December 02, 2009

3 E's of Customer Loyalty

Companies have to spend more to acquire new customers as compared to retain existing customers. This is the fact going on from several decades. Companies have been trying hard with several tools and keeping up with technology to increase customer loyalty and retain customers. Different customers have different expectations from the product or brand but the purpose is same : "To satisfy a need". These needs can be several types like hunger, cover/show off body/ body parts(clothing), entertainment, business, traveling etc. Organizations have moved far ahead from just satisfying basic needs and those who have not, have failed in short or mid run. Few can sustain in the current competition by just providing basic needs, its hard to find such products but the nearest that I can think of is electricity provided by government. You cannot add/remove some extra from the cable so that your Air Conditioner will run more efficiently. For that its the responsibility of the AC manufacturer. If you are able to provide an extra mile +  basic service. This extra mile can help organizations to retain customers and increase customer loyalty. These extra mile differs from product to product but the result is same "3E's" which leads to retained customer. 

1)  Engagement : Provide quality service that meets customers' needs with fun so that they use your product over and over again. Educating the customers, use of social media, focus groups etc. are few ways of engaging customers. There are several articles floating over the web for customer engagement strategies. One has to make sure that these engagements are timely because if you try to engage the customers for a long time you can frustrate the customers or customers might think that the product is too complex to be used. 
 2) Experience : By providing unique experience for using the product or service organization/brands can come close to the customer as they fell that they are special for the product/service provider and experiences personal relation with the company. 
 3) Emotion :By engaging the customers and providing unique experience customers comes in emotional contact with the brand or product. Customers will love to come again and again for the product or service. This is the ultimate key to increase customer loyalty and retain customers. 

All these E's should be implemented to make the strategy sustainable. If any of the E's is missing then the strategy might work but it might not be sustainable. The 3E's are key to implement a successful strategy to increase customer loyalty and retain customers.

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