Small effort, big impact steps to create lasting customer loyalty.
Cultivating brand loyalty is an independent effort and solely marketing your service/product alone won’t cut it. But what does it mean for a customer to be “loyal” to your brand? Brand loyalty, as a definition, describes the tendency of consumers to continue buying the same brand of services/products over other competitors.
For healthcare, telecommunications, finance, and utilities companies, there are opportunities for customers to be loyal to both your products/services (by expanding their engagement with you) and your brand (by staying with you instead of your competitors). This encompasses brand loyalty.
Not only is brand loyalty becoming a greater priority for brands, but customers are more likely to describe themselves as “loyal” to a brand. According to a 2019 Yotpo survey of over 2,000 consumers, nearly 9 of 10 professed loyalty to brands, a 27.9% uptick from the year prior. One explanation for this uptick is the efforts of brands to nurture customer relationships.
And it’s a good thing too, since the results of brand loyalty can be seen through these
Customer experience automation—or the technology that helps customers with simple tasks and communications—is an easy, yet powerful way to improve customer interactions and foster brand loyalty.
The Influence of Customer Experience Automation
Customer experience automation both boosts efficiency for your teams and gathers important data to position you to make better decisions for your operations. Introducing automation tactics touches several different aspects of your organization’s ability to retain, engage, and attract customers.
1. Implement company listening
Listening and understanding customer needs will deepen brand loyalty, so long as you’re acting on those needs. Customer service representatives and customer care teams are the best listeners on the team; however, automation solutions can help them understand customers and make changes more efficiently. Tools like SkyCreek Surveys enable customer care teams to make listening an automated task.
2. Know contact preferences
Knowing and following customer contact preferences are an easy and effective way to showcase superior customer service. Brand loyalty is reinforced through contact preferences by meeting customers where they are and in the way they choose. Choose a solution that can handle multichannel communications for each customer’s preferred method.
3. Review feedback
If 80% of customers gradually gain loyalty for a brand over time, that means reviewing and analyzing customer feedback also has to be a long-term effort. One-off customer experiences should not always be assessed in a silo. Review feedback in the larger context of the entire customer journey.
4. Improve ease of use
One of the main selling points of automation is ease of use. Automation makes life easier—both for your employees and your customers—especially when it comes to an automated appointment reminder/confirmation system, service updates, and other need-to-know information that can be delivered quickly and conveniently.
5. Identify leads
Letting a lead go cold is frustrating for your sales team. With customer experience automation, you can count on tools to do the necessary engagement and tracking, giving your sales team time to catch up, do their research, and follow up with a personal approach.
6. Measure responses
Real-time results—not just feedback—can do wonders for your customer engagement strategy. The right automation tool gives you access to how interactions are being perceived by your customers and allows you to make quick adjustments.
7. Personalize experiences
Brand loyalty isn’t just about catering to customers. It also encompasses representing your brand on all communications and within all interactions. Choose an automation tool that allows you to personalize experiences not only to your customers but for your organization and the way you market.
8. Outdo competitors
By implementing customer experience automation solutions that make processes easier for customers and employees, your organization can stay a cut above the competition. Continue to prove to your customers that they’re in the best hands and prolong their brand loyalty for years to come.
9. Support employees
As customer satisfaction demands grow, the pressure on employees to retain, engage, and attract customers is staggering. With customer experience automation, redundant tasks are handled by technology, freeing up your employees to focus on more ROI-driven efforts.
10. Speed up support
There’s nothing worse for a customer to wait when tensions are high and service is subpar. 90% of customers rate an immediate response (30 minutes or less) as important or very important when they have support questions. Automation puts them in the queue and can even address certain issues before they ever get to customer support.
11. Adopt proactivity
At SkyCreek, our philosophy is that customers should be contacted at the right time, using the right channel, with the right message. For industries with complex customer service needs, the “right time” can be difficult to pinpoint. But being proactive with an automated appointment reminder/confirmation system, or text marketing campaigns create incredible value for companies to alleviate errors and engage customers before questions arise.
12. Understand the customer journey
Customer experience automation allows you to see the path customers take to receive and use your service/product and the obstacles that stand in their way. With a holistic approach to automating their experiences, brands nurture loyalty to ensure customers take the most seamless path possible.
Ways to Implement Customer Experience Automation
Customer service technology achieves a great deal for organizations today, especially for healthcare, telecommunications, finance, and utilities companies. From a simple automated appointment confirmation system to complex surveys, automation can help your teams improve efficiency, empower changes, and generate results.
When it comes to choosing the right solution for your organization, don’t just focus on the automation features, but also on whether it will sufficiently meet the unique needs of your customer base.
- Appointment reminder system
- Appointment confirmation system
- Text marketing campaigns
- Follow-up surveys
- Outbound calls and messages
- Website chatbots
- Phone routing
- Ticket/case prioritization
- Email marketing
Case in point: Washington Gas, a sizable public utilities company, needed to meet high customer expectations while gaining operational efficiencies. Automation was a way to do this, so they began searching for a provider that could help their customers change their perception of utilities companies.
By partnering with SkyCreek, Washington Gas was able to implement an automated appointment confirmation system, an appointment reminder system, and post-appointment surveys. These automation solutions from SkyCreek met Washington Gas’ standards and more, achieving:
- Reduced technicians’ “cannot gain access” (CGA) rates, a savings of $100-$150 per occurrence
- Increased customer satisfaction with appointment scheduling process
- Improved operational efficiency among technicians and their work orders
- Immediate addressing of negative experiences
- Deeper understanding of technician performance
Most importantly, Washington Gas had a dedicated effort to address brand loyalty. A brief, automated customer survey delivered via telephone, email, or SMS contained questions that focused on two proven customer experience metrics: Customer Effort Score (CES) and Overall Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
Read more about this success story here. To set up your own automation strategy that builds brand loyalty, schedule a consultation with SkyCreek here.