Meanwhile, brands that only offer transactional benefits run the risk of customers switching to competitors with similar rewards. Excitement over initial perks wears off over time and the experience is not differentiated enough to keep the customer loyal. Think about it this way: If a restaurant’s rewards program includes a free beverage with every meal, what happens when a competitor starts offering the same — or a better — deal? What makes the customer continue to choose the first restaurant?
If a brand builds an emotional connection, the customer has more of a reason to continue choosing them time and again – even if there aren’t bonus points and rewards tied to every transaction. While transactional rewards are a way to acquire customers – and even act as a tool to compensate customers for a poor experience – it’s the overarching brand experience that keeps customers coming back. That means loyalty is a matter of striking the right balance of rational and emotional benefits to build a long-term relationship.
Sounds easy enough, right? Most brands tend to get the rational part right, but they miss the mark on the emotional aspect — and they don’t even realize it. Consider that executives believe they understand consumers’ emotions, but only 15% of consumers agree.
While loyalty is earned over time, you can start the journey and build emotional connections now to ensure that you’re the customer’s No. 1 choice every time. It may feel abstract, but with the right tactics, you can turn emotional loyalty from a concept to a practice for your business. Here are the specific ways to build emotional connections with your customers.