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Satisfactions vs Loyalty: How to turn customers into promoters

Satisfactions vs Loyalty: How to turn customers into promoters

Satisfaction vs Loyalty: How to turn customers into promoters
Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce

Maybe you've heard the value of word-of-mouth advertising; according to Nielsen ratings, 92% of consumers trust their friends' and family's recommendation over traditional advertising. That doesn't mean you can simply sit back and assume that the quality of your product is so much better than your competition's that customers will be raving about it to their friends without any extra effort on your part.

We want you to get the answers you need to the questions that will grow your business. How can you turn satisfied customers into loyal repeat visitors? How can you get customers to become promoters, so impressed with their experience with your product or service that they can't wait to tell everyone they know? The answer is a little trick called customer engagement.

Increasing Customer Engagement

For hospitality businesses like hotels and sit-down restaurants, it's easier to craft a lasting user experience because your guests spend more time in your establishment. For people who own retail stores and quick-service restaurants, however, it's a little more complicated.

Your customers only spend a little time interacting with your business, no more or less than they do with your competitors, so customer engagement turns into a war for the attention of patrons whose time in your location is fleeting at best. It's one thing to make a purchase that you're satisfied with — it's a whole other ballpark when trying to create a lasting impression.

That's why customer experience matters so much. And for businesses that don't have the advantage of having their customers' full attention, creativity is key to creating a lasting experience without actually getting to spend significant time with the customer in question. This could come in the form of a social media post that gets your customers to engage with you, or an event that piques their interest like a bargain hunt or organizing a make-and-take a Christmas ornament event. Offer coupons or the Chamber’s Hot Deals to customers to encourage more local spending. These simple gestures make the customers feel special and can easily be implemented into your current checkout process with little to no effort.

How Much Does User Experience Matter?

This theory is far from unfounded. According to a study from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 80% of consumers said they would pay more for a better experience. This means engaging with customers in and outside of your brick & mortar establishment, creating a friendly interaction between your brand and your customers.

Take Chik-fil-A, for example. When the chicken chain first opened, the founder had a firm idea of what he wanted the experience of the restaurant's guests to be. Every cashier says something like "my pleasure" or "have a nice day". People crave this type of friendly encounter with customer service pros and will go out of their way to get it. When you are training your staff, don’t overlook the importance of soft skills like engaging with customers with a smile, in person or over the phone. Educate your frontline on all the different activities, shops and museums our area has to offer as suggestions for entertainment when asked – it leaves a positive impression with your customers, making them more likely to visit again.

But what about when customers aren't in the physical confines of your store? Then it pays to use digital marketing tactics that give your brand a personality. Make sure your company’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all other social media accounts are interacting with people in a positive way, whether you're responding to requests, complaints or about promotions your business is running. A simple boost to your highly most engaging posts can help to grow your audience more quickly. Personalize your emails with a survey that shows that your brand truly wants to get to know the customer and their tastes.

The Bottom Line

When you become more than just a faceless brand, and something like a helpful companion, dare we say even a friend, to your customers, that's when they'll be inclined to recommend you to their peers, friends, and family. That's the process of turning a customer into a loyal promoter.

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