Are you having trouble inspiring customer loyalty among your current clients? For once, it's time to focus more effort on your newer clients instead of existing ones, according to the basics of neuroscience. “Neuroscience offers intriguing insights into why the first few days, weeks, and months of a customer’s journey sets them (and you) up for success or failure,” says Donna Weber, Writing for CustomerThink. While you should never give up on existing clients, it’s definitely going to be easier to develop customer loyalty with your newer clients. So, that’s what we’re going to focus on in this post.
The Secrets to Customer Loyalty, According to Neuroscience
According to Weber, there are a few areas during the customer onboarding process that you should focus on to inspire and build customer loyalty.
Yes, your new client has been interacting with you for a while now throughout the sales process. The problem is that most sales reps basically become different people once the sale is closed. Consumers are used to salespeople not giving them the customer service that was promised after the money has changed hands. So, even if you are a rep who keeps their word, the first few weeks of the new business relationship are going to be the equivalent of first impressions to the client.
“Faced with anxiety and uncertainty, your customers’ brains set a cognitive anchor on their first impressions,” says Weber. “These split-second first judgments are incredibly powerful; they predispose us to embrace information that confirms our initial views while ignoring or rejecting anything that casts doubt.” So, what kind of first impression will you leave on your new client? Will you respond immediately the first time they reach out for help? Or will you put them on the back burner while you handle your busywork? Will you send them a welcome email and regularly check in on them with useful content, or will you ignore them? These actions are what will either build or destroy customer loyalty.
Did you know that about 82% of consumers feel buyer’s remorse associated with their purchases? According to Weber, buyer’s remorse is directly related to the customer’s expectations around what they buy. And you’re the one who set those expectations during your sales pitch. “Even when the customer signs the contract, the customer’s brain keeps anticipating – conjuring up scenarios to confirm every expectation and fear. This second-guessing goes on indefinitely until there’s a reason to stop.” So, to inspire customer loyalty, you need to not overpromise and under-deliver. Give your clients exactly what they expect from you (and more if you can) in order to keep the buyer’s remorse at bay, especially during the onboarding process.
According to Weber, “Cognitive closure is a stopping mechanism that applies ‘the brakes’ to the brain’s validating process and allows crystallized judgments to form.” You need to get rid of the client’s uncertainty as soon as you can during the onboarding process to inspire cognitive closure and, therefore, customer loyalty. How can you accomplish this? Let the client know what’s coming next. Send them an onboarding email that outlines how the first few weeks of your business relationship will go. Tell them what will occur as your product or service is implemented in their company. Then let them know about the communication they can expect from you from here on out. Knowing what’s coming next will sooth their nerves and help them begin to trust you.