Think Customer Reward Programs are the Only Way to Build Customer Loyalty? Think Again.

By Emily Stanford

According to Forbes, “The primary threat to a business today is the perception by customers that all you offer is a replaceable, interchangeable commodity. This hazard stalks your every move: No matter how solid your business’s advantages may appear right now, whether they are advantages of technology, geography, or branding, eventually your business model is going to be knocked off. And, in this era of accelerating change, it will likely happen sooner than you think.”

So if customers aren’t so easily swayed by traditional business advantages such as price, how do you make sure customers stay put and don’t go running to competitors?

Gartner found that the number one attribute customers use to make decisions about products is the customer experience — in fact, many customers are willing to pay a premium for an exceptional customer experience. That means it’s time for businesses to stop treating service as an afterthought.

The first ingredient in customer loyalty starts with relationships — have you felt loyalty towards a faceless, personality-less company with whom you haven’t interacted? No. But as much as you may like to, chances are you don’t have the resources to go out and meet with each and every customer face-to-face.

That’s where a community comes in. A customer community delivers everything the modern customer expects, including:

  • The ability to find answers online
  • Collaboration with other customers
  • Incentives for their loyalty

But a community isn’t just a win for the customer, it’s a big win for the business as well. Companies with communities benefit in three big ways:

  • Gain a 360-degree view of each customer
  • Decrease in customer support cases
  • Ability to move at the speed of customers

How does a community deliver these benefits? You can learn more by downloading the free e-book, How to Build Customer Loyalty with a Customer Community.


Originally published at www.salesforce.com.

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