Increase Customer Loyalty: Join Their Journey

Increase Customer Loyalty: Join Their Journey

The most important goal for your business is getting your customers to the outcome they desire. What you sell should help them get there. That is the best way to increase customer loyalty.

That’s the argument my friend and mentor John Fishback makes in a recent podcast episode of Bank On It.

What Fishback highlights is a lesson important to every business in every industry: Customers work with you to solve their problem. Your business should help them throughout their journey.

Think of Your Business as Part of an Ecosystem

Every business is a part of an ecosystem.

In the finance world, thinking of your business as part of an ecosystem means that banking is not simply opening a checking account or providing a mortgage to a homebuyer. Instead, banking is all the activities that help a person reach their financial goals.

This opens up the potential products and services that a bank can (and should) provide. For instance:

  • A bank could educate customers on how they are spending by integrating the features of Mint or Personal Capital with their traditional banking offerings.
  • A bank could educate customers on how to save or even create checking accounts that save money automatically so that they aren’t tempted to withdraw and spend their money (as Fishback notes in the podcast).
  • A bank could support entrepreneurial events like 1 Million Cups and TEDxBrookings so that more people will be encouraged to start businesses (like local banks in Brookings, South Dakota, have done).

Your business exists in an ecosystem. When your business focuses on the solutions your customers need, you can build collaborations and find new products or services. For example:

  • If you are a digital marketing company (like us), your clients not only need leads, they also need to sell to these leads and then retain them after a purchase. Your company can help with sales enablement or retention strategies and products.
  • If you are an athletic shoe store, your customers need encouragement to continue exercising, even when it’s cold, dark, and hard to get out of a bed. A partnership with a gym or personal trainer can help them better use your products and fulfill their fitness goals.
  • If you are a church, your congregants don’t just need a place to worship. They also need outlets to make a difference in the world and learn more about spirituality. Partnerships with nonprofits, recommendations on books, and spaces for the community are, thus, a part of your work.

Solve the Pain

At the beginning of every month, we schedule a phone call with each of our clients. (I would recommend the same practice for your business.)

We talk to our clients because we want to know how 9 Clouds is doing, sure — but more importantly, we want to learn what hurts. When we open up the conversation beyond the small piece of the business that we work with, we learn what our clients need. It helps us be partners instead of just vendors.

Visiting the doctor is a perfect representation of the holistic view our businesses need. When you first visit the doctor, you don’t go straight to the specialist. First, a nurse asks questions and checks your overall health. Everything needs to be working, or the patient won’t feel well — no matter how strong their heart or lung or any individual organ feels.

Build Customer Loyalty as a Partner

Our customers do not think of their needs in the segmented verticals we use to define ourselves as businesses. Customers are looking for a specific outcome.

A business should not provide a single step en route to the outcome. Instead, businesses can provide several steps to help customers reach their outcome. Your solutions can guide them along the way, and you can partner with other vendors to help where you can’t.

If you can put the plan in place to help your customers reach their goals, you will be their trusted partner.

Fishback’s research with CEB confirms this. Banking customers are 1.5 times more loyal when their bank helps them stay on track and take action to reach their financial goals.

Your customers will be more loyal — and more successful — when you help them reach their goals.

Your products or services should not be limited by what companies in your industry traditionally provide.

The entire journey your customer takes to solve their problem is your market. Join them on that journey.

If you are looking for help to focus your business and marketing on your customer journey, let us know. We offer a free digital audit. I’ll get on the phone for 30 minutes and help you make improvements based on what your customers need most.