According to Talech’s Retail Technology Report, 87 percent of consumers said they enjoy participating in customer loyalty programs, but only 11 percent of current non-participating retailers actually plan to adopt one. Maybe your business has adopted a rewards program designed to keep current customers happy, while enticing new ones to walk through your doors. But are you offering rewards your customers actually want? Today, it’s no longer enough to launch a loyalty program with outdated punch cards to earn generic discounts. Customers want a whole new brand experience.
The shifting change in customer loyalty could be good news for small businesses looking to compete in a crowded marketplace. Tap into what your customers truly want while delivering exceptional quality. Need help getting started? You might to start by embracing these customer loyalty languages.
Consumers are no longer willing to hand over their personal information for a grateful pat on the back. Shoppers want a personalized experience in return for receiving ongoing rewards or savings. But collecting and digesting the sheer volume of customer data from your rewards signups and turning it into a personalized experience can be difficult for even savvy marketers.
Leverage the power of cloud contact centers to take advantage of cloud-based CMR and analytics; one such solution is Aspect Zipwire. Customer service representatives can use omni-channel tools to figure out what customers are looking for, what they’re buying and what they want to see more of from their favorite brands. Businesses can use that highly personalized data to stay in touch with their customers and offer flash sales, free products and sneak peeks at new arrivals.
You don’t have to look far to see social media influencers partnering with brands to promote products and services. According to research from The Shelf, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other consumers over branded content. But those recommendations don’t need to be from someone a consumer knows and could instead come from a social media influencer talking about their favorite brands.
Partner up with influencers that appeal to your demographic to offer giveaways, test products or launch a sponsored campaign featuring your business. The relationship and experience should be as genuine as possible. Businesses should always encourage influencers to share their opinions and use their own voice that resonates with their audience instead of being instructed on how to talk about a product or service.
Celebrities can also serve as influencers by sharing their thoughts about products on social media, reality TV shows and through traditional advertising methods. But are celebrity endorsements really that different than influencer campaigns?
Content Manager Grey Geppert, in a piece for Convince and Convert found here, points out that influencers are usually product specialists who are highly engaged with their audiences. Meanwhile, a celebrity like Oprah can promote just about anything without doing much to engage her fans. What really matters is whether your fan base’s interests align with the product or service being promoted.
Loyalty programs often center around offers for freebies and discounts. However, personalizing the reward experience can go a long way to engage customers. The Retail Technology Report found that 59 percent of U.S. consumers feel loyal to brands that offer small gifts like personalized discounts and gift cards. Brands can use the gesture to extend appreciation to their customers and entice them to keep spending at the same time.
It’s not difficult to harness the power of loyalty programs to keep customers happy. Just don’t get lost in a sea of incentives and rewards when designing your own loyalty program. Today’s customers may interact differently with brands and expect more from their shopping experience, but ultimately they still want quality service and products.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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