How loyal are your customers?

You may feel confident that the people that regularly buy from you or use your services are here to stay, but it could be a risk to make this assumption.

In the recently released Gallup report, 19,093 businesses and 18million customers were surveyed. The results suggest that 71% of customers felt no really sense of loyalty or connection between them and their current supplier. This lack of engagement meant that they all felt willing to take their business elsewhere. Could your customers be in this category?

It seems that although almost every company claims to provide ‘good’ or even ‘excellent’ customer service, this isn’t what the majority of customers feel they are receiving. You might be delivering the goods and services that they want, but as customers we are seeking a more personalised service. We want to feel important, appreciated. Our loyalty has to be earned.

One reason for customers not feeling any engagement with a company could be a mismatch between what the company perceives the customer wants and what they really desire. If you undertook market research when you set up your company, don’t expect that to remain relevant for years to come. Technology and evolving buying habits are constantly changing and you need to keep pace with the changing needs of your customers.

Another reason could be that you are still replying on traditional marketing concepts, where your message is blasted out to the customer. You tell them what you want them to know; our sale, our new season ranges, our latest product, our reviews. When was the last time that you asked for their ideas, their feedback, their reviews or tips?

Social Media

Social media provides an excellent platform for building your relationship with your target customers. It offers a chance to respond instantly to topical issues, seasonal changes, customer queries, compliments and complaints. You can share your values and new plans that your company is actively working on. You can ask opinions, gather feedback and share the successes of your suppliers, partners or community.

Social media is like a conversation with your best customers. It is less formal, it is two way and it is enjoyable, informative and engaging. Has a customer mentioned a novel way to use your product? Have they suggested a new client group that might benefit from your services? Share their ideas, tips and results; you could be surprised where it leads!

The biggest gripe that was picked up in the Gallup report was the disappointment when issues weren’t efficiently and favourably resolved. When people feel that problems haven’t been resolved, they may take to social media to voice their complaint. If you are active on social media and can pick up and respond to such feedback effectively, you can do a lot to improve the reputation of your company.

If a similar complaint occurs a few times, it could be time to review that aspect of your business and make changes for the better. When changes have been made, let people know that you’ve listened and worked to improve. Start to see complaints as an opportunity, not a threat.

Social Media Course

If you want to become one of the 29% of businesses that do have a loyal customer base, social media could be one step towards improved customer engagement. If this is a new area of marketing for you, or you have yet to have much success with your profile, you may benefit from a comprehensive online social media course. This explains how to incorporate social media into your wider online marketing strategy in order to deliver results. Start my Online Success Course today.