What is a brand without a customer? While a woman might need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, a brand needs a customer like a fish needs water.
Happy customers staying loyal is the core of any good business. A brand without customers has no money and no future.
Seeing as the profitability of your business lies in your loyal customers’ hands, it’s important to keep customers happy. A happy customer stays loyal to your brand and chooses you over other companies. Sure, it’s impressive when a customer buys your product; but it’s much more impressive when the same customer buys your products time and time again.
Ensuring a happy customer stays loyal to your brand isn’t easy. Customer satisfaction and retention relies on hard work, research, and longevity. It also relies on a contact center with motivated agents and effective software, like the contact center solution from RingCentral.
The following article looks at the meaning of brand loyalty, provides tips to keep your customers coming back for more, and shows how RingCentral can help:
- What is brand loyalty?
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What is brand loyalty?
Businesses lose $1.6 trillion every year when customers leave them. So, keeping happy customers that stay loyal to your brand is important. But what exactly is brand loyalty?
Put simply, brand loyalty is when a customer makes repeated purchases from your brand. Not only does this mean that they’re giving you money, but it also means they’re picking you over your competitors. Losing a customer is a double blow. Not only do you lose, but your competitor gains. It’s likely that your unhappy customer will take their custom to one of your leading rivals, after all.
The best customers appreciate the service you give them and want to continue supporting small businesses. The customer relationship becomes like this when you provide an excellent customer experience and go the extra mile for your customers.
So, brand loyalty is on you. It’s your responsibility to create a customer service experience for any customer that’s too good to turn down. But how do you do it?
1. Boost response times
One of the best ways to ensure happy customers and customer loyalty is to have great communication. This means creating an efficient customer service team that customers can ask questions to, raise complaints with, or give feedback.
But it’s not enough to simply have a customer service team. Your customer support specialists need to respond to queries quickly and effectively. If a customer is left waiting too long they’ll take their custom elsewhere.
Many companies use contact centers, where customers can easily contact agents and raise any issues. A contact center is a great way to communicate with customers and ensure that cases are resolved quickly and efficiently.
RingCentral’s contact center solution helps boost response times. With skills based routing, CRM integration, and agent management, you can connect the right customers with the right agents and prevent long hold times. This enables you to learn more about your customers and solve their problems the first time. Plus, real-time insights mean that business owners can keep an eye on every agents’ response time.
RingCentral’s contact center solution also allows for omnichannel flexibility, meaning that customers can choose which channels they contact you on. While some prefer to speak directly with an agent over the phone, others will opt for direct messaging or social media.
Customer happiness occurs when customers are listened to. Simple.
2. Build relationships on social media
Speaking of social media, another way to ensure customer loyalty is to build relationships on all the popular channels. These include:
But, is it enough to have a profile and occasionally post content? Not really. The best businesses use social media to their advantage, regularly connecting with their customers and keeping a conversation going. Here are two ways to beat your competitors in the social media game.
Lots of businesses are also using social media to resolve complaints and answer queries. Customers now expect to be able to communicate with a brand over social media and be sent to the right place as a bare minimum.
Because of this, chatbots are becoming more popular online. Seeing as 40% of consumers “don’t care” whether they’re talking to a human or a robot, it’s not surprising that companies have started to utilize them. But how can a chatbot help customer loyalty?
Chatbots mean that customers can be responded to quickly and efficiently. They allow you to have an active 24/7 customer service channel, regardless of time zones or lunch breaks. And, the best chatbots can translate from another language, respond naturally, and even incorporate humor into their responses, like the A.I at Cleo.
RingCentral’s contact center solution makes A.I integration easy, allowing you to deliver a smarter customer experience. With the ability to set up machine learning, your A.I can automatically understand a message’s intent and route the message, recognizing 72 different languages as well as intent, text semantics, message types (public or private), email metadata, and other information.
At RingCentral, we make it easier for your agents. Chatbots and A.I take on the standard queries, giving your skilled agents more time to utilize their skills.
Happy customers love to be able to engage with you on social media. And that’s not just commenting. It also means learning.
The best businesses regularly host webinars on their social media channels to engage customers and boost customer engagement. Webinars are great because they create the space for customers to do the following:
- Ask questions about products or services
- Learn more about your company’s ethics and values
- Become excited about your products or services
- See how the products or services work
- Learn about the industry your business falls into
Considering the results from great webinars can be so positive, it’s important to use the right software. Technical difficulties can make your brand lose credibility, and customers may become frustrated.
RingCentral Webinar makes it easy to host virtual webinar events anytime, anywhere. With the power to host up to 10,000 attendees in live webinar sessions, send personalized email invitations, and hold interactive questions and answers sessions with your attendees, customers will be engaged from beginning to end.
When customers feel included, they will stay loyal to your brand. They will also stay loyal if your brand continues to push them and teach them new things.
3. Map the customer journey
The best business owners know how to guide potential users through the shopping process and influence their decisions. A customer journey is the experience a customer has to go through from beginning to end. And, a good customer journey nudges the potential customer along and results in a sale.
While mapping the customer journey is a great way to try and attract new customers, it also ensures that your loyal customers come back for more. If a customer knows how easy it is to buy a product from you, they’ll be more tempted to make further quick purchases.
So, how do you map a customer journey? Mapping a customer journey involves being customer-centric. You need to know what your customers are looking for and make the journey as simple as possible. Here are some tips when mapping a customer journey.
- Listen to customer feedback: it’s always important to listen to your customers and find out what can be done differently. Customer feedback is particularly important when tracking the customer journey, as you can use surveys to determine what they’re looking for and how they found the process. Some companies like to use an NPS survey, which measures customer experience and predicts business growth. Don’t forget to follow up when conducting surveys to see if your changes have made a difference.
- Think visually: a journey map is a great tool for all marketers. Thinking visually and using diagrams or illustrations will help to get a better sense of the customer journey and establish your touchpoints. It will also help to find any areas of frustration or inefficiency.
- Know your metrics: it’s important to know your numbers. These should be used in all levels of business, and are particularly useful when calculating your customer retention rate. For example, customer retention can be tracked by knowing the number of customers at end of period, the number of new customers acquired during period and the number of customers at start of period.
RingCentral’s contact center solution makes tracking the customer journey easier. Our omnichannel analytics make it easy for you to see the full customer journey across all channels, and gain insight into agent performance on any channel. You can also get an instant snapshot of how your team is performing and what your customers are experiencing.
4. Keep your employees happy
You can’t have happy customers if you don’t have happy employees. Your employees are your frontline workers. They’re the people interacting with your customers every day. As such, it’s important to ensure they have top quality tools so they can provide the best possible customer experience.
The RingCentral app helps teams to work together to provide excellent customer support. With team messaging, video meetings, and a business phone function, it ensures that all employees can collaborate even when they aren’t working in the same place. This means that employees can communicate seamlessly about customer cases without wires being crossed.
Great customer service is a team effort and relies on a professional attitude from all employees. The RingCentral app helps to keep teams connected and keeps everyone on the same page.
Happy employees and happy customers are also both created by having an effective onboarding process. When employees are trained to focus on customer satisfaction and customer retention from day one, a better experience is provided all round. RingCentral’s contact center solution helps keep agents happy by providing the following:
- Automation: so agents aren’t wasting time on admin or responding to repetitive queries
- Call blending: so agents don’t have to worry about losing a customer on a faulty line
- Coaching and learning tools: so agents can continually develop their skills and focus on career development
- Scripting: so agents always know what to say and feel confident responding to a number of different queries
RingCentral’s contact center solution also helps with workforce management and optimization. With the ability to listen to call recordings and watch screen recordings, you can track your agents’ performance and use the best examples for the onboarding process. New agents will see precisely the standard they are expected to meet and understand exactly the kind of customer service they should be providing.
When your employees are happy, they enjoy coming to work and want to do a good job. They will be motivated and find the work rewarding. All of these factors will improve their customer support skills and make them better at providing a great customer service experience. When your agents are happy, they ensure your customers are happy, too.
5. Reward loyal customers
75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. Loyalty points, referrals, and special offers are all great ways to show a customer how much you value them. Let’s dive into them in a little more detail:
- Loyalty points: used most commonly by grocery and department stores, loyalty points are collected when a customer spends a certain amount of money. The points tend to go on a membership card and can then be spent in store, reducing the price of the customer’s next shop. They provide an incentive for a customer to return to your store and become a regular.
- Customer referrals: a referral scheme is a smart way to encourage customers to shout about your brand. It’s a form of word of mouth marketing, as you’re asking your loyal customers to recommend you to their friends and connections. Once this has happened, they both receive some kind of reward. Customer referrals are doubly effective, as they provide an incentive to a new customer and to a loyal one.
- Special offers: these don’t necessarily just benefit loyal customers, as special offers tend to apply to any customer. However, special offer schemes like Black Friday or random sales provide an incentive to buy, as they only last a limited amount of time. Therefore, the customer doesn’t hang around deciding whether to make the purchase and does it quickly – and with less guilt, too.
You can also make a customer feel special by asking them for a review. Most customers will enjoy knowing that their custom is valued and will want to help the success of a small business or start up. Positive reviews can do wonders for your business. When a customer who’s on the fence about buying your product sees a positive review, they’ll feel more comfortable about buying from you.
RingCentral Engage Digital makes it easy for employees to ask for reviews after a customer’s case has been resolved. This is because it helps agents organize their inbox and send automated emails. Employees can connect their email management solution to any inbox and increase productivity with the help of structured message replies and contact records that automatically populate.
This means that your agents can easily request reviews from happy customers, and encourage them to spread the word about your business.
Positive reviews are important for small businesses, as customers can be wary about buying from businesses they’ve never heard of. If they see positive testimonials from other customers, they’ll be more inclined to make the purchase.
Wave goodbye to unhappy customers
Customer loyalty is all about connecting with your customers. It’s about understanding what they want and providing seamless customer service from beginning to end.
The best customers are your biggest promoters. They talk you up, buy your products, and love to see you succeed. So, use RingCentral’s contact center solution and our other great products to focus on speedy response times, seamless customer journeys, and satisfying your employees, and you’ll keep your customers for life.
Originally published Mar 02, 2021, updated Sep 23, 2021