It s a widely followed advice in the business world that if you want your consumer base to stay solid, you must focus more on fostering loyalty among present customers instead of devoting most of your efforts to attracting new ones. Brand loyalty does play a major role in customer retention, and an even greater one in business expansion.
The reason behind this is that the profit you generate from loyal customers make up a big and steady part of your overall earnings even if these people only make up a minor portion of your whole consumer base. Plus, their pulling power is more influential than any recommendation that other shopping personalities make.
It therefore makes sense to say that your loyal customers should receive more pampering and attention than non-regulars such as those who are only after discounts and visit you just to browse around. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should neglect other types of customers just because they have yet to make repeat purchases. Yes, the attention they re getting shouldn’t be equal to what a true-blue fan gets, but they should get high quality service nonetheless.
Sizing things up
Loyal customers only compose of more or less 20% of the people who buy from you. “Wanderers,” on the other hand, bring in the most traffic to your store. Shouldn’t this mean that the special treatment a customer receives depend on the size of the demographic he belongs in? No, because there are far more important things to consider.
Loyal customers return to your site because of the developed trust they have in your brand. They have a clear reason for buying from you, whether it s the comfort they feel when using your products or the service you give that suits their taste. Wandering customers are driven by other factors such as your store location, not a sure desire to buy. Thus, they don t represent a big percent of your sales, as opposed to the above 50% that loyal customers can give.
This is why your best buyers deserve the special attention and privileges. Keep your communication lines with them active through occasional gifts and constant updates via phone or email. Since they have a great influence over potential customers and your merchandising strategies, you should also solicit their input through surveys, which further prove their value.
While doing these, never ignore the population size of wandering customers. As most of this diverse group are looking for a community to belong in, there s so much you can do to make them consider returning.
Size alone does not dictate the importance of a shopper demographic to your business. Discount customers, for instance, are key contributors to inventory turnover and continuous cash flow. They d still buy items from last season if you offer those for a good deal. Like bargain hunters, impulse buyers respond well to recommendations given the right level of assistance and sales talk.
Need-based customers, on the other hand, are a bit tricky to serve. Since they have a specific product or criteria in mind, they may be hard to please. They can also lose interest instantly once they see a better choice in another store. For these, they should get assistance right away from the best salespeople you have. If they get what they re looking for while having a pleasant experience, need-based buyers have the highest potential of turning into loyal customers and ultimate source of long-term growth.
Achieving brand loyalty and customer retention is indeed an unfair game—in terms of the attention and marketing efforts that each shopping personality should receive. One group may deserve more rewards, while the other must be dedicated with a longer time for assistance. Whichever demographic a customer belongs in and regardless of the approach you use on each of them, they should all receive equally superb service.