In times of increasing digitalization and fast-paced life, many entrepreneurs are faced with the question of adequate customer loyalty measures that meet these needs and can fulfill the increased demands of modern customers. In order to retain customers in the long term and not lose them to the competition, a constant adjustment is necessary. Modern companies have to face new challenges again and again. Customer loyalty measures for companies that use a business model in which recurring revenues are generated within the framework of a license model are of particular importance.
Definition: Customer Loyalty
The aim of customer loyalty is to create a positive relationship between the customer and the company. However, this does not only mean that the customer should be retained. Through measures on the part of the entrepreneur, an attempt is made to strengthen the loyalty of customers and companies, so that possible follow-up orders can arise. It is particularly important for entrepreneurs to know the behavior of their customers as precisely as possible. In principle, customer loyalty measures are aimed at current customers.
Customer loyalty measures - various strategies
The loyalty strategy aims to ensure that an existing customer feels a sense of loyalty to the company and that no change to a competitor is possible due to this loyalty. This measure is based on an emotional bond between the customer and the company, which can be achieved particularly through marketing campaigns such as customer cards, newsletters or advertising games. The customer's loyalty to the company is thus based on his satisfaction and his free decision to remain a customer. How quickly this customer loyalty measure takes effect depends on the psychological nature of the customer.
A second possibility to bind customers is the lock in strategy. Here a change to the competition should be made more difficult or even impossible for the customer by obstacles. A distinction is made here between situational, economic, legal and technical-functional barriers to change. The customer is thus bound to the company and is not completely free to decide, for example, once he has decided to use a certain IT system in the company. In contrast to the loyalty strategy, this measure takes effect immediately, but can also lead to customer dissatisfaction in the long term. Companies that attach importance to long-term customer loyalty therefore tend to focus on the loyalty strategy.
Modern customer loyalty - the measures
Through the internet the customer has numerous possibilities to compare prices and find new suppliers. Many customers inform themselves again and again from purchase to purchase, which makes it still more difficult to maintain existing customers. This makes it all more important for the company to remain interesting. Here for example the use of digital services plays a large role, particularly within the range of the solidarity strategy. Whether it is the possibility of a chat function or the uncomplicated establishment of contact, which guarantees the customers fast assistance or a digitally dispatched newsletter, which explains the use of the own product by a high-quality production with explanation videos and is not only advertising, it all should be important to your company.
Kundenbindungsmaßnahmen für eine Verbundenheitsstrategie
In addition, a company must, if possible, check the use of its own products. It is important that useful data material is made available to the customer success manager or the marketing department. Is my service or my software being used at all? Can I see whether there are any usability problems if customers always stop at the same point and prefer to switch to a tool? Was a feature possibly not understood correctly, so that a training would be helpful? The customer can be approached proactively in order to eliminate possible problems together with him.
Other possibilities of a customer loyalty strategy are:
- Discount campaigns for recurring orders
- Christmas gifts
- Loyalty campaigns for long-standing customers
- Free content with high utility value: Build a community with topics on a specific subject
- Communication with customers via social media
- Invitations to trade fairs to discuss extensions to our own products or services
- Feedback form with transparent presentation of the feature request received and their planned implementation
- A generally high level of transparency with regard to the further development of our own products
- Proactively address customers when problems have been identified in using your own product
The possibility to establish a transparent and proactive communication with the customers, mixed with attention on special occasions or with a high customer loyalty are important for a modern customer loyalty program and should be considered in every company. This applies in particular to the B2B market, where recurring sales and customers are particularly important.