Loyalty is expressed by a citizen when he or she shows respect to the authorities of the country. Loyalty is expressed by a soldier when he follows the orders of his superior. Loyalty is expressed by an employee who trusts in the judgment of his or her direct supervisor in a particular situation. The beneficiaries of loyalty in these examples are truly fortunate with such people working with them. Eventually, it could be seen in each example that loyalty begets loyalty, and once this is established, then trust is slowly introduced into the relationship. This sense of trust which is developed between both parties is crucial for the success of future deals or transactions.
This is especially relevant when it comes to transactions between consumers and marketers, retailers, or servicemen. One single loyal consumer can go ahead and do so many things to benefit the company which gave him great treatment. He can help simply by continuing to buy from the establishment, or by continuing to employ the services of a particular company. He can help by telling his family and friends about the product or service. Research has shown that a good number of people place instant trusts on word of mouth information, it is definitely a plus for the company or the establishment in the end.
The principle of changing the perceptions of a consumer for the better and making him loyal to a company or establishment is being applied in so many ways, in so many places. Online businesses are beginning to understand the importance of keeping consumers loyal, and this is rapidly getting to be known as e-Loyalty.
The playing field in the online business world is quite different from its real-world counterpart. By real-world we mean the traditional styles of businesses, catering to literal walk-in customers. That being defined already gives one significant difference between online businesses and real-world businesses. The latter has the chance of dealing with customers face to face. This can add more responsibilities or more opportunities for the representative dealing with the consumer. One raised eyebrow or sudden change in tone of voice can make a customer walk away. On the other hand, a smile and the enthusiasm which follows can keep a customer interested.
With today’s technologies, businesses who transact online still do not have this personal touch. However, there are still many methods that they can employ to ensure e-Loyalty.
Some online businesses employ representatives to speak to customers via instant messaging. Though this is a far cry from a personal conversation, it provides companies the chance to communicate with consumers as close as possible. Through this medium, many representatives can support their customers by answering questions, offering other products or services, and even providing technical support. Representatives in this medium should be trained in professionalism and courtesy to leave a good impression, thus promoting e-Loyalty.
A majority of online businesses also provide support via email. Corporations can contact their customers to introduce new products and services which are ideal to them through email notifications. A company can also use emails to communicate with their customers who have questions or need help with the service or product they paid for. Also customers can be sent surveys via email for them to provide feedback on how the company can improve. The overall impression of communicating with customers through these mediums can definitely improve a consumer’s impression towards a company.
Speaking of surveys, many online businesses nowadays are quickly recognizing the opportunity in conducting them online. Recently a strategy that many companies take is to have surveys ready and given to a random surfer once they visit the site. A window is usually displayed notifying the surfer that he has been selected to participate in a survey.
If the surfer declines then he would only have to click on the appropriate button, or to close the window entirely. However, if he agrees, then he is taken to a survey page which usually asks questions regarding the design and other visual aspects of the site. Like all surveys this information is collected and analyzed by the company and changes are made to ensure the public that they have been heard. Visual appeal is one thing that many potential customers look at when surfing the internet. When a consumer sees improvement based on feedback, he will feel more confident in making a purchase or sign in for a service simply because they know that the company listens to them.
Take note that these methods serve merely as examples of the many things that a company can do to develop good relationship with a customer. Like in a real-life transaction, the consumers who are willing to do business with you are not necessarily looking for strong relations. It is up to the company to promote a good bond of trust and respect between them and the customer.
Keeping that in mind a company should not overestimate the potentials they have when it comes to developing e-loyalty between customers. Sure, there are many methods for an online business to promote itself and its competence; however the bottom line there is that nothing is achieved without a goal. Oftentimes if customers merely come and go (or don’t even come at all) in a particular online business, you can say that the tools can be strong, but the goal is wrong.
The secret behind e-loyalty is that companies should always prioritize the satisfaction of their customers. From here the company can tell what tools to use and what methods of communication should be tried. Promoting e-loyalty is not a one-sided deal. It is a procedure which involves open communication between the client and the company, resulting in profitable gains for all parties involved.
Online businesses would do well to make sure that their websites and other means of advertising and promotion are geared not just for attracting customers, but for retaining them as well.