Rachel is Marketing Manager at Cal Partners and is a Chartered Marketer. She began working in marketing in 2007 and has a particular specialism in the professional services sector.
Has Client Loyalty Disappeared?
Consumers are surrounded with much more choice these days and, with various ways to compare products, brand loyalty no longer dominates. Previously, product information was a lot harder to find which meant consumers stayed loyal to one brand… for life – and like Marmite, whether you love it or hate it, in my household, we now purchase the Aldi version!
The same applies to services - clients being loyal to one firm for a long period of time are rapidly decreasing. Traditionally, especially in the professional services sector, a client would stay loyal to a solicitor firm, for example, as a ‘trusted adviser’ for an entirety, using them for all their needs, whether personal or business, and that same firm would be used down through their family generations.
Why has this changed and what is making customer loyalty a ‘thing of the past’?
- Digitally savvy consumers have control - with readily available customer review sites and ease of ‘doing research’ online, clients have more power than ever before to search further afield and find the right professional for their needs.
- Clients are demanding better value for money – in today’s digital world, transparency has dramatically improved - providing more options for clients to compare prices, services and feedback.
- Failure to keep up with customer needs – customer expectations are higher than ever before - they expect ‘top class’ service and compare ‘best companies’, refusing to settle for mediocrity in whatever product or service they are buying.
Useful tips on how to build client loyalty:
- Be responsive and efficient with client communications – answer the phone and respond to emails quickly.
- Keep clients informed throughout the whole process – don’t presume they know what is happening.
- Take interest in your client – go beyond ‘small talk’ - improving the end to end experience for attracting new and keeping existing clients is crucial.
- Ask for feedback – clients will feel you are genuine and interested in their opinion and will give you the opportunity to improve on your service.
As the tech and digital arena continue to evolve, consumers’ expectations will too - always looking out for that ‘better service or deal’. The answer doesn’t just lie in a new loyalty scheme either! Firms need to have a clear vision of their brand, how it relates to that client and the added value they have to offer.
Are you wanting to build client loyalty but don’t know where to start? Our free consultation will explain how we work with professional services organisations to help you to attract and retain your ideal client base. Get in touch today.