Personal Connections Drive Customer Loyalty
Leading brands understand the value that customer loyalty provides. Each individual company’s goals can vary depending on the product and industry. That said, many overlapping benefits of customer loyalty include sales increases, referrals, conversion rates, forecasting accuracy, and price insensitivity.
Determining the factors that drive customer loyalty is more complex and can greatly depend on your industry and business. Larry Alton breaks it down in a different way in his Entrepreneur article: The Five Emotions that Drive Customer Loyalty.
This framework can be applied across most businesses and I’ve summarized them below:
- Surprise: Special unexpected moments can go a long way in your customer’s eyes, especially at the start of the relationship
- Familiarity: Make your brand approachable to your customers
- Relief: If something goes wrong, apologize
- Gratitude: Thank your customers and exceed their expectations
- Belonging: Make your customers feel they’re a part of your brand, not an outsider
The theme to take away that applies to all levels of this framework is creating personal connections with your customers. The less stagnant the relationship, and more human the relationship feels, the more likely it will result in receiving your customer’s loyalty.
Several years ago I had a colleague that traveled a lot for business. He was traveling to Boston and staying at a new hotel. While enroute to Boston he shared on Social Media that he hopes to check out a new show and eat as his favorite restaurant in town. When he arrived at his hotel room, the manager had placed two tickets to the show on his bed and made him a reservation at the restaurant he was hoping to get into. I doubt my colleague would think about staying anywhere else in Boston after that experience. That managers actions hit on several of the emotions outlined above.
Philanthropy is Personal
Philanthropy often acts as a direct reflection of an individual’s emotions. In fact, DoTopia’s Founder and CEO, Billy Weisman, likes to equate it to art. DoTopia drives customer loyalty by engaging your customer’s emotions through individual acts of philanthropy.
We do so by utilizing our own philanthropic currency, DoDollars, which enable brands to engage with their customers by supporting the non-profit causes they care about – creating a direct personal connection.
We know the best brands already donate to charity, but most are missing out on the emotionally enhancing opportunity to extend giving to their customers which will in turn drive customer loyalty.