How To Design Emotional Customer Loyalty Mechanics
Customer loyalty can't be bought yet most loyalty programmes default to discounts, rewards and incentives - transactional mechanics that can serve only to make consumers more value conscious and deal hungry. Such mechanics can easily be copied or surpassed by competitors.
Instead brands should seek to build deeper relationships with their customers and an understanding of emotional drivers is essential.
Read on to understand the 5 emotional drivers of customer loyalty.
Moving Beyond The Transactional
While only being identified relatively recently, these emotional drivers cut to the basics of human needs and desires.
Driver 1 - Autonomy
This is the urge to direct our own lives. Consumers want more control over their interactions with brands - the touchpoints that they want to use, the access to their information and the the content that they wish to use.
Consider the basics of your service delivery and the extent to which you allow customers to self-serve, select the products and services that they wants and how, when and where they expect access to them.
Getting the basics right is a key facet of effective customer retention strategies.
Driver 2 - Mastery
We all want to get better at the things that are personally important to us.
Thinking about this can be uncomfortable for marketers. Are our brands personally important to our customers? Or is engagement and the barriers to switching or stopping actually quite low?
That said, the emotional driver is wanting to improve.
Driver 3 - Purpose
The desire to do what we do in the service of something that is larger than ourselves.
This means feeling that one is making a difference. Not an easy task for many brands.
Driver 4 - Progress
We all want to see results and feel a sense of achievement.
Often with a blunt execution, this is an emotional driver that airlines and car hire companies have understood for decades; tiers, privileges and badges have been developed to build a sense of progress - the more your visit, the more you will get.
Progress shouldn't mean transactional mechanics but it is a key emotional driver.
Driver 5 - Social
This is the need to belong, be connected and interact - in other words to connect with others.
As Mark Riston has said, this doesn't mean that consumers want to be socially connected with brands. But brands can certainly play a role in facilitating connections and interactions and engendering a sense of belonging.
This is a particularly powerful emotional driver and one that, done with empathy and careful consideration, can significantly differentiate a brand.
So What Does This Mean For Customer Loyalty?
Understanding these drivers amongst your customers and prospects is key.
Start with the understanding and use it as the basis to define the role that your brand plays or could play in the lives of your customers. You can then select the drivers that you can credibly build propositions around and us these as the basis for designing your approach to customer loyalty.