Written by Hayley Strang, Field Marketing Manager, Mapp
Marketers know that analysing their customers’ actions and understanding their needs is key to establishing vital customer loyalty. Making this happen can feel like a massive task but there are steps you can take which can not only make this easier but will also ensure that your loyalty programs are more effective.
- Gut-feeling is not enough, establish loyalty with insights
In order to improve your customer loyalty, you first need to be able to understand who your current customers are. You need to be able to recognise returning visitors and differentiate between them and first-time visitors. It is true that GDPR and other privacy policies have not made this task an easy one, however, there are still legal ways to capture all of your data in a GDPR-compliant and effective manner.
- Build a cost-effective loyalty program
Many consumer-facing companies have some sort of customer loyalty programs in place, be it stamp cards or an online community. These programs create a sense of exclusivity and the desire to belong to a special “club.”
There are many ways to build a communal experience among “insiders.” When creating your loyalty program, make good use of your data to discover which services/advantages your customers would like to receive. It should not focus solely on up-selling but should create real value for its members. Not all of your customers will want discounts as a loyalty reward. Some may even react negatively to such offers.
Credible, authentic programs trump sales campaigns and discount codes. You want your loyal customers to communicate with each other, creating a sense of community. Add rewards for new customer referrals, birthday specials or raffles and (crucially) be prepared to analyse how members use them.
While you’ll have benefitted from your insights when setting up your loyalty program, you will also expand your customer knowledge through the program itself. Combine loyalty program data with your other data sources and identify active brand ambassadors.
- Encourage feedback & recommendations
Personal recommendations are the gold standard of your business. A happy and returning customer will most likely recommend your services and/or products to their friends and family. However, the openness to feedback is hard to measure with statistics alone. Think about adding a Net Promoter Score or asking for feedback as part of the checkout process or in the post-purchase follow-up email. Technology should enable you to match this information to the specific customer profile, creating a vivid image of your most engaged and loyal customers.
- Make insights part of customer service
Your customer data can work for you and will probably outperform many conventional customer service solutions. By creating user segments based on engagement rate, you will be able to identify the impact of your customer marketing. Sales values (cart size, order frequency, order value) should not be the only factors taken into account. All levels of engagement (time spent on site, page impressions, newsletter subscription and interaction) need to be included. You will be in a position to know what your customers want (even before they do) by analysing their interaction with your content. You can then match feedback with existing customer profiles to sharpen the image even further.
- Personalise where you can
Even if you aren’t using it right now, you have plenty of information about your customers readily available. That probably includes contact data, preferred buying channel, preferred marketing channel, buying history, interest in discounts just to name a few. Make sure to include as many known aspects into your marketing activities. Address your customers by name, only offer items that are in stock, and let them know when new items are available that match their interests and preferences.
- Let the customer be your marketing automation trigger
Always aim to reach your customer at the right time, on the right channel, with the right message. By creating automation workflows that are activated by your customers’ actions, you can be sure communications are delivered in the ideal context. Mapp’s omni-channel marketing approach for email, mobile, web, and direct mail enables you to build a multi-channel campaign flow that makes the most impact.
All your efforts to improve customer loyalty with insights should be customer centric. Combining an insight-led approach that combines data with artificial intelligence to generate actionable insights is key. This enables you to connect with consumers along their journey with your brand and build true loyalty.