With all of the different terminology out there, it can be hard to figure out what people really mean when they discuss the customer experience. “Loyalty” and “appreciation” sound close enough to be the same thing, right? Well, we’re here to break it all down and explain what these terms really mean. Because no, they’re not all the same. And when understood and applied correctly, you can go above and beyond to improve the customer experience provided by your company.
Companies too often think that they can simply build a rewards program and customers will pledge their loyalty. But building and sustaining loyalty is a two-way street; part exchange of value, part emotional experience. Customers should feel compelled to stay in a relationship with a brand – hence the emergence of loyalty programs, which are really a way for companies to show their commitment to customers (check out our series on Kitewheel’s study here). Customers need a reason why they should choose your brand, and your program, over another. Provide them with the motivation to choose you.
When businesses go above and beyond to make their customers feel special, this is known as customer appreciation. When this happens, customers are more likely to spread the word about their positive experience. Businesses should always be appreciative of their customers – but oftentimes it’s hard to show it. The Main Edge offers a few solutions: grant special access to products and services, give gifts “just because,” and most importantly, listen to your customers.
“Customer engagement doesn’t just happen by accident,” states The Huffington Post, “successful customer engagement is all about experiences that deliver in relevant ways, in real-time, and in a responsible manner.” It’s about delivering effective 1:1 interactions. Most importantly, engagement is a matter of understanding the various different channels upon which you can engage your customers – on social media, through reviews, or by creating content – and choosing the best solution for your business.
The bottom line: Attracting new customers is far more expensive than retaining current ones. So why do most marketers still spend their time and money on acquisition rather than retention? By implementing loyalty, appreciation, and engagement strategies into your business you can build longer lasting relationships that will help your business thrive through referrals and returning customers.
At eTrove, we help dental and orthodontic practices connect with and show their patients appreciation. Our mobile platform makes it easy for patients to redeem rewards and make referrals, all in one convenient location. With eTrove, companies can get a better understanding of the needs of their patients and adjust their practices accordingly.
Image Credit: Ryan McGuire / CC0 1.0