Credit Card Processing Blog

An Approach to Customer Engagement & Loyalty

August 11, 2016 12:00 PM / by Reliance Star

A business needs a constant influx of customers in order to remain operational, make a profit, and stand the best chance of getting – and staying – ahead of its competitors. It also needs to retain the loyalty of existing customers and ensure that they return time and again. The way to do this is by gaining their loyalty through engagement. According to a 2015 Gallup Poll, customers who are engaged with a business bring in 37 percent more revenue annually than those who are disengaged.

Why Customer Engagement Matters

Bringing in new customers is all well and good, but it won’t be very beneficial for a business if those customers don’t stay. It takes time and effort to retain their support, but failure to do so could have an adverse effect on a business’ bottom line in the long-run. According to Bain & Company, a mere 10 percent increase in customer retention can result in a 30 percent increase in value for the organization. Engaging with your customers, and keeping them interested, is an essential element of retaining and increasing customer loyalty.

How to Drive Customer Engagement

So just how do you engage with your customers? It involves communicating with your customers using the channels that they prefer, be it through email, social media or mobile apps. Aim to have consistent messaging across all channels to create a cohesive experience for your customers on every platform. This way, customers will have a clear picture of your brand, which instills confidence in them and convinces them that your organization is deserving of their business. Reward your customers for subscribing to your email list or following your brand on social media with discounts and specials not available to others. This exclusivity makes customers perceive that they are getting better value from your company than they would elsewhere, where they would be considered an outsider.

Why Loyalty Programs Work

Businesses have been employing loyalty programs for decades, and with good reason. The basic concept of loyalty programs is that a business or organization rewards customers for frequent purchases or interactions with them, either through exclusive discounts, free products or services, or other rewards. These programs greatly increase value for the customer and even provides an element of gamification in using a business’ products or services. To qualify for rewards, customers must interact with a business on a regular basis in order to receive the maximum benefit from the loyalty program. This drives engagement and customer retention as customers strive to meet the minimum requirements of the loyalty program and work towards a certain level to achieve the desired reward. Be sure that the reward thresholds for the loyalty program are achievable. If the requirements are too high, and customers perceive that it is too difficult to earn the rewards, it can have the opposite effect and turn customers off. Competition can be fierce so make sure the rewards are achievable.

Customers have all kinds of reasons for choosing a particular business over its competitors. The best way to improve customer engagement and loyalty is to find out what those reasons are. Listen to your customers’ comments and complaints to learn more about who they are and what drives their purchasing decisions. The better your business can adapt to what your customers want, the easier time you will have in retaining those customers for the long-term.