The Evolution of Customer Loyalty: It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

It’s not easy to establish customer loyalty. It takes the effort of laying the foundation for a sturdy house brick by brick; it requires the commitment of painting a masterpiece one patient brush stroke at a time. If you’re looking to bolster brand loyalty, here’s one clue for you: Your customers want multi-channel integration. In fact, almost half (49 percent) of U.S. consumers in a recent study say that integrating store, online and mobile shopping experiences are the areas that retailers need to hone in on the most to get them coming back.

At a loss of where to start? An easy way to identify what builds customer loyalty is to think back on what draws you in the most as a customer. Is it an insanely captivating subject line in an e-mail campaign? How about a shockingly easy-to-use mobile app? Imagine you run a health and cosmetics company. Let’s take a look at how one customer (let’s call her Jane) begins to trust your business and, thanks to your seamless multi-channel service, becomes completely loyal to your brand.

It all starts when Jane is talking with her friend about how she’s on the hunt for a product that can help strengthen her hair. Her friend tells her about how she loves your company’s unique, handmade products and how there’s nothing else like them. Because 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertisements, Jane decides to give it a try.

First, Jane hops onto your website and does some exploring. It doesn’t take long for her to get hooked on a new hair repairing cream; however, it’s showing that the item is currently out of stock. She could call your customer service center and ask for more details, but she instead decides to check your company out on social media in the hopes of getting a quicker response.

With the click of a few buttons, she sees that your company has a Twitter account – and a very active one at that, boasting a healthy community of followers. Even better, she notices that your Twitter account responds to customers within an hour of being posted. Seeing how 42 percent of consumers who address companies via social media expect a 60 minute response time, Jane is becoming increasingly impressed.

 Jane inquires about when the hair repairing cream will be available again online. Not only does she get an answer within the hour, but she’s inspired to check out your nearest store (and falls in love with the staff), is introduced to your awesome mobile app and your advanced, social call center software is able to queue Jane based on the fact that she mentioned your Twitter account. It’s a win for all.

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