Three Driving Principles to Inspire Customer Loyalty

March 12, 2020

Whether you work in the insurance industry or any other industry, several key attributes are critical to future business growth. Some of the more prominent are achieving product-market fit, hiring great talent, and offering stellar customer service.

Nonetheless, one of the most important (and even underrated) attributes is customer loyalty. Creating a tribe of raving fans provides so many benefits to your organization. The financial benefits are obvious. Customer loyalty extends the lifetime value of your customers and reduces customer acquisition costs. But above that, customer loyalty means that you have built a business that truly resonates with people. You have satisfied your customers so much that they keep coming back for more—especially if your rivals are offering a similar product for a lower price.

The holy grail is customer loyalty, but actually obtaining it is a different story. In this post, we want to explore this puzzle and offer you three specific principles to inspire customer loyalty. Following these principles, you’ll be in a great position to generate that loyalty and achieve your business goals.

Driving Customer Loyalty

The first principle that inspires customer loyalty is empathy. While all businesses hope their employees are emphatic, the very best businesses that drive customer loyalty prioritize empathy. They try to fill open job positions with candidates who are empathetic and emotionally intelligent. These companies incentivize their employees to be empathetic toward their customers, whether it is through financial incentives based on customer service scores or something else. They are also empathetic toward each other, thereby creating a positive workplace culture. 

Often, empathy comes down to the basics. Little things like not interrupting customers, making warm eye contact, and addressing the customer with a personalized and respectful welcome can go a long way. Along with this, empathy builds loyalty because it requires employees to step into their customers’ shoes. They get an intuitive sense of what customers are truly feeling—even if they don’t articulate it. They understand the problems customers are trying to solve and how the company’s product or service can solve those problems. Ultimately, by being empathetic toward your customers, they will be more likely to return the favor by becoming long-term customers.

The second principle to drive customer loyalty is responsibility. By this, we mean that all employees of these businesses take responsibility and ownership over the customer experience. They are laser-focused on making the customer experience as seamless, rewarding, and cost-efficient as possible. A great example of this is the Walt Disney Company. Visit any Disney amusement park and you’ll see that Disney employees (called cast members) go out of their way to make customers’ experiences as magical as possible. 

Companies prioritizing responsibility are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. Even if there are some near-term costs, they are certain that the long-term revenues will make up for those costs. 

Finally, generous companies inspire intense customer loyalty. These companies treat their customers like members of their family. They aren’t overly salesly or focused on the bottom line. Instead, they want to share information that helps customers make the best possible choices. This is true even if that information drives those customers to a competitor or rival. While this may sound counterintuitive, these companies are in it for the long game. Even if that potential customer goes to a rival now, they are confident that they can win their business in the future.  

Ultimately, generous companies are positive and encouraging. They give back to customers through their attention, time, and perhaps even a few discounts. They treat customers the way that they should be treated: like humans. 

Gaining Customer Loyalty

These three principles are at the crux of customer loyalty. Regardless of your industry or sector, implementing these principles in your organization can help you find some of that valuable customer loyalty.

Having said this, implementing these principles is easier said than done. You’ll need the buy-in of your entire organization and design systems or incentives to reward the positive behaviors described above. It isn’t impossible, however. It will take hard work, but it can be done.

Therefore, we encourage you to get started today. Think about how you can incentivize empathy, responsibility, and generosity in your business. Launch several experiments. Above all, keep moving forward. Your future self is already thanking you.