Right Approach in Gaining Customer Loyalty


By

Ruchi Bhatia
Lecturer
NSB School of Business
New Delhi
 


Every business organization, be it dealing in goods or is engaged in providing services or may be engaged in producing goods and services both, strive hard to achieve a greater market share, For this they try to build more and more customers by creating awareness and arousing desire among the targeted segment and finally influencing them to take the desired action in the from of purchase of goods or services of the provider. But a customer may purchase the first time for this very business and may shift his purchase, the second time in favour of a competitor. Therefore, gaining a new customer is not the winning the final round of the battle. It is equally imperative to retain the customer for a long period of time and if possible then, also to transform churners into frequent buyers of the brand. One can win the customer for ever only by making him loyal to the organization.

There are many approaches in building the customer loyalty. These approaches range from creating a customer centric service centers to coupons and loyalty cards and so on. But what happens when these measures fail? They have a daunting effect on the customer care executives and to some extent on the organization as well.

Taking up a short story:

Mr. A's son was about to tie his knots. So Mr. A and his family decided to do their purchases for suits and sarees from Chabbra 555. They shopped from Chabbra 555 for Rs. 45,000. After about a month of the wedlock ceremony, Mr. A received a voucher from Chabbra 555 giving a an offer for discount of Rs. 500 on a minimum purchase of Rs. 5,000 and stating that the offer is valid for next few days. But at Mr. A's place not even a single function is left, neither he is expecting any function in next few months atleast. Now the question arises, that Mr. A has already incurred so many expenses on his son's wedding, will he spend Rs. 5,000 to get a discount of Rs. 500 when he has no desire to go for purchase of any suit or saree. The simple answer to this is simply no. Whenever, he feels the urge to purchase any new suit or saree, it may be that he hinge on Chabbra 555 again, but as far as present case is considered this voucher is simply a waste paper for him.

Therefore, the positive chances of getting the voucher redeemed by the customer and repeating his purchase leading to loyalty cannot be surely set, as the redemption of voucher depends on the circumstances of the case and mind set of the people. However, by sending a voucher to the customer, atleast Chabbra 555 is capable of maintaining a good customer relation, which in the long run may help it to attain the repeat purchase by the customer and finally contribute something towards the attainment of customer loyalty.

Taking up the another case of loyalty cards issued by the petroleum companies, then surely lot many customers don't even count their points earned on these loyalty cards, some may even don't ask for their loyalty cards from the petroleum retailers. And apart from these people a group of people who forget to carry their loyalty cards at the time of their purchase, is not uncommon. All this point out towards the single fact that not even the issue of loyalty cards is going to be a successful endeavor in gaining customer loyalty.

Now, the question arises, what is the right approach in winning the loyalty of the customers.

First of all, provide the customer with right quality of goods and services for the first time and for every time. This surely, will be helpful in gaining customer loyalty. Secondly, receive his grievances politely, handle his queries quickly, completely and correctly. Thirdly, try to pamper the customer, if possible. Fourthly, build a database of customers. Accordingly send greetings and personalized letters on certain occasions like birthday, anniversary, festivals and like. Last but not the least, customer loyalty can also be attained by giving specific customers special surprises (not often). When customers develop a soft heart for the organization, is able to relate him to the same, then at that stage gaining a customer's loyalty will not appear to be a difficult task. This is the stage where one can cheer with the remark confidently, "yeah, we have won the battle". But again this is not the end of the battle. As gaining a customer is a never ending scenario, one has to be on their toe continuously, otherwise in the long run the battle will be won by the competitor.
 


Ruchi Bhatia
Lecturer
NSB School of Business
New Delhi
 

Source: E-mail September 29, 2008

           

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399
Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599 / Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799
Back to Articles 800 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page