Customer benefits are incentives for customers that build a strong relationship between the client and the organization. Such benefits can attract customers and create a long-term relationship which is based on emotion, partnership and trust. Customer benefits cause that clients become loyal to the organization, and they do not look for a substitute for the products which they buy at the particular organization (S. A. Butscher 2002, s.3)
Types of customer benefits
There are three main types of customers benefits, including (Y. Chang-Hua, L. Li-Ling, C. Chien-Yu, L. Tzy-Yau 2016, s.175):
- Confidence benefits. Such benefits cause that the customer anxiety is reduced. Moreover, the customer knows what he or she can expect from the service encounter and these benefits also contribute to increasing the trust in the supplier. There benefits are strongly connected with customer satisfaction.
- Social benefits. Such benefits regard emotional part of the relation between the customer and the supplier. They focus mainly on the growth of the friendship between the client and the provider. There benefits are also known as results of communication between the customer and the supplier. Social benefits are also connected with customer saisfaction.
- Special treatment benefits. Such benefits contribute to the fact that the customer can feel special. They include e.g. price discounts, personalized services or receiving products or services faster than normally. These benefits encourage customers to maintain and develop relations with suppliers. Special treatment benefits also make the customer's satisfaction stronger.
The organization has many opportunities to develop customer's satisfaction, including (S. A. Butscher 2002, s.20, 56):
- Customer Relationship Management. It is a set of tools which can contribute to establishing loyalty among customers. Due to CRM, the organization has the opportunity to extract valuable information from customers, and consequently offers them customized services or products.
- Customer Loyalty Programme. Such a programme usually attract many new clients and contributes to the fact that relations with existing customers are stronger. Loyalty programmes include many benefits for customers. There are two groups of benefits: hard and soft. Hard benefits relate to financial side of purchases. There can be found e.g. coupons, rabates, discounts. They can attract customers but they are not sufficient if the organization wants to maintain good and long-term relations with customers. The reason is that if the competitors offer a better deal, the customer will buy a product or service from them. Because of that, the organization should focus on soft benefits. These benefits make the loyalty of the customer stronger, because such benefits are typical for a particular company and competitors simply cannot copy them. These benefits are e.g. making special offers, offering value-added services or treating customers in a unique way.
- Butscher A. Stephan (2002), Customer Loyalty Programmes and Clubs, Gower Publishing Limited, Aldershot
- Chang-Hua Y., Li-Ling L., Chien-Yu C., Tzy-Yau L. (2015), Customer Relational benefits and Relationship-Marketing Outcomes: Comparing Three Transaction Types of Travel Product, "Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research", nr 20, s.175
- Hill N., Roche G., Allen R. (2007), Customer Satisfaction: The Customer Experience Through the Customer's Eyes, Cogent, London
- Horner S., Swarbrooke J. (2005), Leisure Marketing. A Global Perspective, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford
- Rai K. Alok (2014), Customer Loyalty: Concept, Contex and Character, McGraw Hill Education, New Delhi
Author: Katarzyna Krzyk, Adrianna Kuzak, Julia Kotlarz