Why brands need to drill into data to cure customer loyalty decay
It’s not uncommon for a brand to roll out a customer loyalty programme to strengthen relationships, grow the business and remain relevant in a very crowded marketplace. Today’s advancements in technology and the evolution of how shoppers prefer to buy goods and interact with services has changed dramatically.
The rise of omni-channel has pushed brands to operate across digital and mobile channels, providing consumers with a much wider variety of choices to shop anytime and anywhere.
For all the glory brought by digital transformation, we have lost the connection with “the corner shop” to the detriment of eCommerce, same-day deliveries and the rise of new brands fighting for the most competitive high street prices. Consumers are being spoiled and presented with such a wide breadth of choices that traditional retailers have become accountable to assure they are constantly adding value to every step of the journey.
The smallest inconsistency in user experience – or lack of thereof – can drive customers to shift to competitive services at a flick of a finger, turning loyalty into something cheap.
With customers dissatisfaction identified as one of the most likely cause of brand profitability – amounting to a staggering £147.2bn in revenues according to the state of the nation “Unfaithful Customer” report – it is essential for companies to start addressing customer retention and satisfaction. Discounts and rewards are no longer cutting the mustard and in order to remain relevant, brands should follow some simple guidelines to enhance consumer engagement and build strong, long lasting relationships.
Know your customers
The key to building strong relationship with customers is to quench their thirst before dehydration kicks in. Knowing who your customers are is absolutely paramount. Today, companies can get a deeper understanding of customer behaviour through data collection and analysis, particularly thanks to the use of mobile devices.
By digging into customer data, businesses can get valuable and timely insights into what customers want and expect, putting merchants in a position to deliver relevant promotions for the highest conversions and strongest brand loyalty.
A prime example is the work carried out by the UK’s largest nightclub operator The Deltic Group – owner of more than 55 clubs from Aberdeen to Plymouth – which aimed to deliver personalised marketing across multiple entertainment brands through bespoke mobile apps. The digitalisation of their marketing platforms has put the Group in a position to understand which drink clubgoers are most likely to buy during their night out, or what food they most likely crave when they leave the bar, a trend that is taking the world by the storm.
Stay on top of the latest technology trends
With data being such an important asset for the modern marketer, brands should explore the best methodologies and tools to better harness data collected across multiple channels. Machine learning algorithms are now able to let companies find the needle in the haystack in real time, whilst tracking consumer shopping habits and make predictions about which other items a customer would be interested in. AI-powered applications can now predict why customers are calling in or complaining, with real time feedback on supply chain, operations and processes at large.
Another innovative technology that can help companies dig into their customer data is mobile ticketing. As part of a bespoke mobile application reflecting your brand, mobile tickets allow brands to gain valuable insights into each individual, therefore functioning as a gateway for some extremely targeted engagement, not to mention the fastest check-in/out from a venue.
Those brands who can implement mobile ticketing solutions will be able to prevent “ghosting” – the phenomenon by which a host is unable to identify who his customers are – and be able to target specific promotions to specific people. As such, it can drive loyalty and even change behaviour in ways that are profitable.
Don’t be afraid to innovate
In addition to knowing who your customers and staying on top of the latest technology trends, it is essential for companies to think about how they can keep innovating in order to stay fresh, sharp and in-tune to what customers want to experience. Russian Tinkoff Bank, for example, made a bold move to position itself as a lifestyle service provider by offering a full range of services enabling customers to make reservations for concerts, cinemas, restaurants, and theatres within its mobile banking app and website, something that for the majority of banks would still be unconceivable.
On the other hand, companies that fail to innovate and move into the digital age can suffer to the point of failure. A prime example is Kodak, which became the leader in consumer photography back in the 70’s. However, what started out as an innovative technology that brought us the “Kodak Moment”, got stuck in the comfort zone, struggling to adapt its filmless camera to an increasingly digital world. This led to the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012. This example shows that even if your brand is at its height, it is still essential to innovate and adapt to the changing technology to stay relevant to customers’ demands.
To cure customer loyalty decay, companies must focus on staying relevant to their needs and provide the most holistic shopping experience across all platforms. To do this right, brands must make the most of their mobile digital strategies and dig into the powerful data insights to get to know their customers.
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