The customer loyalty conundrum – what do your customers really want?

Why a one-size all approach just won’t cut it.

We’re living in the age of the customer. But are brands hitting the nail on the head when it comes to customer experiences? Or are they simply taking a stab in the dark? With customer experience being such an integral part of brand loyalty, companies really can’t afford to be playing the guessing game.

Customers now face more choice than ever before, with offerings both on- and offline. While this might be great for consumers, it means they often don’t have an affinity with any one brand.

Recent research by tcc global, discussed in Retail Week, showed that nearly half (45%) of customers agreed they would shop elsewhere if their usual store was closed and only 3% would invest extra time to reach their preferred store. While they might seek convenience, they still want to be rewarded for their loyalty.

As Retail Week reports, 60% of consumers cited conveniently located stores as the most important factor when shopping and 72% wish to have an effortless loyalty programme, with rewards automatically redeemed.

But how are brands supposed to boost customer loyalty when one-size-fits-all points card schemes simply don’t cut it anymore?

Listen

In the customer era, the most important voice is that of the customer. Brands have more means of interacting with consumers than ever before, so there’s no excuse for giving offers and discounts on products they don’t want or need.

Engage with your customers on social media, invite them to product development sessions, and use surveys to gauge what they want and need.

 

The human touch

Just because we live in a digital world doesn’t mean you should completely give up on the human touch. Sure, there can be a time and place for apps and chatbots but they shouldn’t be your only source of communication – especially if it’s not actually what your customer likes.

According to Enterprise Innovation, over half (58%) of consumers believe a phone call still provides the best and most efficient service. What’s more, 74% are more loyal if they can speak to someone and 60% feel their voices are actually being heard when they speak to a person.

Make sure you have a presence in places where they hang out and interact with them on their chosen channel. Strive for communication consistency across all your channels, all year round.

Personalisation

Research by Oracle found that 58% of retailers feel they provide customers with relevant offers, but only 32% of consumers feel the same way. A one-size-fits-all approach will quickly have your customers switching off.

By engaging with and listening to customers in combination with data, brands can personalise the offers and deals sent to customers. Personalised offers based on stated preferences and on purchase history were described as appealing by 69% and 66% of respondents, respectively.

Engage

Get creative with how you engage with existing and potential customers. Involve them in competitions and fun and easy content both on and offline. You want to make your brand seem down to earth, approachable and contactable.

And don’t be afraid to experiment with technology. Bond’s Loyalty Report 2018 found that 95% of loyalty scheme members want to engage with the programme via new and emerging tech, such as AR, VR and wearables.

At Linney, we’ve delivered exciting customer engagement strategies for some big-name brands. Whether you’d like to gain a deeper understanding of your consumers or deliver a truly engaging customer loyalty scheme, speak to Linney today.