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Using Insights to Win Customer Loyalty

Using Market Research to Measure Loyalty

Measuring a customer’s likelihood to patronize the business, again and again, can stem from an elevated sense of product satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and the all-important positive customer experience.

But it’s the knowledge of customer pain points and concerns, through an in-depth understanding of the customer through market research, that can really shed light on customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is said to be the main driver of customer retention. Repeat customers spend more money, and they become “brand ambassadors” that can speak highly of the brand’s positive attributes—and recommend that brand to others.

According to Pollfish’s blog, “How Market Research Can Build Consumer Loyalty,” there are several factors that contribute to fostering customer loyalty—and can be measured by market research:

  1. Usability: Customers need to be reassured of the usability of your products/services. Understanding the ease of use of your offerings is crucial to creating customer loyalty. Primary research such as focus groups and surveys reveal the degree of your business’s usability, paving the way for understanding what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Trust: If customers don’t trust your brand for any reason, they will not return for future transactions. To test how you fare with your customers, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and other customer loyalty surveys. To get a sense of how customers generally view brands in your niche, you can use secondary research like statistics sites, industry reports and blogs in your industry.
  3. Customer Service: A key part of UX, customer service involves any touchpoint in which customers interact with company representatives. This includes leads speaking with sales representatives over the phone, a customer relying on a cashier or sales associate for help in-store, chatting with a rep via a site’s chat or getting phone support. You can use secondary research to get an overview of customer service in your industry via industry sites. You can also conduct secondary research on your competitors for ideas on how to boost your own customer service.
  4. Personalization: Greeting customers by their names on your digital properties is no longer a potent personalization method. Instead, customers are looking for more targeted efforts to show that their unique needs and desires are being met. Brands should avoid taking generic approaches in customer messaging and journeys. Instead, brands can use secondary research to see what segments in their target market desire. In order to conduct market segmentation, you are going to need to implement surveys.
  5. Social Media Presence: Social media has allowed brands to create more intimate relationships with customers. Creating social content can pique the interest of existing customers, prompting them to return to your brand at least to browse your social content. This can relieve them of boredom or curiosity, while keeping your brand on their minds. Primary research such as surveys can help you test your social media strategy to see what type of messaging and topics yield the most positive reactions.

Elevating the Customer Experience

All Things Insights took a close look at customer satisfaction in the blog, “Improving the Customer Feedback Experience.” As the buyer journey becomes more complex, the customer satisfaction survey remains a foundational tool for the market researcher. With it, companies can measure consumer and brand sentiment and other measurements. This isn’t just about bringing in new customers, but about retaining your older customers and making sure they are satisfied with their products or services. It’s a rather quick and convenient way to ask customers for their feedback, identify technical issues, and discover new opportunities. In addition, it helps maintain relevancy and a competitive edge while monitoring, and improving, progress and operations over time.

All Things Insights also examined the customer experience in “Creating Synergy by Improving Customer Experience.” Customer experience (CX) is the impression your customers have of your brand based on all of the interactions they’ve had with your business. User experience (UX) is specific to how people use and perceive your products. These key components, customer experience and user experience, work together, create synergies and benefit the marketer in improving the overall experience, which in turn increases customer value.

Communicating with Customers is Key

Fostering customer loyalty is crucial for building long-term relationships, driving repeat business, and maximizing customer lifetime value. Much of this aspect of the relationship has to do with communication, as well as building a loyalty rewards program. We asked ChatGPT to outline some best practices to help businesses cultivate and maintain customer loyalty:

  1. Deliver Exceptional Customer Service: Providing outstanding customer service is essential for building trust and loyalty. Respond promptly to customer inquiries, address their concerns with empathy and professionalism, and go above and beyond to exceed their expectations. Personalize interactions whenever possible to make customers feel valued and appreciated.
  2. Build Strong Relationships: Invest in building strong relationships with your customers by getting to know them on a personal level. Use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track customer interactions, preferences, and purchase history. Leverage this data to tailor your communications and offerings to meet their needs and preferences.
  3. Offer Rewards and Incentives: Implement a loyalty program to reward customers for their repeat business and encourage them to engage with your brand on a regular basis. Offer incentives such as discounts, freebies, exclusive offers, or loyalty points that customers can redeem for rewards. Make sure your loyalty program is easy to understand and offers tangible benefits that appeal to your target audience.
  4. Provide Consistent Value: Consistently deliver value to your customers through high-quality products or services, relevant content, and valuable insights or advice. Focus on solving their problems, addressing their pain points, and helping them achieve their goals. Keep innovating and evolving to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant to your customers’ changing needs.
  5. Solicit and Act on Feedback: Actively seek feedback from your customers through surveys, reviews, or direct conversations. Listen to their feedback attentively, take their concerns seriously, and use their input to improve your products, services, and overall customer experience. Demonstrate that you value their opinions and are committed to addressing their needs and preferences.
  6. Communicate Transparently: Foster trust and transparency with your customers by communicating openly and honestly. Keep them informed about any changes to your products, services, or policies, and be transparent about pricing, terms, and conditions. Address any issues or mistakes promptly and take responsibility for resolving them to the customer’s satisfaction.
  7. Create a Community: Build a sense of belonging and community around your brand by creating opportunities for customers to connect with each other and with your company. Host events, forums, or online communities where customers can share their experiences, exchange tips and advice, and interact with your brand and fellow customers.
  8. Stay Top-of-Mind: Stay engaged with your customers even when they’re not actively purchasing from you. Maintain regular communication through email newsletters, social media, or other channels to keep your brand top-of-mind and reinforce your relationship with customers. Share valuable content, promotions, or updates that are relevant and interesting to your audience.

Gauging the Hearts & Minds of Consumers

By implementing these best practices, businesses can build strong, lasting relationships with their customers and foster loyalty that leads to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and long-term success.

Remember, as a market research professional, gaining insight into customer loyalty can also gain you influence at the executive table. As Pollfish notes, “Consumers change their minds and can be swayed by competition instantly, especially in our increasingly digital world of information (think advertisements) overload. Surveys are thereby a vigorous instrument to measure customer satisfaction, calculate glitches, reveal frustrations and much more. You can uncover virtually any aspect of the customer experience through survey research, therefore empowering your business and stimulating customer loyalty.”

Video courtesy of Learn with Shopify

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

    View all posts

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