Customer loyalty is something companies must earn; it’s not an add-on program you can implement and expect to succeed without being thoughtful about its strategy. Most companies continuously scour the latest customer research, seeking ways to improve loyalty through increased customer engagement—by phone, email, social media, or an app alert. However, despite all the hours and money invested, these efforts can easily fall flat if what you're communicating offers little value to your customers. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), building loyalty requires consistent, personalized customer-focused experiences across all touch points. By focusing on providing experiences across all touch points that customers perceive as valuable, you improve engagement and the overall relationship.
HBR’s Elements of Value Pyramid suggests that companies need to offer consumers products and services that will be perceived by their target audience as:
- having a social impact—helping others,
- being life-changing—optimistic motivation,
- connecting on an emotional level—has therapeutic value, and
- meeting functional needs.
Following the Customer Research Pyramid Guidelines
Companies offering products and services that incorporate these elements are the most likely to be perceived as authentic by customers and successfully increase engagement. It’s never just about addressing one valued need. For example, a recent customer research study from Forrester reported identity theft as a top concern in a customer’s journey with a brand. The March 28, 2017 privacy ruling for US telecoms and web browsing data has increased consumer uneasiness and 91% of Americans feel they have lost control of their data. Companies can acknowledge this concern by providing products and services that deliver assistance and peace of mind, demonstrating a commitment to protecting their customers’ personal data. Reducing your customers’ risk of “losing control of their data” can have a positive social, life-changing, emotional, and functional impact.
But offering a product to reduce your customers’ data breach risk alone will not create greater customer loyalty. Without communicating how you value the social impact of helping to protect privacy by providing your customers with cyber risk mitigation tips—your company misses the more critical elements customers need to see in order to perceive the service as an authentic attempt to address their concerns. The more elements of the value pyramid a company’s services provide to a customer, the higher chance of customer loyalty—and higher sustained revenue growth for your company.
Authentically Weave Value Elements into Each Touchpoint
According to recent customer research from Forrester, while consumers interact across numerous touch points, there is a desire for interpersonal interaction, especially in an increasingly digital world with less face-to-face interaction. So how do you weave customer-perceived value elements into each touch point authentically to improve engagement and build loyalty? Here are some tips:
- Showcase your values through a customer-service centric company culture that also invests in its employees. Deciding which customer segment to align your company’s values with is difficult. But in the age of the customer, creating a customer service-centric company culture that also respects your employees has universal value and appeal. By communicating to your customers that your company values its employees all while being highly committed to quality customer service, you promote overall wellbeing. This can be a powerful approach to increasing quality customer engagement. For example, at Generali Global Assistance (GGA) we firmly believe that happy team members leads to happier customers—which is why we commit to putting both at the heart of everything we do. When employees and partners are happy, their dedication to customer service is genuine and translates to authentic customer engagement.
- Educate your customers with valuable information and storytelling that align with their values. Provide useful content that reveals your company’s social impact, but also motivates and enhances wellness—all while offering functional solutions to your customers’ problems. At GGA, we do this by investing in a lot of research about what our audience finds helpful and publishing content about trending topics they’re interested in. We also send our customers a monthly identity theft risk alert email that goes beyond providing critical risk alerts, but also provides fraud mitigation tips that continues to remind them that we are dedicated to helping them prevent identity theft.
- Assist your customers by identifying problems or tasks that frustrate them the most, and then offer to resolve them on their behalf. In the HBR’s Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”, they highlight a company who didn’t see an increase in sales until they added personalized services for their targeted customers. Being a leader in the identity protection industry for almost 15 years, we know how time-consuming, frustrating, and even scary resolving identity theft and fraud cases can be. That’s why we go beyond simply offering credit and identity monitoring, alerts, and prevention services—we provide full-service resolution. Our four Stevie Customer Service Awards, including our most recent international Gold Award, show that our personalized approach to protection and resolution is a valued service.
At Generali Global Assistance, we have over 30 years of assistance experience and understand that personalized services and products can add value to the customer journey. Build stronger customer loyalty and retention with people-first services and engagements that your customers will recognize as authentic. To learn more about building loyalty with value-added services, sign up for our email updates.