Customer Loyalty - Digital Age

Achieving Customer Loyalty In The Digital Age

Providing Personalized Experiences & Continuous Innovation

The digital marketing profession is an impressive innovation for achieving customer loyalty. Its far-reaching effects can easily traverse the globe and procure loyalty among customers without the need for traditional methods like billboards, posters, flyers, and even word of mouth. So how do you achieve customer loyalty in the digital age?

You can achieve customer loyalty in the digital age by understanding the concepts of real & perceived value, maintaining core values & added value, understanding customer loyalties, and personalizing customer experiences with innovative technologies like VR, AR, Virtual Tours, and the Metaverse. 

Customer loyalty is ultimately about trust, and there are several strategies you can employ to achieve customer satisfaction. We’ll cover the desirable core and added values to your product, different determinants of customer loyalty, and the tools necessary to maintain this  customer loyalty. 

How Do You Earn Customer Loyalty In The Digital Age?

While not all customers are the same, their desire to satisfy a particular need is a universal experience and the process of meeting these needs can be enhanced with technology and digitization. 

Factors such as real and perceived value for your product, the core values of your brand, and the added values that make your product appealing are essential to achieving and fostering customer loyalty. 

Customer loyalty comes in different forms, so in this post we will discuss how and why customers become loyal  to your product or service. 

The Importance Of Real And Perceived Value

Actual value of your product refers to the cost to produce  and the profit and how useful it will be to your customer. Perceived value refers  to how useful customers perceive your product to be and how much  they will pay for your product. 

Actual Value 

Product Cost

When marketing and selling products, the actual and perceived value of your products can be very different.

The actual value of your product or service refers to the cost of that product or service to sell it for a profit. If you were to manufacture a product and leave it blank without a brand name or assurance that it carries a mark of quality, the actual value would equate to how much people will pay for it in the open market. 

The sum of the actual value will derive from the number that customers place on it while disregarding the expectations of the customer and seller. 

Perceived Value

Customer POV

Perceived value refers to how much the customer believes the product is worth. The final number comes from the opinion in the  market as a whole and the benefits or the customer believes they will receive when they purchase your product. It is perceived value that we are most interested in as marketers and business owners.

If customers are excited about the product, it is possible to sell it for much more than its manufacturing cost. On the other hand, a product that garners disdain because of specific adverse side effects or destructive tendencies can dip below the actual value and cost of production.  

Branding is a significant value proposition when it comes to customer satisfaction. Brands garner customer loyalty through perceived value by letting customers know they can expect the same level of excellent quality from their purchase as they can from all other previous purchases. 

It’s for this reason that brands like Kelly Wearstler, Molteni&Co, and Armani Home can continue to sell their products for thousands of dollars and have returning customers. Innovative technology aims to keep these customers interested over the course of time, reinventing their shopping experience to maintain their brand loyalty. 

It’s common for customers to buy products to beat the competition and own the most beautiful, exotic, or expensive furniture collection. It elevates their social status and gives them a sense of pride within their social spheres of influence. When customers have a high perceived value of furniture or interior design goods, and their social circle knows it, they naturally rise to the top, becoming responsible for hosting dinner parties and other social events. 

Economist Adam Smith proved this point when he explained that  customers purchase luxury goods for their aesthetic and practical pleasures, but largely also because they bolster their social status. Founding father of the school institutional economics, Thorstein Veblen, wrote “The Theory of the Leisure Class, which discusses the concept of conspicuous consumption”. It explains consumer practices of buying and utilizing high-quality goods in significant quantities despite their practical use or price tags.  

Achieve Customer Loyalty With Core  And Added Values

Core values and added values relay your intentions as a business and make customers more emotionally involved with your company and product. When it’s time to communicate your product to a customer or client, it’s vital to demonstrate the standards you set for yourself. By adhering to the core values that give your company purpose, customers will find it easier to trust you with their desired product. 

What might be a core value for one company may not necessarily be the same for another. There are usually several ways to be successful; some strategies take longer, while others are much shorter. Here are some great core values to establish as a brand looking to dominate in the digital age: 

Digitalization & Technology

Tell Success Stories

Analyzing can reveal many strengths and weaknesses of your product, and it will ultimately determine the success of your product. Use digital tools to your advantage to collect and acquire this data to benefit your company.

Buyer Personas

Identify Customers Needs First

While a business exists to make a profit, how will you make your product desirable when you don’t know what the customer wants? Spend time understanding your customer and how you can best serve them.

Sales strategy

Understand Why and clarify the What

When you can grasp the reasons behind your decisions (thanks to data), it will make it much easier to establish what you should do next to help your product expand. 

Team

Positive and Progressive

Energizing your team and fostering growth in a positive way, will move you towards your goals as a company. Encourage members to discover new technologies and tools to diversify your operations. 

Added Value

Added value is when you add features to your product that enhance its utility during the production stages. These changes are potent enough to sway customers into choosing your product over the competition. Coupled with quality service and attention to detail, this added value  will quickly build up your brand. 

Adding features that make your product more convenient and easier to update, as well as offering an open support line, will significantly improve its perceived product value for the customer.

If you own a furniture business, consider including free cushion cases, complimentary furniture cleaner or discounts on future purchases or repairs. These additives will enhance the customer experience and greatly improve customer satisfaction, because it is clear that you are going above and beyond to meet their needs.

Customer Loyalty In Personalization, Experience & Innovation

An essential part of achieving customer loyalty is personalizing one’s shopping experience with the help of innovative technologies and offering them something that they want (or didn’t know that they needed). You can leverage customer experience as a loyalty tool when you take the proper steps. 

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Innovative Reward Programs Create A Personalized Experience

Too many companies need a more complete understanding of innovation, particularly regarding rewarding programs. 

Many businesses see  rewards programs as quick, temporary solutions to entice new or existing customers to try their product. These methods seek to catch a customer on a bad day, hoping they will buy a product due to a lapse in judgment or during a weak moment. This method is hit-and-miss and does nothing to build a long-lasting relationship and base of loyalty with the customer. It procures only a tiny percentage of the product’s value.

If you want loyal customers, your design philosophy must include loyalty. A well-designed reward program can accelerate  the process of gaining new loyal customers. You must employ methods that return value to customers proportional to the value that their loyalty adds to your business.

How Do You Use Innovation To Enhance Customer Experience?

Some leading companies incorporate loyalty programs based on profiling their favorite products, thereby increasing their profits by 10%.

Small neighborhood businesses and merchants know how to employ a successful reward program well. They make it their business to know their best customers personally and provide them with personalized services unavailable to other customers. The truth is, some individual customers are more profitable than the masses because they equate to a large part of your revenue stream. 

They might notify them when rare and valuable merchandise arrives so they get the first pick or offer them complimentary food and beverages. They understand that adding value to customers who add value to your business will reap its own benefits. These same customers will become your most valuable customers in the future.

Companies that grow exponentially larger lose their ability to pinpoint their most valuable customers.Customer service employees, together with high sales numbers, can complicate things further. These large companies treat new and long-term customers equally and, in doing so, provide an average service or product to all customers. 

This results in big companies wasting resources on efforts to please customers who spend less while repeatedly disappointing loyal customers who spend a lot more. Given enough time, loyal customers who expect a higher quality service will look elsewhere for a more attractive option, and customers who pay less will remain and reduce the overall revenue of your business. 

Customer Loyalties May Exist For Different Reasons

Customers might become loyal due to low prices, convenience, free add-ons, or a high-quality offer.

Customer loyalty may look different for certain customers, depending on the type of benefits they receive from your product. While a customer might remain faithful for various reasons, this loyalty indicates a  continuously evolving emotional interaction between you and your customer. 

The result manifests in how much more willing customers are to engage with your product or service than they are with your competitors products. Here are value propositions on how to personalize  experiences for a variety of customers:

Social Status

An increase in social status from owning a certain  product is veryappealing to many buyers. The idiom keeping up with the Joneses exists because the desire to be at the top of the social ladder can be fierce. Implementing this attribute into your product will become an important determinant of your costomers loyalty to you as a business.

Products Quality

The trusted and true method for building customer loyalty, is having a great product. It works as promised and lasts for some time after purchasing. Most customers do not demand a lot; all they wish for is a quality product capable of satisfying a need. If you can consistently deliver a quality product, customers will be more likely to return.

Positive Purchasing Experience

Did you ever buy a product or service that required you to crawl through too many hoops and maybe over broken glass? There’s a good chance you did not return a second time. They care little for price, focusing mainly on convenience and ease of the purchasing process.If customers had the choice between a good product that required you to sift through five or six web pages to purchase, as opposed to an average product that was available with a single click, you could opt for the average product. Factors like transport, packaging, customer service, and money-back guarantees are essential to customers and create a positive purchasing experience.

Low Price Tag

Price-sensitive customers will shop for the most affordable price range for their desired product. They will likely look to others to fulfill their needs if they find a cheaper alternative. When your price becomes the best value for their money, they will return once more. Maintaining such a customer is simple, but shifting your prices too much could cost you in the long run.

Freebies

 It is possible to grab customers’ attention with your product’s additional features rather than the product itself. It may be that a purchase will grant them free Wifi, an upgraded service, or a discount on something else that is more desirable to them. 

Quality Package

When you combine all the above services that appeal to customers, you will gain true customers  who return because their experience is always positive. They enjoy recommending your product to colleagues, friends, and family and will give it a five-star review. 

Which Technologies Can Improve Perceived Value?

Configurator, Augmented Reality (AR), Influencers on social media, Virtual Reality (VR), High price tags, Metaverse, and Virtual Tours are excellent technologies for customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Configurator

The most Advanced and Efficient tool

The configurator is the most advanced and efficient tool to manage your product. It utilizes an automated configuration that quickly analyzes and determines a product’s best attributes and features.   

It’s easy to set up and allows you to offer several versions of products you regularly manufacture and sell. The level of flexibility is especially useful  for complex products that may have a few hundred or thousand configurable options. 

One of its most appealing features is inputting far less data while greatly improving order accuracy. If your business produces and sells office furniture with a lovely conference room package, a configurator will allow you to create all the necessary components and options for the package at once.

This process immensely improves the perceived value for the customer and will simplify the purchasing process. Customers always appreciate customizable options, and they work wonders to enhance sales and help your product reach as many customers as possible. 

The configurator also makes it easy for businesses to collect  data, which shows consumer insights about certain products.  This information can tell designers how to modify existing products to meet specific demands from consumers.Configurators are quickly becoming popular, so much so that they earned the name sales configurator due to their proven record of success. 

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Augmented Reality

A Brilliant Sales Strategy

Augmented reality is a brilliant sales strategy that allows you to give your customers the experience of trying your product before purchasing it. It’s a convenient process that requires only a mobile phone; in return, your customers will receive a realistic and practical shopping experience.With this technology, your customers can test-drive one of the cars on your showroom floor before purchasing. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual Experience

VR marketing mimics a physical experience in a digital world to benefit their curiosity while you get to promote your product and brand. VR is also an excellent tool for updating your customers on your newest products and offers and keeping them invested from manufacturing to the start of their shelf life. You also gain valuable insight from the feedback provided by the customers. 

Metaverse

The Future

The Metaverse gives you the power to create a virtual world to showcase your brand’s features and best qualities. This method stands above traditional methods like videos and images, focusing only on visual appeal. The impact of the metaverse on the customer  depends solely on the creative nature of your created world. You must be very specific and intentional with what you put into the customer’s metaverse experience.Old-school marketing strategies are fiercely competitive, but the Metaverse allows you to customize your advertising to cover all your bases.

Virtual Tour

Show & Sell

Virtual Tour allows you to showcase your business, whether a retail store, gym or Airbnb, to engage with customers who desire your product or service. 

Virtual Tours  have an impressive reputation for success, with the following statistics:

  • 67% of customers prefer viewing virtual tours.
  • – Of the adult users who conduct research online or want to make essential decisions, 50 %rely on virtual tours for accuracy.
  • – Customers 18 – 34 years old with access to a virtual tour are 130 % more likely to book accommodation.
  • – Customers can spend up to ten times more money on websites that have virtual tours. 

It’s wise to utilize your virtual tours on advertisements, newsletters, social media, and Google My Business. 

Conclusion

Understanding the actual and perceived value of your products will help you understand how to best market and price your product. Adhering to your core values and creating additional value to your product will please your customers and increase brand loyalty. It’s essential to provide a personalized experience by utilizing advanced technologies like VR, AR, and virtual tours. These bring your customers to you rather than redirecting them away from unengaging ads, images, or videos. Taking advantage of innovative technologies will set you a part from competitors, making you a leader in your respective industry.


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Francesca Dattilo

A designer by training, I have been working on communications and marketing for In2real since 2019. You can engage with me and my team to identify your company’s needs and define the right strategy.

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