While all of us like a good bargain, we also like to feel nurtured and loved. If we’re not, we are likely to move from brand to brand (“Keeping ’em keen”, MW last week). Maintaining customer loyalty is, therefore, one of the greatest challenges facing today’s marketers.
Of course, customer acquisition is important, and many marketers are under huge pressure to focus on this rather than retention marketing. But relationships need nurturing, not last-ditch attempts to retain disgruntled customers as they threaten to leave.
Today’s consumers are overwhelmed by choice and are well aware of their buying power. Marketers, therefore, have to go that one step further to keep them, providing excellent customer service, communication, and strong brand attributes.
Lasting relationships can be built with regular contact. Marketers often mistakenly insist on hard-selling every time. Getting a response isn’t always necessary – it’s sometimes enough just to let them know you’re thinking about them. Sure, there should be the opportunity for them to respond, but that’s the difference between empowering customers and, well, pissing them off.