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  • Writer's picture Gonca Bengherbia

What is emotional loyalty?

Customers with emotional ties to your brand are the most loyal - they are your biggest advocates and spend two times more...

What is emotionally loyalty?

Emotional loyalty is engendered when customers are so infused with your brand that they proactively recommend you to their friends and family. A recent HubSpot survey revealed that 81% trust their friends and family’s advice over advice from a business.

Emotionally loyal customers are less price sensitive when making purchase decisions. They spend more and have a deeper commitment to your brand because the tie goes beyond earning points and redeeming incentives. According to a Cap Gemini study, emotionally engaged customers spend up to two times more.

Emotional loyalty starts with building trust and making your customers feel recognised and appreciated.

Customers develop emotional loyalty when brands deliver a truly personalised service and tailored experience that is unique to the customer.

Think back to the old days where the store owner would build personal relationships with customers - they would know when we shopped, what we bought and accurately anticipated our needs. The most successful e-commerce sites replicate this experience through online personalisation techniques, but whether it’s an interaction in-store via a call centre, online or social media, a clear brand story and core messaging is a must.

How do brands engender emotional loyalty?

In order to activate emotional loyalty amongst your existing customer base, its important to understand the key motivations for transacting with your brand.

Emotional loyalty is not easy to measure, but the best place to start is to ask your customers directly. Customer satisfaction surveys with open ended questions allow customer to give their feedback in their own words. Analysing unstructured feedback from calls, social media and emails is another way to capture customer sentiment.

Another metric to look at is your Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. It's widely used to gain an insight into your customers loyalty spectrum.

To calculate your Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Once you understand customer sentiment and motivations you can tailor each customer’s experience in a way that exceeds their expectations.

Ways to build emotional loyalty...

  • Build authenticity by investing in a robust content strategy that tells a compelling brand story and captures the imagination.

  • Reassure customers on their privacy and security - this starts with asking their permission to market.

  • Don't over communicate, maintain a healthy balance.

  • Surprise and delight your customers when they least expect it.

  • Create personalised and unique online and in-store experiences.

  • Anticipate needs and make relevant product recommendations.

  • Make it easy for customers to recommend your brand by having a referral programme in place.

  • Make your best customers feel special by recognising and rewarding their loyalty with unique benefits.

By following these recommendations, brands can go beyond transactional loyalty (where the customer interacts with you based on price and convenience) and instead create more meaningful brand interactions that drive long term profitable customer behaviour.

Gonca Bengherbia is the founder of Vollodigital,com, a digital consultancy specialising in customer acquisition and retention. Email if you would like to discuss loyalty and customer engagement solutions.

#emotionalloyalty #loyalty #loyaltyprogramme #customerengagement #vollodigital

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