Keeping the Loyalty Loop Conversation Going Builds Relationships and Deepens Customer Loyalty
This week’s guest is internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and bestselling author Andrew Davis. Andrew uses his captivating storytelling skills and marketing expertise to inspire and advise business leaders. Before building and selling a successful digital marketing agency, he was a television producer for NBC’s Today Show and worked for The Muppets, among other creative roles. He spent time with Warren Buffet and has crafted documentary films and award-winning content for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 brands. In this episode of the Digitally Irresistible Podcast, Andrew explains his six-step Loyalty Loop formula for winning and keeping customers through exceptional customer experiences that build customer loyalty.
A Little About Andrew
Andrew Davis has a gift for captivating an audience with his compelling stories and inspiring business acumen. His high-energy keynote presentations are most commonly described as “jaw-dropping” as he guides business leaders around the world on how to grow their businesses. He has earned numerous recognitions—from Meetings and Convention Magazine’s list of favorite speakers (right after President Bill Clinton and Anderson Cooper) to being identified as the second most influential content marketer in the world (between Joe Pulizzi and Jay Baer).
Andrew began his career in the television business and later started his own marketing agency with his friend, journalist Jim Cosco. They ran the successful agency for 12 years and then sold it. Along the way, Andrew began his journey to identify a better more modern alternative to the AIDA marketing funnel developed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Andrew wanted an updated marketing model to win new customers, keep customers longer, and help build better customer relationships. Leveraging his 20+ years of experience as a marketer, Andrew developed the six-part Loyalty Loop—his formula for winning and keeping customers. He also writes The Loyalty Loop blog to inspire strategic-thinking executives.
What is the Loyalty Loop?
The Loyalty Loop is based on the idea that building customer relationships and engagement in the modern era isn’t linear like the traditional marketing funnel. It’s not a one-way conversation designed to win a loyal advocate for your brand. It’s really a spiral like a stretched-out Slinky that evolves along a continuous loop of conversations, interactions, and encounters that make customers feel something. The Loyalty Loop builds on the premise that people want to feel a human connection.
As soon as someone calls in for customer service or opens a chat for customer service, it’s important for your brand to understand that these interactions are not restricted to one phone call or chat session. They’re part of a series of small encounters that can build a great customer experience and brand loyalty.
These small encounters add up and are a critical part of the Loyalty Loop for winning and keeping customers. The six core drivers of the Loyalty Loop guide how your brand can build better, deeper relationships and leave a long-lasting impression on the customer base.
These six Loyalty Loop drivers that support customer retention and loyalty are as follows.
- Raise Anticipation
Andrew says the first step is to get customers excited about the next part of their customer journey with your brand. This could be through a phone call with a live agent, a chat conversation online, or a longer-term encounter like a scheduled call. It’s important to tell the customer what to expect so they can get excited about it; this raises anticipation for the next step in their journey. A great example is the pizza tracker deployed by a pizza delivery brand to get customers excited about the arrival of their pizza. This builds the customer’s connection to the brand and reinforces how much they want the product.
- Maximize the Honeymoon Phase
The honeymoon phase is when the customer is at the peak of their enthusiasm with your brand. It’s when your brand has provided an amazing customer experience and needs to capture the customers’ satisfaction while it’s at a peak. Time is of the essence. This is a fantastic opportunity for your brand to guide customers on where to write a review or prompt a referral. By asking for reviews at the peak of the customer’s positive emotion, your brand can build on the human connection and the customer’s enthusiasm. This is the “after-party glow” that Rent the Runway harnesses the morning after a customer has come back from a fun event. They know they can make their customer relationship more valuable and lasting by interacting with them at the peak of their enthusiasm about their phenomenal experience with the brand.
- Reinspire Them
This third driver is really important for customer support and customer service. It extends beyond a transaction and helps guide the customer toward another reason to benefit from your brand. Reinspiring an existing customer to take another journey with your brand right after the honeymoon phase is the start of an upsell or cross-sell for an additional service or product.
Emotion leads to action so it’s important to tell customers what they can do next while they’re at the peak of their interest. In order for this to happen, however, your brand must identify what you want the next step in the customer journey to be—what you can guide the customer towards to enhance a great experience and meet customer needs. For example, a retailer that sells apparel could offer accessories or complementary products the customer may not have already known about. Cross-selling like this can be a win-win for brands and customers when agents are trained specifically in how to recommend products a customer could benefit from.
- Answer Their Trigger Questions
A trigger question is the first question that pops into a customer’s mind any time they start to interact with a brand. Customer service agents seeking to create an excellent customer experience should anticipate the customer’s first question and answer it quickly and accurately. What a customer really wants is for the customer service agent to understand their question and answer it. Answering trigger questions builds strong customer relationships and elevates customer trust in your brand.
- Remove Friction
Removing friction is about trying to make the experience feel easier. For example, when requiring customers to fill out form fields in advance of an initial interaction it’s important to require only the fields that are absolutely necessary. By respecting the customer’s time and asking for only necessary information it removes friction and makes for an easier customer experience that helps them feel more valued and connected to your brand. It also leaves the door open for future follow-up interactions for more information with enhanced customer engagement. Customer data is as valuable as money today, so your brand must provide value for all the information you’re seeking from a customer. If there isn’t enough value tied to it, then it’s important not to ask for it until more trust develops between the customer and your brand. This makes for more valuable and purposeful interactions that support your brand and improve customer satisfaction.
- Scale Camaraderie
Scale camaraderie is about building mutual trust and respect between your brand, the people behind your brand, and the customers you serve. A customer experiences a very thin relationship with a brand if they interact with only one person at a company. The best brands introduce customers to more people behind the brand over the course of the customer lifecycle.
For example, instead of simply transferring a customer from accounting to tech support, the initial representative could actually introduce the tech support agent to build the connection between the customer and the brand representatives. When your brand builds a relationship between the customer and four people at your brand, it builds a great amount of trust at scale. This trust builds loyalty and a deeper relationship with your brand which makes the customer less likely to churn and more likely to become a brand advocate.
Marketing in the Modern Age
Renowned management thought leader Peter Drucker said the most important thing a business needs to do is to get and keep customers. Andrew’s six-part Loyalty Loop builds on that belief and guides businesses in how to realize that in the modern age of digital transformation and technology to provide better and faster ways to interact than ever before.
What Andrew Does for Fun
Andrew loves boating! Whether at home in Florida or globetrotting between countries for speaking engagements, Andrew finds a way to get out on a boat. He loves the water and finds it peaceful, relaxing, and smile-inducing. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold and rainy in England or sunny and beautiful in Singapore, he finds peace on the water no matter what the circumstances. So much so that Andrew encourages everyone to take to the water by boat, kayak, paddleboard, or even a blow-up floatie to relax in nature.