Before I begin, customer loyalty is definitely important to businesses. Do not get me wrong. But the way that businesses are gaining that loyalty is not what it used to be.
In the old “loyalty era” of marketing, businesses used incentives, such as rewards points, to gain the loyalty of customers. But, in this digital age, consumers are not as concerned with how many rewards points they have in a business. They are more concerned with who can fill their need in the most efficient and effective matter.
In this article, Harvard Business Review quotes a Kantar Retail study that says 71% of consumers now claim that loyalty incentive programs do NOT make them loyal at all!
Instead, consumers are more concerned with a business’ relevance
Here’s a news flash: the internet has changed how people are buying. Duh! Thanks Captain Obvious.
But we have to understand how people are buying online. Online, you have to assume that a person has already talked to 3 of your other competitors. Consumers contact at least 3 of the businesses that appear the most relevant to their needs online.
The do this because, even if they have an urgent need, they rightly believe that they can immediately get responses from those inquiries and then go with the best decision.
In order to be relevant, a business must be visible at the point-of-sale and then respond quickly to every inquiry. Even if the response is simply an automated email that says the inquiry was received and is being processed. That response is critical. People expect, online inquiries to be handled with close to the same immediacy as a phone call.
But, here’s the kicker, businesses have not changed their strategies to remain relevant. Accenture and Harvard Business Review estimate that companies are losing $1 trillion a year to competitors because they are not consistently relevant.
So we can clearly see the importance of this new idea of relevance. But what does relevance actually mean?
The traditional marketing mix includes the 4 P’s.
Revelance includes all the previous and adds the following 5 P’s.But, it also includes one more factor… a meaningful connection.
Consumers are looking to do business with competent people that they feel connected with.
Here are some examples.
- When studying law firms, 58% of potential clients when with the first attorney they had a meaningful connection with online.
- 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether to work with a business or not.
- 73% of customers remain loyal to a brand because of friendly service reps.
- The #1 reason consumers switch to a new brand is because of feeling unappreciated
This means that once you are visible and a lead has contacted you, the most important factor (assuming the competency of your business) will be the ability of your business to establish a connection with the potential customer.
This can be done in numerous ways. Customers like to be associated with a business that shares their values. So use your platform to further those values.
The connection that you decide to make with your audience is different for every business and in ultimately for you to decide. This article should show you the importance of establishing that connection.
Remember this. Actions will speak louder than words. Don’t just say what you do: show it through video, your actions in your community, and through your service of a customer from start until finish.
What one step will you take to improve the relevance of your business?