5 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty

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Customer Loyalty
Customer Experience
Only 25 percent of customers feel "very loyal" to their preferred brands, according to Tim Suther, chief customer and strategy officer at Acxiom.

Only 25 percent of customers feel "very loyal" to their preferred brands, according to Tim Suther, chief customer and strategy officer at Acxiom. Worse, 25 percent feel no loyalty at all.

How can companies build customer loyalty in this time of customer promiscuity? During his presentation at Loyalty 360's Loyalty Expo 2012 this morning, Suther offered these five tips:
Cultivate your own proprietary insight. Companies have a wealth of data about their customers that their competitors don't have; they should use it to their advantage to build retention, loyalty, and new sales from existing customers.

Leverage the intersection of insights. Businesses should take their own customer data and integrate it with that of their partners to maximize the insights they can gain and use to communicate relevantly with customers in their preferred channels at the optimal time.

Think inside out. Understand customer value and apply it at the moment of truth: when customers are engaging with the brand. Do the same with the prospects who have attributes similar to most valuable customers.

And outside in. There is so much data available online. Don't just use it for online advertising. Use intent and other customer data gathered online to create and determine messaging and channel placement for communication with customers across other touchpoints.

Build trust and transparency. The most valuable customer information is often the most sensitive. Organizations have to balance what's best for company with what's best for their customers.

Suther said he was struck by the dichotomy of how little marketers are currently spending on retention, "yet we all know that it costs less to retain customers than to acquire them." Suther reminded attendees to spend more on retaining their existing customers, and to use data to better understand those customers, communicate with them with maximum relevance, and find prospects that look like best their customers.

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