Kasia’s story told how she received two different letters from a magazine that she has been subscribing to for years: one making an offer to her as a new subscriber and the other asking her if she would like to continue her subscription.
Whilst sending her two different letters could be put down to a clerical or admin error, the ‘rub’ of it all was that she was offered better terms as a new subscriber.
It’s these sort of tactics (offering better deals to new customers) that force many customers to question their loyalty to a particular firm and, many would argue, are at the root of the perceived decline in customer loyalty in business today.
Others would say that’s only part of the picture and that they believe that customers are becoming increasingly disloyal.
I’m not sure I agree with that. I believe that many customers want to be loyal. The problem is that many companies are not that deserving of their loyalty.
Loyalty, from a customer perspective, allows us not to have to keep looking for new suppliers and not to have to keep making choices. All of which requires time, attention, energy and a degree of risk.
Therefore, I believe that it is there to be fostered.
Kasia’s article goes on to highlight a number of problems and challenges that firms face with their customer loyalty initiatives, including a multiplicity of systems, fragmentation of data and a lack of communication and cooperation across organisational silos.
But, if companies addressed all of these problems would that solve their customer loyalty issues?
I don’t think so.
So, what must firms do to give themselves a good chance of building loyalty with their customers?
A conversation that I had recently had with loyalty expert Steve Sims, Chief Design Officer & Founder of Behavior Lab at Badgeville offers some clues. Through his research and experience, Steve says that:
Steve’s insights offer some broad conclusions for businesses thinking about redesigning or revamping their customer loyalty strategies, programmes and initiatives: