There are countless brands to choose from and just as many reasons to choose (or not choose) one over another. What drives a consumer to purchase an object or service from one company over the next? Although many factors affect the outcome of a purchase, taking these five actions will help you positively impact your customer’s buying process.
1. Personalize your message
People love to see and hear their own name — which explains why there are so many name key chains at souvenir shops and brands like Coca-Cola have personalized their products down to the can. Consumers like to feel as if something was made just for them.
These days, personalization isn’t limited to the object itself. Now, the experience of purchasing must be personalized. Every action, every coupon, every touchpoint should be tailored to each individual customer.
Consumers aren’t afraid to speak out about what they expect, either. In a recent study by customer data platform Segment, 44% of consumers noted that a personalized shopping experience will lead to another future shopping trip.
2. Improve customer service
Customer service is the voice of the company and is a large part of driving customer loyalty. It doesn’t matter how eye-catching your advertising is or how competitive your prices are, if the interaction between customer and company is poor, your sales will reflect it. More than half of consumers say they have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service, an Accenture survey found.
It doesn’t matter how eye-catching your advertising is or how competitive your prices are, if the interaction between customer and company is poor, your sales will reflect it.
3. Take a stand about environmental impact
Sustainability is a worldwide effort, and consumers are taking notice, seeking out more brands that engage in corporate social responsibility. By taking a stand on the environment, enforcing better business practices, and letting people know about it, companies will connect with consumers who care about the same things they do. In fact, according to Nielsen, just under 66% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
4. Introduce loyalty programs
It doesn’t matter if you sell products, services, tires, or makeup, loyalty points have proven to have a positive impact on sales. Eighty-one percent of consumers say that loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with brands, according to the annual Loyalty Report by Bond Brand Loyalty. Consider a sandwich shop where every tenth sandwich is free. Most consumers will keep going back to that shop, just to be rewarded in a small way.
Not only will they keep coming back, 73% of consumers are actually more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs, according to the same report. Oftentimes the best advertising comes from happy customers and their positive word of mouth!
73% of consumers are actually more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs.
5. The right timing pays
Overall satisfaction of loyalty programs is closely linked to content relevance, according to an earlier version of the Loyalty Report. In fact, 93% of consumers who strongly agree that communications from a loyalty program are relevant also report high satisfaction with the program. You could be offering a great deal on baby formula, but if the consumer who receives the mailer doesn’t have a baby, it’s a waste of time and money.
Overall satisfaction of loyalty programs is closely linked to content relevance.
By collecting even a small amount of data through loyalty program sign-up forms, you can get to know your customer better, including major life events that may be coming up in their lives. Whether that event is a wedding or the birth of a new baby, targeting your direct mail campaigns accordingly will be key.
Successful business leaders understand that a more targeted approach to reaching customers significantly elevates a company’s brand. In fact, 96% of marketing leaders agree that personalization helps advance customer relationships (Evergage).
Once these relationships are built, you must continue to drive customer loyalty. Most consumers (82%) with high emotional engagement will always buy a brand they are loyal to (Capgemini). It’s more cost effective to retain a customer than to go out and find a new one, and maintaining a relationship between business and customer will ensure that your loyalty programs and communications are relevant. As we’ve seen time and time again, relevance equals response.
Check out this infographic for a summary of what drives consumer loyalty:
Taylor Boerboom is product marketing manager for RRD Response Marketing Solutions.
Would you like to talk to one of our specialists about creating communications to build loyal customers? Contact us today.
This post was originally published July 6, 2018.