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Trust is the foundation of any solid relationship. That’s true of romantic relationships, but also ones between brand and consumer. When your customers have full faith that your business will treat them with respect and authenticity, you’ve achieved the ultimate goal of any loyalty program — emotional loyalty.
Trust is the linchpin of emotional loyalty. Along with affinity and attachment(which we discussed earlier in this series), it’s a must-have ingredient to creating and retaining a loyal customer. Once trust is broken, it’s an uphill battle to regain it. In order to achieve and maintain emotional loyalty, trust must be at the heart of your program.
In this tech-driven world, lapses in customer privacy and data security are the fastest route to losing trust. First-party (e.g., profile and registration) and zero-party (e.g., preferences and feedback) data is crucial to creating valuable rewards and personalized customer experiences. However, privacy and data security should be top of mind at all times. That includes everything from ensuring the boundaries established in the preference center are protected to clearly communicating how data will be used, as well as keeping data secure.
When customers feel respected, their willingness to trust your brand increases. Respect can be shown in many ways, but one of the most meaningful is through authentic, two-way communication. Collect voice-of-customer (VOC) data to provide a feedback loop, and then use that information to personalize responses. Use customer preferences and insights to engage at the right moments — and the right frequency — instead of all the time. These signs of respect can go a long way in building long-term relationships with your customers.
It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: every communication from your brand needs to be authentically you. Your customers — especially those who have been with you for a while — will recognize insincerity from a mile away. Consumers are willing to put their trust in a brand, but only if every touchpoint, interaction, and channel displays the same authentic behavior.
Trust is earned and can easily be taken away. That’s true in life and when working to build emotional loyalty with your customers. By being respectful, authentic, and prioritizing data security, you’ll be well on your way to emotional loyalty built to last.
To learn more about emotional loyalty and how to establish it with your customers, download our ebook, A New Kind of Loyalty.
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