Make It Easy to Increase Customer Loyalty in Tough Economic Times

Between a global pandemic, disrupted supply chains and labor shortages, businesses across all industries and regions have been facing unprecedented challenges.

The mounting effects of this pressure, however, are now beginning to destabilize the overall economy, first seen in the recent rise of inflation and now amid emerging fears of a recession.

Experts agree the economy could be in trouble, with some predicting a recession is inevitable. While the full extent of this economic situation is difficult to predict, it emphasizes the uncertainty in the world. Companies need to prepare for anything to keep their customers satisfied.

Keeping customers happy, even if things feel bleak, creates customer loyalty. And that can pay dividends for a brand. Loyal customers often will support a company through an economic downturn. According to Harvard Business Review, “loyalty leaders,” or those companies with top satisfaction ratings for three or more years, grow revenues roughly 2.5X as fast as industry peers.

Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Businesses in a recession shouldn’t necessarily or exclusively focus on growth. Instead, they should work harder toward building and maintaining customer loyalty, especially through the contact center.

Investing in customer loyalty provides greater stability during downturns and helps companies reap greater returns once the economy improves.

No matter the circumstances, customer loyalty must be earned and maintained. Doing this has always been challenging for call centers. Now it’s even more difficult as consumer expectations shift, technologies evolve at a rapid pace and compliance requirements become more restrictive.

At its core, customer loyalty is based on the value of the customer experience (CX) you provide. That means it is imperative that companies implement best practices to ensure they provide a consistent and great customer experience every time.

7 best practices ebook

Learn how to build trust and retain customers

Knowing Your Customer Is Good ROI

To rise to these challenges, businesses must focus on areas they can control, including the experiences they deliver. Doing so gives customers good reasons to return.

Without an exceptional customer experience, people rarely give a second thought to taking their business elsewhere. But when consumers feel they’ve had a personalized experience, more than 80% said they’d purchase additional items, recommend the company to a friend and purchase repeat items, shows “The state of customer experience” report.

To create the customer experience that cultivates customer loyalty, you need to know how to reach — and retain — consumers.

The first step here is to understand and know the needs, preferences and behaviors of your customers and prospects. According to the same Genesys report, nine out of 10 consumers said the most important factor is being listened to — and having an agent understand their goals.

An omnichannel strategy, for example, goes a long way to both collecting and leveraging customer data to continuously refine and improve CX. Innovative in-market tools and digital platforms are widely available to support this approach.

These tools can also help you meet compliance requirements on every channel you use. Understanding how your business engages with people to meet their needs is crucial if you want to get to the heart of customer loyalty: trust.

Building and Keeping Customer Trust

Customer loyalty is based on trust, which can only be nurtured and maintained by truly knowing who your customers are and how they want to engage with your business. Using assisted proactive engagement can help build that trust. It lets customers discover who you are on their own — and then they can decide when escalation is required, at the time and on the channel they want.

To deliver on the promise of an exceptional customer experience that fosters trust, the right CX strategy needs the right tools. Automate ones are especially powerful for reliably engaging customers by first anticipating their needs and then adapting as those needs evolve.

Meeting customers where they are demonstrates that you care about them and creates a positive experience that fosters trust.

Identifying Your Customer Loyalty Best Practices

With so many factors threatening your business’ health, you can’t take your eyes off the CX prize. Customer experience is the nexus through which you can improve wider business outcomes. You need to make CX your focus. And according to our study, businesses are prioritizing CX at the board level. More than half (58%) of CX leaders surveyed report to the Executive board or CEO. And

Contact centers need field-tested customer experience best practices designed to bring the most out of the digital experiences you deliver. These strategies can help you build and develop the trust that leads to lifelong loyalty. In other words, they’re the foundation you need to see you through good — and bad — economic times.

Learn how to elevate your CX. Register for the upcoming webinar. And read our ebook, “Seven best practices for customer loyalty.”