Big data technology has played a very big role in solving many business challenges. LinkedIn released a report last year on the benefits of using predictive analytics and other data technology for branding. However, some of the lessons big data has unveiled are far from surprising. Predictive analytics data has helped brands understand the secrets to boosting customer loyalty. But they are not very surprising.
What Five Years of Predictive Analytics Teaches About Customer Loyalty
Brand authenticity is essential to the success of any business. Without an authentic reputation to stand behind, you’ll find that generating new customers is just as difficult as keeping your old ones. Customer loyalty means customers will choose your brand first over the competition. Customer loyalty doesn’t come easy, however. Fortunately, predictive analytics data from some of the nation’s leading brands have helped us get some better insights. Here are some of them. You should already know the answers though.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
When it comes to running a successful business, honesty truly is the best policy. When you’re honest with your customers, it serves as a reflection of how you view them. Sometimes brands forget that their customer base is made up of people. What has predictive analytics data shown about customer loyalty? It has shown that honesty is more important than anything else. People want honesty. Being lied to or led on isn’t good for any relationship, let alone a customer relationship. Be honest and forthcoming with your customers about policies, your company values, and during those times you simply can’t deliver what was promised. A missed deadline may seem like the end of the world, but if you’re honest with your customers about it (and it doesn’t happen all the time) they will likely be very understanding of the circumstances, and much more appreciative of the honesty than if you’d simply not delivered what was promised.
A brand’s image isn’t the only thing that determines its authenticity. You need to have quality products to stand behind to keep customers loyal to your brand. A quality product is one that is decently priced, and successfully solves a problem that your customer has. Big data has helped us get a better understanding of customer priorities when making a purchase. It has also made it easier for them to predict the products they will want in the future. A report from McKinsey shows that big data will be vital to product development in the near future. If you’re selling clothing, you want to be known for quality materials and prices that make your brand stand out. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying money for a product that malfunctions or doesn’t hold up for more than a month. The good news is that predictive analytics is helping improve product development. Brands that utilize quality materials in their products and have a great customer service team to back up those products generally have higher customer loyalty. If there are any problems with your product, it’s important to have a dedicated team to stand behind it and offer support to your customers. Higher quality products also mean fewer returns, and therefore more money in the company’s pocket. You can expect a higher customer satisfaction rate when what they buy doesn’t need to be returned to the store. The inconvenience of having to return to the store adds insult to injury.
Consistency Is Key
When you’re learning how to be an authentic brand, simply being honest and delivering high-quality products isn’t quite enough. You need to be consistent in these endeavors, delivering on your promises and standing behind your products every time. Without consistency, you end up with a choppy message, often confusing the customer. Remember that a confused customer usually becomes an irritated one, and this can lead to disengagement with your brand. Your employees are a huge part of consistency. Ensuring that everyone is familiar with the brand’s values & message will help in maintaining consistency. Your employees are the front line of customer satisfaction, and a huge factor in keeping up the brand’s image. Predictive analytics has shown that consistency is also very important. It has shown that customers will be far more likely to purchase from a brand that shows consistency.
It’s Not What You Say, But…
We’ve all met people (or businesses) who talk for days about all of the things they’re going to do or make promises we know they don’t intend to keep. When you talk up something, you generate buzz, which is great…until you don’t deliver. It’s best to keep the talk to a minimum when you’re working on authenticity, and instead let your brand be judged by the weight of its actions rather than its words. You can make promises and say all kinds of great things, but at the end of the day, the customers want to see results. This goes hand in hand with being honest with your customers. Saying something nice to smooth things over doesn’t necessarily hold any value if your actions can’t back up the words. It makes you look phony or disingenuous.
Interact With Your Customers
If you want to improve your customer loyalty, you need to start with the customers. Interacting with customers can give you valuable insight into their wants, needs, and how your brand is performing to meet those requirements. For example, a post-purchase survey is an effective way to communicate with the customers and receive genuine feedback on their experience with you. You can ask things like:
- “Did you feel as though all of your needs met today?”
- “Is there anything you’d like to see changed or improved?”.
Don’t forget to address your social media accounts, either. This is one of the top ways that businesses interact with their customer base, and social media can have a major impact on your brand’s success. Pay attention to ratings, comments, and messages to the company page. Stay updated with your customers and what they’re saying about the brand, and address any negative patterns you see. If you’re constantly getting complaints about the products, it’s probably time to take a look at why the customers aren’t happy with them.
Customer Loyalty Is A Friendship
A good way to look at your customer relationships is like a friendship. Most of us wouldn’t lie to our friends, or not make good on our promises to people we care about. Your customers should be no different. If you’re charging a fee for a product or service, there’s a certain expectation that comes along with someone handing over their hard-earned money. The customer expects honesty, respect, and human interaction with their favorite brands. Always be upfront and honest, and stay consistent in it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and when problems arise, be transparent with your customers to foster that all-important trust.
Predictive Analytics Says What We Should Already Know About Branding
Sometimes, predictive analytics yields some fascinating insights for businesses. Other times, big data tells us what we should already know. The data here shows what we should do to create better customer service and branding strategies.