Increasing customer loyalty begins by studying the individuals who have bought into what you are selling.
Attracting customers is a challenge every business faces. Keeping customer’s loyalty is part two of that challenge and studies show that, perhaps surprisingly, it is more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep a customer you already have.
Creating customer loyalty is a real science. The traditional “buy five sandwiches and get the sixth free” punch card mentality that some companies employ just isn’t enough to keep your consumers engaged.
So how do you engage with your customer base beyond the purchase transaction, and what are the ways your company can benefit from an engaging customer experience? According to Catherine Walts, Xceleration Marketing Manager, customer loyalty begins by studying the individuals who have bought into what you are selling.
“Executed well, a customer loyalty program allows you to learn a wealth of information about your customers, allowing you to segment and target them with offers and messages that align with their interests, behaviors, and purchase history,” Walts explains.
That process and the data a successful program gathers can be critical in getting consumers to choose your products first – but you have to give them something in return for a loyalty program to find success. This could be as simple as points towards a larger reward, or even discounts, and free or sample-size versions of your product. Non-transactional rewards like these engage your customers, and that engagement keeps all that precious data flowing, says Walts.
“These non-transactional rewards are given to a customer based on taking certain actions, such as signing up to participate in the loyalty program, completing their user profile, giving survey feedback, following the brand or company on social media, signing up for a newsletter, etc. The overall customer experience also needs to be at the forefront of the strategy and execution; it needs to be simple, fluid, and fun for the customer to participate.”
Taking all that data, Walts continues, and using it to customize the individual journey provides you with opportunities to create a customer experience that makes them feel like a cherished part of your brand.
“You can use the rich data that you’re getting from the customers to ‘micro-market’ directly to them. You now know their interests, attitudes, and common preferences. This robust data can be analyzed and used to personalize the program for a better experience that will feel more exclusive to the customer, showing them that the brand/company really knows exactly what they want/need at the right time and creating more spending opportunities with you.”
Connecting with your customers on a personal level is another part of this customer retention puzzle, and in our next blog we’ll cover the best practices to reach your customers and grab them emotionally, anywhere they might be.