Customer Experience News & Trends

How 7 best-in-class companies win customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is the ticket to business success – and these seven companies have mastered the art of building loyalty. 

What’s better, any B2B or B2C company that cares about the customer experience (and we know that’s you) can take on some of their tactics to boost loyalty, too.

Guarantee profits

“Brands looking for guaranteed profits can’t do better than loyal customers,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, which recently released the 2019 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

Some companies regularly show up at the top of their class because they keep their customers – and more importantly, keep those customers highly satisfied – year after year.

How? Some offer unique experiences. Others deliver consistent service. Others add special value to interactions.

“Average brands typically make their strategy decisions based on data related to The Net Promoter Score, The Customer Effort Score, Customer Loyalty Program Metrics, and Customer Engagement Metrics,” said Jon Christiansen, Chief Intelligence Officer of Sparks Research. “But brands that consistently beat their competitors in customer loyalty tend to go deeper with their data.”

Here are seven of the best loyalty winners, what they do well, and how you can try their tactics, too.

No. 1: Discover Card

Discover Card has been at the top of its class for 23 years because the company focuses on personalized, quick help. Customers call and a person who they can identify with (just like its commercials show) answers the call within a few rings and never rushes the conversation.

For you: “Find unique ways to engage,” said Christiansen. “(Discover) reminds you they are there, and more importantly, show you they care rather than telling you. Show a level of engagement.”

No. 2: Avis Car Rental

Avis is tops in its industry for 19 years. One of the biggest reasons is the vehicle rental company’s customer loyalty and rewards program. It gives customers opportunities to earn more points, use them to upgrade and get preferred check-in. Avis makes it even easier for customers to do all that with an app.

For you: The success of any loyalty plan is based on convenience. You don’t have to maintain an app, but you’ll want your program to be easy for customers to accumulate, see and cash in on their loyalty.

No. 3: Google

The search engine is top pick for 19 years. Much of the reason is Google is one of few search engines, so it doesn’t have many competitors. But it doesn’t hold customers hostage (with slow response times or bad service) just because it can. Instead, Google emphasizes its mission to provide customers with safe, efficient, unbiased service.

For you: Lay solid ground work for a customer service culture. “It starts internally, and with the culture. This is especially important when you are a brand that is largely commoditized where the key differentiator is that customer experience,” said Christiansen. “These people are walking, talking, acting agents of the brand and what it stands for.”

No. 4: Domino’s

At the top of its game for 15 years, Domino’s delivers loyalty despite being a large national chain by embedding each franchise in the communities where it’s located. The owners, cooks and drivers get to know customers, their likes and dislikes. On top of that, the corporation offers to repair roads where customers say they’re in bad shape!

For you: Allow employees some time and resources to give back in the community if they’d like. Many companies offer employees paid time to work with local charities and organizations their customers support.

No. 5: Dunkin’

For 13 years, Dunkin’ has topped its category for customer loyalty. Its strong point: Consistent quality of product and service. Each franchise is held to high standards for both product quality and customer service. They’re regularly trained to deliver consistently.

For you: Training is the key to consistent customer experiences and improved loyalty. Employees who are well-educated on your products, services, changes and customer needs can deliver experiences that make customers want to come back.

No. 6: Hyundai

Hyudai buyers are the most loyal automobile owners for 10 years. Most say it’s because they’ve come to trust their vehicle and the people behind it.

“Trust has become the connective tissue between brands and loyalty,” said Passikoff. “Expectations for trust are up across all product/service categories …”

For you: Trust is the cornerstone of customer relationships. Deliver on promises. Do more than you say you can. Own up when things go wrong – then make things right.

No. 7: JetBlue

JetBlue is at the top of its industry for nearly a decade because customers find doing business with them convenient and often fun. Employees engage customers and deliver memorable experiences.

For you: “Today, loyalty is a fusion of emotional engagement, trust, and an ability for a brand to engage; to meet or exceed expectations consumers hold for their ideal product or service,” said Passikoff. Use every opportunity to engage with customers beyond business – ask how they’re doing, how they liked a product or experience or how they plan to enjoy service.

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