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How to Increase Customer Loyalty

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Jill at SurveyAct - Enjoy!

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photo credit: SurveyAct

Customer satisfaction is the number one driving force behind developing loyal customers.  Gaining loyal customers is like striking gold!  This group of repeat customers converts easily, spends more, costs less to service and helps spread the word about their positive experiences.  According to data from Marketing Metrics, eConsultancy, and Adobe, loyal customers demonstrate conversion rates 5-9 times greater than first-time customers!

Not only are loyal customers “conversion-friendly” but also have the ability to generate additional business from a slew of new customers.  They are likely to be brand ambassadors and influence others to purchase from your company.  These days, word-of-mouth referrals are more prevalent because consumers are prone to sharing their opinions on public forums and social media websites.  And, did I mention that these referrals are free marketing?

Given this information about loyal customers, repeat customers are worth targeting. The challenge for merchants is earning repeat business. To meet this challenge, you must go directly to the source.

How do you develop more customer loyalty? Through the creation of customer satisfaction surveys!

Creating an anonymous online survey that asks customers to provide honest feedback about your brand will make them feel as though their business is important to you, and serve as a reference for how to increase customer satisfaction by identifying where your business needs attention and improvement.

Where to Start: Choose an online survey tool that is easy-to-use, yet includes advanced reporting methods which you to slice and dice the data you collect in many different ways.

What Types of Questions to Use: To ensure that users complete the full survey, keep most of your questions as easy to answer as possible by making them close-ended with a response rating scale.  For example create questions like:

“How do you feel about the quality of Product Widget?”

  • Extremely Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory
  • Neutral
  • Unsatisfactory
  • Extremely Unsatisfactory

What Should my Questions Address? Ask key questions that address the following key areas of your business:

  • Quality: How do your customers feel about the quality of your product?  Does it need improvement?
  • Customer Service:  Are customers satisfied with the support that they have received?
  • Pricing: Is your pricing competitive in the marketplace?  Does it match up with the quality of goods/services you sell?
  • Competition: How does your brand/product stack up to your competitors?
  • Brand experience:  How was the customer’s overall experience from beginning to end when?  Was the buying process easy and convenient?
  • Brand Perception:  Do your customer’s feel positive about your overall brand?

Lastly, ask at least one open-ended question so that customers can make suggestions that you might not have already though about.  For example:

  • “How can we improve our offerings to best suit your needs?”
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photo credit: SurveyAct

As long as your survey tool allows you to break down your analysis into percentages, it should be quick and easy to identify which parts of your business may be under performing.

If you want to delve even deeper into the analytics, filter results based on specific criteria.  Did many people answer that that they were unsatisfied with your pricing but also claim that your product is just as good as your competitors’?  This would be a clear sign that you are missing out on business solely because your competitors are undercutting your pricing. Slash costs and you may be on your way to an increase in volume of sales.

If you have multiple target markets that you’d like to break the data down by, be sure to ask a demographic question (i.e. “What is your gender”?).  When filtering by sex, you may find out that males and females have a difference in opinion about your business. You can then take this information and develop separate campaigns that address the issues of each market.

I’ve Made Changes and Developed Campaigns Addressing Improvements.  Now What?

If customers aren’t aware of your improvements, all of your research and hard work will be for nothing!  Go ahead and shout it from the rooftops.  Announce the changes you’ve made everywhere you can – through social media, your internal newsletter, your blog and if it is news-worthy create a press release and/or pitch it to specific media outlets.

Jill is an established entrepreneur and Marketing Strategist at the newly re-launched online survey tool startup SurveyAct, based in Long Island, NY.  When she is not strategizing and executing marketing plans, she is enjoying vegetarian food, playing tennis or writing poetry.  Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions regarding online surveys, marketing or whatever fits your fancy!

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