essential.
As only with proper marketing of services you can have more customers and it indirectly improves your chances of converting them into the loyal customers.
So, in this article, we will understand the importance of customer’s loyalty for a business and how to ensure customer loyalty with marketing.
What is customer loyalty?
As per the business dictionary, customer loyalty is defined as likelihood of previous customers to continue to buy from a specific organization.
Great attention is given to marketing and customer service to retain current customers by increasing their customer loyalty. Organizations employ loyalty programs which reward customers for the repeat business.
The importance of customer loyalty on a business:
1. Repeat business chances: A loyal customer gives the business an ensurity that they will buy product or services again and again from the same brand thus increasing business and profits.
As per the recent study, it is observed that the existing customers are 60% more likely to try new products than the new customers of a business. Also, an existing customer spends 35% more compared to new customers.
2. More up-selling and cross-selling opportunities: As a loyal customer trust your brand and services offered by your contact center, it is more likely they will trust you with your new products or services thus increasing the up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
3. Ensured word-of-mouth: Loyal customers are instrumental in helping you spread the word and become brand ambassadors. Word-of-mouth is seriously powerful when it comes to marketing.
• If loyal customers have a positive experience they’re more likely to share that with their friends – and people are generally more influenced by people they already know.
• Loyal customers give your brand a positive head-start to people who may be unfamiliar with you.
• The relationships you build with loyal customers leads to word-of-mouth and then referrals.
4. Increased brand image in the market: A brand image is the customer’s understanding about the products and services offered by a business. A positive image helps a business to acquire new customers, cross sell and up sell, reduce marketing cost and attract new investors.
A brand image is one of the most valuable assets that a company possesses. It tells customers what they can expect when they buy a product or service like quality, post purchase behavior.
5. Honest feedback’s: An honest review and feedback help a business in improving their business, product, and services. It helps a business in the following areas:
• Improving product and services
• In launching new product with advanced features
• Understand the quality of service
• In retaining customers and increasing CSAT
• Make better business strategies and forecast business accurately
6. Reduced competition: A customer will never look for the other service provider or business opponent if they are satisfied with the quality of service that you offer to them.
This means that if a business has a stronger base of loyal customers, there is less threat of a customer leaving your organization for some opponent.
Now, that we have understood the importance of a loyal customer, the question is how to gain the attention of new customers and try to turn them into a loyal one to enjoy all the above-mentioned benefits.
That’s where the marketing strategy of a business plays a crucial part. And one of the most popular software and technology is marketing automation. So, let’s try to understand more about the marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation refers to the use of a software which is specifically designed for the marketing purposes. So that the marketing departments of an organization can easily automate the repetitive tasks like email, social media, websites etc. and at the same time can do effective marketing of the services offered by them.
How to use marketing automation for customer loyalty:
Using the below tips a contact center can strengthen their bond with their existing customers and build true customer loyalty.
1. Offer personalized experience: With marketing automation, a contact center can offer personalized experience and content to their customers at the right time.
The contact center can also use all these data and information to generate customer profiles or similar type profiles from the existing customers. This will also help them in determining what content and information are desired by the new prospects as well.
2. Deliver relevant content: Using the marketing automation software a call center can gain valuable insights about their customer likes and dislikes. This information if used properly can help a call center in making their customers loyal to their brand and services by offering them relevant offers.
Feeding this information in their call center solutions will also help the agents when they are interacting with the customers and trying to up-sell or cross-sell a product.
3. Customer segregation: Isolating customers based on their interactions, liking’s and their loyalty level will allow a contact center in personalizing their experiences. A customer who has been with you for a longer duration should get more VIP privileges.
A new customer should get a different set of preferences. This will also segregate your messages or emails to your customers.
4. Helps in spotting brand advocates: It is a well-known fact that every brand needs customers who recommend your products or services and bring referrals for your business.
In this way, a business can gain new customers and they can also reward loyal customers. With social media integration, businesses can identify customers who are advocating their product or service.
This data helps to identify customers who are bringing referrals in, and you can create rewards and additional incentives for them.
5. Keep track of after purchase activities: Lead scoring after the purchase is a great way to use the marketing automation to its full potential. This can help you determine which customers are engaging with your content and which customer can be targeted for a cross-sell and up-sell opportunity.
6. Helps in creating end-to-end customer experiences: Using the data from marketing automation you can identify the pain points, content, messaging and approaches that attracted your existing customers, the points that converted into loyal one, in the first place.
Various programs that are beneficial for your customers can be set up to remind them of the value they were seeking, teach them how to become expert users of your product or service, provide case studies of companies and buyers that resemble your customers, and also begin to introduce new products and services.
The case study is about an e-commerce company that mainly deals with clothing and accessories along with the other products. The company was using the modern and latest call center software solutions for contacting prospects and for monitoring purposes.
However, due to the use of conventional marketing strategies their agents and marketing department was spending a lot of time in sorting and understanding of likes or preferences of their customers.
As it took them a huge amount of time in contacting customers with beneficial offers as per their likings the total conversion rate for them was very low.
As sometimes the customers do not prefer talking with a sales rep over the call,it was causing them a lot of business to their opponents and was making a bad image for their brand in the market.
Another problem was sending of manual email to customers which were also very time-consuming as a number of customers have similar likes.
So, the higher management thought of implementing some tool or software to automate this process which will result in a faster connection to the customers. It was only after that they came across with the concept of marketing automation.
After the addition of the marketing automation tools in the system the company observed the following changes:
1. They were able to create an API that automatically fed information of the customers that landed on their website into the marketing automation system. This helped them in tracking the customer’s activities which can be used when contacting them and resulted in more up-selling and cross-selling chances.
2. For the customers who were not reachable via phone, the marketing automation tool allowed the contact center to automate the follow-up email.
For example, reminding them about incomplete purchase process. (“There are 2 items left in your cart! Complete the purchase.”)
3. With automated marketing, they can also get valuable feedback on the service experience and about incomplete purchase via message, emails or social media.
Example: Didn’t complete your purchase? Not enough points. Get an additional discount.
By offering an additional discount on the selected product, the company can improve the chances of the customer completing their purchase.
4. Also as the contact center has a history of all the clients recorded in the marketing automation system. They can use the information to provide them various offers on their desired products which ensure that they will do purchase again from their company which makes them loyal customers.
After the creation of API and applying of marketing automation tool in the business, they started seeing improved results within a very short span of 6 months. They were able to meet their targets very easily which was very difficult for them previously.
Along with that various performance metrics were also improved.
• 90% reduction in average response time.
• The lead conversion rate improved by 11%.
• This resulted in increased sales and saw 4 times increase in sales number when compared to the previous quarter.
So, from the above article and the case study we can see how automating the marketing process can help a business in increasing the leads and conversion rate which implies the increase in revenue.
It can also reduce the marketing overhead to a great extent. Automating the marketing process not only eases the tasks for agents but it can be of great benefits to understand about a client’s preference which is not possible in the conventional marketing process.
Hence, if you feel that these tips can also be applied to your business and will help you in converting prospects to loyal customers, start using the marketing automation tools along with your call center software.