What does loyalty mean?
Many companies try to keep their customers in a way that is not profitable. For example, traditional customer loyalty programs are on average unprofitable, according to a survey by McKinsey. It's not the best price and monetary rewards for loyalty that creates growth but instead the sense of belonging and security in the performed delivery that makes satisfied customers will return.
Loyalty is a long-term and trust
Loyalty is a characteristic that means someone for a long time is helpful and friendly and takes the other party in a conflict. Loyalty is, therefore, a personal property that must be won by individuals at the customer to create the conditions for maintaining and having constructive cooperation with it.
The fact that a customer is loyal also means a lot more benefits than the customer stays with you and makes repetitive purchases or retains their subscription. Loyal customers can also be faithful, but above all loyal customers are those who have a positive attitude and speak well about the company and its products.
This means that the customer can also be the one who gives the company good references and does not spread bad messages to the environment at a single mistake.
Can you measure loyalty?
Surely you can. There are several ways to define a customer's loyalty.
One option is to measure the customer's willingness to recommend the company as a supplier to others. This is usually described in the form of NPS (Net Promoter Score), which is a quota between the percentage that recommends your company in relation to those customers who discourages others to be a customer of yours.
NPS does not measure how long customers remain as a customer of yours, but how willing they are to spread a positive image. Key figures to actually measure how long customers stays are usually described in the form of Churn or reverse Customer Retention.
What makes a customer loyal?
Customer loyalty is something that requires trust and respect for the supplier. Confidence in turn requires the customer to feel that they can rely on the supplier to be loyal to the customer. In long-term cooperation, the customer needs to rely on the supplier to stay there and will not suddenly change the conditions for the deal. It is also important that the supplier demonstrates respect for the client's form of clarity and that it takes advantage of the customer's time with effective routines and high levels of service.
A long-term relationship between customer and supplier provides the prerequisites for a win-win. This means that both the customer and the supplier win on productive cooperation, where both parties trust the other.
What is the cost of looking for a new supplier or selling to a new customer? How long does it take to negotiate price for both the customer and the supplier? How much energy does it take to monitor their interests regarding the planned or completed delivery? Who ultimately pays for this? The customer in the form of an increased price and the supplier in the form of reduced margins.
Of course, there is a lot to do for both the customer and the supplier to establish the trust that leads to long-term cooperation in which both the customer and the supplier are loyal.
How does the provider make the best way to create the prerequisites for a loyal customer? Just praising large purchases can obviously drive sales in a way that customers return, but it does not mean that the customer is loyal. If the competitor has a better offer, the customer may as well go there and at the least mistake, the dissatisfaction may grow into a reason to look as if by alternative.
See instead to identify individuals at the customer's. What does their daily life look like? What is important to them in the relationship with you as a supplier and what could facilitate their work?
Provide customers with personal tools that really facilitate their work while linking people to your business. Show that you as a supplier really respect the customer's situation and invest in developing the procedures for your cooperation.