(photo courtesy of nathan dumlao)

What does it take to earn devotion aka customer trust aka customer retention ?

Standing out in a world of choice isn’t easy. Earning consumer devotion to a brand/ store takes more than just offering a good product/service. Price, packaging, customer service, and reputation are just some of the factors involved in a consumer’s decision-making process. But these factors are secondary to the true intention of why do you want your consumer to come back to you? 

That’s why getting to the heart of what makes a consumer stick or switch can be the difference between flourishing with all round growth or just fading out. While a NielsenIQ research shows that bigger rewards generally inspire higher loyalty levels, loyalty programs are no guarantee of loyal behaviours. 

Considering the fickle nature of market dynamics and how customers do not follow just one brand, one needs to  start by understanding the needs and motivations that drive their purchase decisions. And then you go beyond just deploying the strategies and tactics that deliver the most value. You build a relationship with your customers, you build a legacy of products and services that last beyond the typical buying cycle. 

Consumers are always looking for what’s next, but what’s next doesn’t have to come from launching a new product or upselling. Refreshing your brand or restructuring the company from within can be a wiser option sometimes. And in fact the true way to retain your customers is by delivering value rather than new hooks to keep the customers in constant need.

Reinvent and be your true self

Reinventing the benefits of your product in a way that reinforces its strengths or adapts to changing needs of your customers will always benefit everyone tangibly. Knowing those opportunities mostly come from constant engagement with buyers and non-buyers, having a pulse on what exactly works and what doesn’t ; but also by keeping an eye on competitors. It is key that your product or service evolution not only moves your brand forward but does so in a way that gives your brand a clear advantage over others by understanding the true needs of your customers.

Walk the talk

Another way to successfully renovate is—to evolve your brand story to stay modern and relevant as consumer needs evolve. Classy packaging that is simple and yet stylish without embellishments or false projections  gives brands a well lit billboard to promote benefits. The aim of pack redesigns should be to find ways to invite new buyers without alienating current ones and without the need to glamourise or overhype . Making these types of shifts over time can pay off in the long term.. 

Get out there

There are multiple ways to refresh and re-energize your brand, but it is important that those changes are rooted in constant feedback/input from consumers and the marketplace and are activated through increased marketing support. Technology is beneficial when actually optimised on in the true sense. Use digital to become proactive and enhance customer services via Instagram, Twitter and also address some relatable grievances open/publicly that support new customers to see what is the quality of service being offered. Building trust and engagement is the key to retaining customer loyalty for a long time.

Ask for Feedback

No company or business cannot thrive without genuine criticism and feedback when needed. This also supports evolution of the service and product by creating funnels for customers to feedback after they have experienced the brand’s product and service. There are various analytics and tools that can be used to understand customer behaviour and track their buying intentions in the cycle.for e.g. If a customer opts out of your emails- try and find out why. Be genuinely caring and willing to understand what exactly is your customer’s psyche. 

No need for upselling or downselling.

When any brand or company offers an upsell it essentially means they are persuading customers to purchase products/services in order to get more profit. 

SImilarly downsell is a tactic to discount the product/service when a customer has not completed the purchase cycle with the hope that they will buy the same thing for a cheaper price. This typically happens online with a lot of E-commerce brands.

Both ends of the spectrum only serve to devalue the brand one way or another. Would you not rather ‘motivate’ your audience, get them to actually connect with what you are offering, allowing them to see the tangible benefits it has on their lives and then for them to make that decision. This way they will have won your trust and you will have gained their loyalty. And you get them to pay for what they genuinely need.

All of the above customer retention strategies have a great ROI for your business and also supports your online company with consistent growth over a long period of time. Customer retention strategies also give appreciation to your consumer base and help build stronger relationships.This can lead to customers becoming advocates and encouraging their personal circle of friends and family to buy from you as well.

But above all and most importantly nothing beats genuine devotion and love for the product/service the brand or company offers. Make it all about that- and it’s a win-win.

So go for it- implement them all and give us a shout if you need a proper enhanced strategy that supports the heart of your business. We at Elixir are at your service.

Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo compassion understanding and reflection. To know more, email us: [email protected] 

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