What Drives Customers Loyalty? (Hint: It’s Not Price)
The smallest gestures by frontline employees can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and the decision to buy again and again.
I was reminded of this when purchasing clothing at a department store recently. Upon bringing my items to the register, the kind woman asked questions about my day and overall shopping experience. I was surprised by our first interaction as warm greetings don’t happen frequently enough.
Besides a pleasant dialogue when first meeting, my experience got even better. The lady scanned each item and noticed that none of the clothes were on sale. She asked me if I had any promotional offers but unfortunately, I did not. She proceeded to explain that customers who have their store credit card receive discounts, and offered me the option to sign up for immediate savings. I declined and was prepared to pay full price for the items.
At that moment, the woman reached into her drawer and took out a coupon to apply to my purchase. She saved me $25. Although it was not a significant amount of money, it was a highly satisfying moment. I did not expect her to provide me any discount especially since I declined the credit card offer.
I thanked the woman twice and told her how much I appreciated my purchase experience ALL BECAUSE OF HER. I continue to be a loyal customer and tell others to buy from the store because of one person who INTENTIONALLY went up and beyond for me.
Customer Loyalty Lessons:
- Empower frontline employees. They impact customer experiences a lot! Support your staff to do what’s right for customers without having to ask management permission for every detail. Recognizing employees who create exceptional experiences is essential too. When employees are happy, customers see and feel it. Here’s a perfect example to demonstrate my point.
- Do the basics right. The mere act of employees saying “hello” and good-bye” is an easy way to delight customers and leave a lasting impression. I especially love when company owners / CEOs greet customers. (Read my Woodloch story).
- Make it EASY to buy. “More than half (52%) of online buyers said they stopped shopping on a brand website due to bad site experiences.” (Merkle study). I highly recommend conducting user testing with real customers in the pre and post-launch stages, and measuring “level of effort” as part of your CX practice. NPS is useful but even more so when combined with other metrics.
- Focus on creating great experiences from onboarding to transaction completion. “66% of consumers care more about the experience than price when making a brand decision. And, they are looking for long-term, connected experiences that are as EFFICIENT as they are enjoyable.”
Which brands excel at creating customer loyalty?
I’m interested in hearing examples of when a company employee went above and beyond to make your buying experience a memorable one. How did you feel?
Did you purchase again because of that experience, even when you could buy somewhere else for a better price?