Long-term success

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 8 December 2023

This issue UK mailing service Washington Direct provides an insightful look at how tokeep a long-term consumer base happy.

shopper looking in a window Customer satisfaction is an integral part of business's ambitions if they wish to be a long-term success. Building a loyal customer base is important, but keeping those customers happy to ensure they will return in the future is essential as a business grows. Here, we look at how different brands can successfully maintain customer satisfaction, and how in some cases this has been refreshed to put a fresh spin on it.

Offer incentives and rewards to customers
Rewarding customers for their loyalty and for their purchases is nothing new, but the methods have changed in recent years. One example of a company that does this well is bakery chain Greggs. Greggs have evolved their loyalty system from a simple stamp card to a multifunctional app that rewards customers at the point of purchase, no matter what they buy. The app also allows customers top up a wallet to use the app to pay, as well as sending customers a free item on their birthday – a small but significant touch to show that a company is invested in their customer base. There is also the option of including a mailing service in your strategy, offering customers updates and incentives such as exclusive discounts or newsletters, making the customer feel they are getting something special and that their repeat custom is appreciated.

Delivering multichannel support
Customers like to have support available when they have problems and offering omnichannel support ensures a brand is locating itself exactly where the customers are, when they need it. It is not just about offering support and resolutions when things go wrong either – an 'always-on' presence on multiple platforms allows customers to be exposed to different areas of your business and increases the chances of them buying into your company ethos.

Respond to feedback and follow-up with customers
Customers appreciate feedback, and this doesn't just mean replying to negative comments or customer complaints. Of course, these are very important as you want to react to anything negative as soon as possible to minimise possible damage to reputation and to try and recover the customer satisfaction. This can be done in various ways including social media accounts resolving issues, customer service lines and phone numbers, or even done using AI and chat bots for smaller issues. It is also important to respond and engage with positive feedback. Replying to a good review or a good social media post about the company creates a human element to the organisation and helps the individual feel that they are not just one of many customers that are quickly forgotten about.

Regularly measure customer satisfaction
Measuring the satisfaction of customers is something that can help you as a business moving forward. It enables you to act if there are any issues and improve the levels of customer satisfaction. This could include issues with customer service or a lack of satisfaction with a product or service that is on offer – dealing with this boosts the chances of having satisfied customers further down the line. Social media polls or surveys, as well as the option to offer feedback at the point of purchase can help an organisation measure how happy customers are with what they are offering. Incentives such as a prize draw for those offering feedback, can result in a larger percentage of engagement, and therefore a larger and more accurate sample size.

Include the customer in the company ethos
Good brands go down the route of incorporating customers' photos and social media posts into their marketing strategy and activity in order to make a customer feel valued and appreciated. A good example of a company that does this is organic clothing company, Lucy & Yak. The company introduced the Instagram incentive "#inmyyaks" encouraging customers to post pictures of themselves wearing their purchases. This not only creates a community of like-minded people to share photos and experiences, but Lucy & Yak also utilise some of the uploaded photos on their social media platforms, earning the customer a £25 voucher for their online store. This is a great way of engaging with the customer, encouraging repeat custom, and making the individual feel valued.

Customer satisfaction and retention is vital to a business and their success moving forward. There are various steps you can take as a business to make sure you have satisfied customers, and of course, like everything, some require more input - financially or otherwise - than others. A combination of responding to customer feedback on comments on multiple channels, rewarding customer loyalty, and just showing that a customer is more than just a customer to you, will go a long way to creating and maintaining a satisfied and loyal customer base.


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