Customers are the base of any successful business. Without customers, you have no sales. While this is the most obvious tenet of having a business, customer experience and brand loyalty are often overlooked. Consider an example of a retail clothing brand that is known for its superior quality at the least expensive prices in the industry. They have achieved superiority to other brands, and in theory should hold a monopoly in the retail clothing industry, but strangely, their sales are not as high as projected and are even losing customers to competitors. There are 3 main issues with this retail clothier, and they are all related to customer experience.
1. First Issue: High product quality, low customer service.
Just because the product is higher quality and more reasonably price doesn’t mean everyone will purchase it. If a customer comes in the shop, questions the quality or price, and is met with a rude sales clerk, the unpleasant experience will lead the customer to spend extra money at a different store and spread negative word of mouth for the company. This reason alone explains why a superior store might be languishing with poor sales and loyalty.
2. Second Issue: Know your customer better than the competition
Even if a company has great customer service in addition to quality and price, another obstacle for achieving a loyal customer base is to simply know your customer. If Jane Smith likes to wait to buy sweaters on sale, the next time she is browsing the store online, it is up to the retailer to target an e-mail to her with this specific information. It will connect the consumer with the brand while simultaneously promoting positive word of mouth press.
3. Third Issue: Stay in touch with customers often
One tactic of growing brand awareness and customer loyalty is by acquiring their personal information; whether by signing up for newsletters, collecting it through surveys, or asking for information during checkout. By taking these approaches a company can strongly increase brand loyalty and stimulate sales by informing customers of when and what is on sale, prompting a call of action. While it is a commonly known that this type of communication push may be considered bothersome, a survey by Adobe showed that 75% of customers want companies to use their personal data to improve shopper experience.
Having superior quality and price is only one piece of the puzzle to having a successful company. You must evaluate your customers and value their tastes, opinions, and most importantly their word of mouth. If used properly it can be leveraged into a powerful free marketing campaign to boost brand awareness but if utilized incorrectly it can be harmful.