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23 September 2020

CUSTOMER LOYALTY - THE RIGHT STRATEGY IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

"The start of the economy points to a decrease in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of 9.5%* in 2020, according to the most recent projections.

As for private consumption, according to the Bank of Portugal, the reduction will stand at 8.9%, "sharper than the fall in real disposable income, which should be followed by growth of 7.7% in 2021 and 3.0% in 2022".

One of the most important tools available to companies to minimize the economic impact caused by COVID-19 is the loyalty of their customers. In fact, attracting new customers requires a great deal of effort and, in the current circumstances, this effort has intensified widely. As such, much of the investment and attention should be focused on its current customer base, and these being satisfied, will become its major marketing strategy for the coming years: the recommendation, the well-known word of mouth.

Loyalty is to establish a relationship with the clients

There are different tools and ways that Marketing provides to develop and maintain the relationship with its customers. Here are some examples:
  • Email marketing - This is one of the most used means, since it can be customized and used for different strategies: to offer relevant content to your client, divulge campaigns and discounts, make new products or services known. As it is a medium widely used by different companies, it is important that you make a very careful characterization of your client's persona, in other words, define their tastes, interests, most purchased products, quantity and average value of purchases made, so that it does not end up in the SPAM folder of your customers.
  • Push web or sms notifications - Being the digital space very competitive, full of advertising messages, the targeted and segmented notifications can be an effective means in the relationship with the customer.
  • Loyalty programs - This type of programs are widely used in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and have the objective of building customer loyalty through benefits (e.g. for a certain amount in purchases, you receive a discount to use in the next purchase).
  • Promotional campaigns - Besides the usual campaigns, such as Black Friday or Ciber Monday, or even the sales, the customer wants to feel that they have been offered an exclusive promotion, for example, receive a special discount on their birthday.
  • Social networks - Customer loyalty necessarily involves interaction with the brand, creating a relationship and, always keeping it in the memory of the customer, thus becoming a Top of the Mind brand. Social networks allow this relationship and enhance loyalty through a continuous work of engagement from the creation and/or dissemination of quality content (publications relevant to its audience, which entertain, inform or move people), and interactions that are relevant to the target audience (promotional campaigns, debates, contests, sharing testimonies).
  • Quality service - In addition to good products and services, it is essential to have maximum attention to customer service. The client keeps in mind the way he was served, especially when the experience was negative. Therefore, also in the digital space, it is important not to leave your customers unanswered, or ignore negative feedback.
When we analyze in detail each of the above mentioned means, we realize that the common element to almost everyone is the content. Therefore, it is imperative to have a message that is clear and honest, always keeping your client well informed. In the same way, it is categorical to perceive which publications have more impact, that is, create more engagement with the public. In the same way, besides understanding which content works best, it should create a planning and consistency in the sharing of its content in the pages of social networks.


 
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cicap@cicap.pt

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