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Digitally Irresistible


Apr 20, 2023

The Psychology of Customer Engagement: How Loyal Customers Accelerate Growth and Provide a Competitive Advantage  

This week we welcome Jermaine Edwards to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Jermaine is a leading customer growth expert, advisor, international speaker, and award-winning author. 

With more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience, Jermaine specializes in working with brands to build customer loyalty. Since 2016, his clients have delivered more than $250 million in value to their customers. His revolutionary customer loyalty strategies improve retention, fuel revenue, and provide a competitive advantage in tough market conditions.  

On this episode, we discuss how Jermaine’s secrets of unshakeable loyalty use proven psychological principles to engage customer loyalty and accelerate brand growth. 

Advising Brands in Customer-Oriented Strategies for Success

A self-described Jamaican farm boy who grew up in London and studied in Germany, Jermaine became a customer-growth enthusiast because of great mentors he had early on in his career. 

Of all the businesses he worked with, Jermaine noticed that the most successful were customer oriented. This inspired him to develop a path for customer growth that small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) could apply to gain a needed advantage in tough climates. 

Jermaine is now an established leader in customer loyalty. His business advises both SMEs and top global industry leaders to adopt a customer-centric approach to growth. His secrets of unshakeable loyalty transform the way CX leaders partner with their teams and communities to achieve success. 

Unlocking the Secrets of Unshakeable Customer Loyalty

Conversations about customer loyalty usually center around three different types: rational, emotional, and behavioral. These individual strains are all important concerns for engaging with customers, but for truly impressive results, the discussion has to go further.  

Jermaine’s model for unshakeable loyalty goes above and beyond by tapping into known and observable qualities that brands and CX leaders can utilize in their customer base. By creating a relationship between the customer and the brand that is as important to the customer as the product or service being provided, unshakeable loyalty offers a uniquely successful strategy for increasing customer retention and revenue. 

Principles of Psychology Can Improve Customer Retention

The current global marketplace often prioritizes quantitative factors such as sales or cutting-edge developments in technology, but the benefits of a value-based, emotional connection with customers are important as well. Shared conversation and values with customers leads to a much more distinct, powerful, and cohesive loyalty. 

There are three factors in creating this connection.

1.    Psychology. Or, in other words, what we believe, understand, and value about how we connect with others.

2.    Proximity. Proximity isn’t just about physical closeness but social closeness: it’s our sense of what groups we belong to and how meaningful they are.

3.    Power. Power refers to the influence we have with others and the leverage we have to engage in deeper, richer conversations.  

While all are relevant, psychology is the linchpin that holds everything together. Customers are people. Their needs and habits can, to a degree, be predicted, allowing CX leaders to unlock shared values and connections to improve customer engagement and cultivate loyalty.

The Endowed Progress Effect Motivates Customers to Engage and Achieve Brand Goals 

An effective strategy for unlocking this psychological connection is called the Endowed Progress Effect. This effect describes how people provided with artificial advancement toward a goal feel invested in reaching that goal. Rather than just educating a client or pushing for product engagement, this technique helps customers feel intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal set by the brand.

Jermaine says the key is to tap into customer beliefs and values. Customers are more willing to engage when a brand has demonstrated that they understand and share their values. With this alignment, CX leaders can direct customers toward a goal. The Endowed Progress Effect is successful with customers by enabling brands to map out what motivates customers affinity with the brand. Brands can identify the values that underlie these motivations, and synthesize this information into goals that align the brand with customer values.

Telling the Brand’s Story Through Shared Customer Values and Experiences

To establish this human connection, it helps to think of strategy in terms of three types of stories. This framing allows for a more organic, flexible approach that is necessary for a customer-centric foundation. 

Story 1: Relationship Between Customer and Company
The first story is about the relationship between the customer and the company. This precedes the product or service and is all about identifying the values and needs of the customer base. Brands must initiate a dialogue with their customers that extends beyond a sales pitch – a real conversation with real connection gives customers the freedom to express the values they expect the brands they support to share. 

Story 2: Relationship Between Customer and Product or Service
The second story is about the relationship between the customer and the product or service. When the customer is grounded in supporting the brand’s values, the intrinsic motivation to support what the brand offers is already there. It is still up to CX leaders to maintain an active dialogue throughout this stage (here is where the Endowed Progress Effect comes in). Active participation focused on an end goal incentivizes customers to maintain their relationship with the brand in tangible ways.

Story 3: Shared Experience and Value Between Customer and Brand
The third story is mostly unseen: it’s about the shared experience and value created between the brand and the customer. This can be defined in many ways, from customer retention rates to revenue generation. This part of the story is where unshakeable loyalty manifests, creating new potential for brand growth and success.

Embracing the Human Connection in Customer-Brand Relationships Produces Powerful, Measurable Results 

Many brands are already expanding their growth potential by tapping into the secrets of unshakeable loyalty. This strategy enabled a well-known shoe brand to reach a 93% return rate for customers. The customers return to buy shoes because they believe their support of the product and brand makes a difference. When customers can connect a brand to their personal values, it creates a sense of pride that incentivizes them to maintain a loyal relationship with the brand. 

While products and services evolve and become obsolete, customers will always be relevant. Understanding and utilizing principles of psychology equips brands to engage with their customer base in powerful ways that produce results. The shared values, stories, and emotions at the heart of every customer-brand relationship are what make unshakeable loyalty such a critical component of any brand’s success.

What Jermaine Does for Fun

A former cello player himself, Jermaine enjoys listening to orchestra music and attending the theater. This love of music, particularly string instruments, is shared by his daughter, who has played violin with the London Symphony Youth Orchestra. 

To learn more about Jermaine, visit him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and his website at www.jermainedwards.com.

Watch the video here.

Read the blog post here