Seven ways to build customer loyalty

Imagine you are walking down a dim alleyway. You see graffiti on the walls and you hear someone whispering. Your subconscious tells you something’s not right, and you feel an urge to flee. You turn around and leave as quickly as you can. 

Subconscious and psychological factors are driving your behavior in this situation. Customer experience is really no different. In fact, emotions make up more than 50% of a customer’s experience. Yet most organizations ignore this and look only at the rational side of things, such as price, reliability, and delivery speed. 

To take their customer experiences to a level that will drive additional value, organizations must think about customers differently, focusing on identifying, influencing, and measuring emotions. We discussed this in a recent webinar by Freshworks titled ‘How consumer emotions impact customer loyalty with Colin Shaw, the founder of Beyond Philosophy. 

There are seven key questions to answer, in order to be able to gain customer loyalty.

How are your customers feeling today?

Customers won’t always tell you what they really think. For example, I recently went out to dinner with my wife. The server delivered my food, and honestly it wasn’t very good. But when he came by to ask how things were, I said, “Fine.” So, to understand your customers’ true feelings, you have to dig below the surface of what they are telling you.

What feelings are you trying to evoke in your customers?

If you don’t know or haven’t decided, you’re leaving more than 50% of your customer experience to chance. In research with the London Business School, we discovered that there are clusters of emotions that either drive or destroy value.  

Aim to avoid emotions in the destroying cluster( like irritated, neglected and stressed) and cultivate the ones in the recommendation and advocacy cluster ( like pleased, valued, cared for and trusting).. These are the emotions that drive loyalty and longer-term value.

Which emotions drive value for you?

Think of it this way: you do things to your customers. You send them offers, you speak with them on the phone, you help them find items in a store. Your actions make your customers feel something, even if they don’t tell you what it is.  You need to take a look at what you are doing, how it makes your customers feel, and the effect on value for your organization. 

Have you designed your experience strategy to reflect these emotions?

Journey mapping is a good way to design a customer experience, but most journey mapping looks only at the rational elements of the experience. I believe you must map an experience that looks at the specific emotions created at each stage of the journey. 

Do you measure customer experience?

Measurement is critical, but few organizations do it. Measurement starts with knowing what emotion you are trying to evoke, what that emotion means, and what actions you are taking to get there. You then have to measure the effectiveness of your initiatives.

Have you trained your front-line people?

When I walk in my front door, I can tell immediately how my wife is feeling. It’s in her body language, her facial expression, what she says and how she says it. You can train your front-line people to do the same thing to understand what customers feel and to respond in a way that moves the customer toward the emotion you desire.

Are you building memories?

Customers have two experiences. There’s the one they’re having in the moment, and there’s the memory of experiences in the past. It’s these memories that lead to customer loyalty. And, not surprisingly, emotions are a big part of any memory—especially the peak and final emotions a customer feels.

Learn more about driving customer loyalty through engagement and customer experience at the Freshworks Experience Roadshow. The roadshow, which will feature insightful talks and discussions on how to build delightful customer experiences at scale, will start on October 1 and go on till October 31 across 10 European cities. Register today!