Why Focus on Customer Loyalty

Every year, the Temkin Group releases its Customer Loyalty Index, which surveys 10,000 U.S. consumers of 329 companies across 20 industries and ranks those companies according to five loyalty-related behaviors. (Top on the list this year? ACE Rent A Car. Bottom on the list? McDonald’s.)

Knowing these “loyalty behaviors” can help you develop print and multi-channel marketing strategies that improve your own customers’ loyalty and keep your bottom line strong.

Here are the five behaviors of loyal customers tracked by Temkin. How would your company fare in each?

1. REPURCHASE

They repurchase from the company. Do you track your customers’ purchases? Do you know if they continue to buy from you after the first sale? If customers are not repurchasing, do you know why?

2. RECOMMEND

They recommend the company to others. Do your customers recommend you to their friends and family? Have you ever asked? A simple print or email survey can tell you a lot.

3. FORGIVE

They forgive the company if it makes a mistake. If a mistake comes to your attention, be quick to apologize and make amends. Send a letter (always a letter—email apologies fall short), offer a “we’re sorry” discount, or make things right another way. But always use mistakes as a chance to deepen, rather than disrupt, the customer relationship.

4. TRUST

They trust the company. Here is another place surveys can play an important role. Ask customers to rate how much they trust you on a sliding scale. Create different scales for different areas of your company (products, service, customer care). If you rank low in some areas, you know where to get to work.

5. TRY

They try a company’s new offerings. Happy, loyal customers buy more, and the more loyal they are, the more they buy over time. If you track your customers’ purchases, you can suggest and cross sells, as well as alert them to new offerings based on what they have purchased in the past.

Customer loyalty is serious business. Knowing these five loyalty behaviors gives you a head start on where and how to focus your efforts to communicate with your customers and keep them happy, satisfied, and buying more.

Schedule a meeting to discuss how to develop multi-channel communications to improve your customer loyalty.

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