Customer retention is a crucial part of any long-term business strategy. In some industries, acquiring a customer can cost over five times as much as retaining one. Furthermore, Harvard Business Review once mentioned research that showed a 5% increase in customer retention can create up to a staggering 95% increase in profits for some companies (HBR, 2014).
Given this data, it would be negligent in the extreme for any company to treat customer loyalty as an afterthought. In this article, you’ll find some loyalty program reward and communication ideas for each customer personality type.
Customer Personality Types
In the field of relationship management, there are several well-known systems to understand personalities. One of them is The Merrill-Wilson personality test, which groups people into 4 types: analytical, amiable, expressive and driving. Each personality type influences how a person thinks, behaves, and therefore, makes buying decisions.
Below you’ll learn about each personality type and how to design a loyalty program according to the personality type. While this article is a useful shortcut, it’s important to remember that this is not a replacement for solid market analytics. Use this as a guide to get you started and then trust the ultimate decision to tested results.
Analytical customers are solitary thinkers. This type of customer prefers fact and figures over an emotional sales pitch any day. They would research a company and product thoroughly themselves prior to making a purchase. Analysts focus on details above all else and they’ll weigh every aspect of your product or service.
A customer retention strategy for analytical customers should create a clear and obvious relationship between what the customer will receive and what they’ll have to do to receive it. They will want to see the benefits of a loyalty program.
For example, a point-based loyalty program works well for analytical customers. Make it clear on how the points are managed and how they’re redeemed to make it attractive.
Additionally, communication messages can include educational content. This could be an email about where your products are sourced, a new technology that advances your product, statistical data that represent facts about your product, and the latest figures of proven results.
Drivers are similar to the Analytical customers with logical thinking, except that they are more outspoken and persistent. They know what they need to do to achieve their aims. If a product or service doesn’t fit their needs, they are quick to move on.
To create loyalty in Drivers, you’ll have to eliminate any superfluous information. Keep the message short, describe the value proposition, and don’t push too hard. You’ll win over drivers on the merit of your proposition, not smooth talk.
Loyalty programs for drivers should be simple, straightforward, and easy to process quickly. Fee-based loyalty programs work well here, such as premium or freemium memberships. These provide a clear benefit for a fixed cost – exactly what a Driver wants.
In terms of communication message, know your facts and figures, and provide channels for Drivers to communicate their concerns. Sometimes they need an extra convincing to stick with your product or service.
Amiable customers tend to be sociable, enjoy interpersonal relationships, and place importance in trust and rapport when purchasing a product.
This type of customer responds well to a personal touch in their interactions with a business. Showing that your company knows their preferences is a good way to retain customer loyalty. For instance, providing customised suggestions on what products to buy next based on their purchase history or creating a personalised product for long-time customers.
When it comes to communication, sending a birthday promotion or a handwritten note upon purchasing a product will go a long way in maintaining a relationship. If a product or service is unavailable when they request it, make sure to notify them when it becomes available.
These customers tend to involve more emotion when making purchasing decisions. They pay attention to how a product makes them feel, and they regard purchasing a product as a vote of their values.
Value-based loyalty programs will work best with expressive types. You should connect on a deeper level and reassure them that your business shares their value system.
Loyalty programs for expressive customers may include something like matching contributions, wherein your business provides a charitable contribution for every product sold. Letting them choose a cause or charity to receive a matching contribution will go even further in retaining loyalty.
When communicating with expressive customers, you may want to focus on giving behind-the-scene stories and case studies rather than analytics to demonstrate how you uphold your values as a company. Hearing about the people behind your brand and getting social proof like reading customer testimonies can also work wonder to build customer loyalty.
The Bottom Line
Knowing the four customer personalities and how to build customer loyalty with each isn’t hard science. Every one of us has traits from all the four types described above even though one takes the most dominant and feels the most natural on us. Therefore, the key takeaway is to have a flexible approach to loyalty-building. The more flexibility you display, the better you’ll be able to serve your customer base with varying personalities.