Creating a lasting relationship with your customers has a lot of benefits for your business. In a context marked by fierce competition and consumer volatility, customer loyalty is an essential strategy to consolidate your market share and develop your business. Loyalty strategies pass upstream through better customer knowledge. Here are 7 reasons to try to retain your customers.
1- Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones
This is one of the strongest arguments, often overlooked or ignored by marketers. Most marketing and sales teams are focused on the acquisition, while sitting on a gold mine. This gold mine is all the customers who are already there.
It is true, to retain a customer, whether through loyalty programs or diverse and varied financial benefits have a cost. It's undeniable. But this cost, which is actually an investment, remains lower than the cost of acquiring new customers. The return on investment of prospecting activities is not happening any time soon, far from it. In fact, the strategy of acquiring new customers almost always results in a price war with competitors, economically ruinous.
2- A loyal customer spends more than others
As part of a study on brand loyalty, the consulting firm CSC Peat Marwick interviewed several major retailers. We are in the late 1990s, but the lessons of this study are still relevant. 93% of the companies surveyed said that loyalty was a competitive advantage for them.
More importantly, while loyal customers represent an average of 20% of their total customer base, these same loyal customers account for 80% of total sales. Other studies, more recent, go in the same direction. Bain & Cie, for example, has shown that increasing the retention of the best customers by 5% results in an increase in economic results of 25% to 55%.
These figures are revealing: they clearly show that a loyal customer buys more than others. And above all, that they buy more often. A loyal customer is a repeat buyer, unlike a non-loyal customer. Increasing your customer loyalty rate is therefore decisive from an economic point of view.
Loyalty positively impacts the turnover and profitability of companies. Expenses incurred in loyalty actions are therefore quickly profitable.
3- A loyal customer is less volatile
All companies can make the observation: consumers are more and more volatile. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, which we have already briefly mentioned above. To limit this volatility, it is fundamental to adopt a customer-centric approach.
Loyalty, by creating an emotional connection between the customer and the company, also reduces the volatility of customers. Fred Reichheld speaks of the effect of loyalty. One could also invoke the argument of the exit costs of a loyal customer, which goes in the same sense.
In the absence of sufficient customer loyalty, Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom lost hundreds of thousands of customers as a result of Free's arrival on the market. These telephone companies have since understood the importance of loyalty and have made great efforts in this direction.
4- A loyal customer becomes an ambassador for your company
A loyal and satisfied customer will tend to recommend the company to those around them, becoming an ambassador of your brand. Word-of-mouth and subscription, at the time of social networks, have very important economic effects. It would be a shame not to take this into consideration.
This is the reason to invest in customer loyalty allowing you to acquire new customers. Ultimately, customer retention and the acquisition of new prospects are not two opposing approaches. Opting for a loyalty strategy by integrating a dimension of support for brand ambassadors also opens new business opportunities by limiting costs.
5/ A loyal customer helps improve your offer
A customer who enjoys the services and products of a company tends to develop an emotional connection. A loyal customer will be happy to help improve your services and catalogue. Ask them their opinion via an online questionnaire or by launching a crowdsourcing campaign.
Involving your loyal customers in improving your offer will, in turn, reinforce your connection to these same customers.
6- A loyal customer has a positive impact on the company's employees
It is always more pleasant for an employee to deal with satisfied customers than dissatisfied customers. Increasing customer satisfaction through retention also improves the social climate in your business.
More generally, it is rewarding for an employee to belong to a company valued by its clients. However, a "happy" employee at work is a more productive employee. Loyalty also has this effect, often unnoticed.
7- Loyal customers help reduce support costs
Retention of your customers will help reduce your support costs. A customer who is loyal is a customer who knows by definition the operation of your services. Because of their greater autonomy, they need less help than a new client. Indeed, the majority of customers who contact customer service are new or recent customers who are not yet used to your services.
All effective loyalty strategies rely firstly on good customer knowledge. It is an indispensable prerequisite. If you do not know exactly who your customers are, what satisfies them in your business, the points they feel negatively towards, you will not be able to satisfy your customers and more so, to turn them into loyal customers.