Benefits and privileges. IMPROVING LOYALTY BY INCREASING PERCEIVED VALUE
Benefits and privileges
IMPROVING LOYALTY BY INCREASING
HOW TO INCREASE
LOYALTY AND THE LINKS
WITH OUR CUSTOMERS
It’s the customers’ perceived difference between the
advantages (benefits) recieved and the sacrifices (costs)
that are involved in the use, possession or
consumption of a product or service. It is a question
of increasing the sensation that what is received is
greater than what is paid. It is, in some sense, a way to
defend our price, our positions and to give rational and
emotional justifications to our customers.
Of course, the starting point is
that the company or brand has
optimum product and service
Operaciones y emociones
ganan los corazones
The strategic objective of making the
customer more loyal involves making
constant nods to the right-hand and
emotional side of the brain, and to the
rational side if, and only if we give
satisfaction (generally, with some exceptions
such as the luxury sector). Today, loyalty
comes form generating the feeling “it’s worth
it for me” (to work with this company, buy
that product...) and also “they’re one of
mine” or, even greater, “I’m one of theirs”.
THE TEN ELEMENTS
The company or brand must generate to the customer the idea that “it’s
worth it”, there is a saving, there are measurable benefits in pounds that
make it profitable to work with us.
The incentives can be tangible (e.g., direct gift of plasma TV from a
bank catalogue), intangible (access to additional benefits or free nights in
a hotel), or discounts (petrol in hypermarkets, for example).
The company or brand increases customer value with all kinds of
elements, decisions, objects, or whatever is needed to remove the
slightest doubt, fear or uncertainty. So, the buttons to touch will be to
increase value through peace of mind, confidence, total security and the
feeling of being in good hands.
Insurances are an example of adding value through multiple channels to
create peace of mind and confidence.
The company codifies elements of a relational nature, suggesting
belonging, similar attitudes, (specialists in people like you, for example)
and so on. Emotional benefits make the customer feel good because
they feel a company “deserves” it, because they are from here, because
they have been around for a long time creating employment and so on.
In order to compete with global brands such as Coca-Cola, Irn-Bru
advertise and make much of the fact that they are Scottish.
The customer has to perceive that, because they are a customer, they get
access to a world of relationships that they would not reach otherwise.
“Because I am a customer of such and such a company I go to events
where I meet people of the right level, within my target, or people who
are interesting from a professional point of view.”
“Because I am an IBM customer I get to attend events with top
director participation, for example.
Because I am a customer of such and such company I am perceived
socially in a certain way, I am more highly valued and indirectly, I gain an
additional advantage of a relational or reputational nature from buying
this product or service.
“As a customer of Garfields Law Practice, I enhance my status in the
The customer obtains a benefit, if they are permanent, due to a
personal relationship with an account manager, an advisor, someone
who discriminates positively in favour of their customer, and who
through personal service, closeness and detailed understanding rewards
“As a customer of Sovena, I get early warning of market changes that
are specific to my business needs”. “Allied Dunbar, give me a personal
advisor who keeps me up to date on investment opportunities”, and so
As a loyal customer, they get access to a world of information, reports,
surveys, research projects, press releases and all kinds of content that
would be severely missed in the event of a change of supplier, and
consequently create a dependence.
My labour relations law firm supply me with the latest news on changes
to employment legislation (all of which I would have to research for
myself if I weren’t a customer).
As a customer with links to the company, they receive awards that give
us access to free consultancy, training and similar activities. In this way,
the company achieves two objectives: teach the customer and add value
(which is perceived as such) and in addition, position itself as an expert
in the customers’ mind, through person to person contact. A contact
that generates confidence, and which will generate more sales.
“As a retailer my bank gives me training in tax planning and shows that
they understand my business”.
The company or brand adds value through tools, utilities, software that
is related to their business, as a an add-on frill. They are services to make
life easier for the customer, aimed at adding new customers and which
makes them a bit of a hostage (although they shouldn’t feel so).
Coca Cola gives away sun shades and tables with chairs to their bars and
restaurants, or a paints company that offers a paint-mixing machine to
professionals (provided they stay loyal!).
Conveniences, facilities, pleasure and enjoyment. The loyal customer
should notice a positive discrimination, privileged access (no queues, a
direct line to post-sales support and so on).
As we can see, the keys to success, are to link the emotional with the
rational and to link an excellent service (basic), to rewards and privileges
(that deliver real value and are perceived as such) and customisation in
the tangible and non-tangible details.