Customers are fickle and they’re constantly changing. Trying to build that long-term relationship with consumers is really challenging and a lot of this is due to three major shifts in consumer attitudes that we’ve observed over the past 10 years the first is a shift in consumers attitudes towards technology. Consumers agreement that ‘technology is important to them’ has indeed increased from 31% to 64% in the last 10 years. Secondly, consumers are always willing to experiment new products and brands which is not exactly the kind of behaviours or attitude you would like to see if you are in loyalty marketing. And lastly that a consumer buys from a brand that reflects its value and personality.
Maintaining customer relationship is an urgent priority right now
A lot of potential impacts on marketing and fall in marketing spends have been seen during this pandemic and it is predicted that it will fall even more in 2021 as some businesses are struggling to even survive. Now is the time to understand your customers and make customer relationship your urgent priority.
Loyalty is bigger than a program
Loyalty itself is complex. It has rational elements, it is emotional elements and it’s also as fickle as consumers themselves. While loyalty programmes are pretty good at driving the behavioural side of loyalty, it does not address or have a big impact on the emotional side of loyalty. Still consumers say that they feel loyal to a company or brand only if they have a loyalty programme, so there’s certainly some room for improvement. You should know that loyalty is bigger than a program.
Loyalty Programme & Loyalty Strategy
Brands should show up for their customers not through the terms and conditions of a loyalty programme or the points that are being earned but by showing a lot of empathy.
Do things that are right for the customer relationship through customer service and other channels not necessarily just through the marketing channel. So, the current situation and shift in business creates opportunities to really reinforce your relationships that you have with your customers but to level up your strategy you really need to embrace a loyalty programme company mindset versus a very rewards or tactical mindset
Let’s shift to these ways that you can prepare your approach for the coming year.
How to get the most of the loyalty programme strategy
The first thing that you need to do is put the customer back in customer loyalty and this is about reorienting your approach with the customer and their needs at the center versus what is the the loyalty program going to do for the business.
Customer Loyalty has to be a two-way street especially if you’re going to kind of create a deeper more authentic relationship with customers and this starts with a greater understanding of where your customers are right now where they’re going and what their kind of current outlook is. There have been some big shifts in customer behaviour especially a shift to digital channels out of necessity in this pandemic but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those behaviors will persist to the same degree coming out of this and so you know a lot of companies
Consumers brands need to be more empathetic and agile
-Treat your customers as you would to your friends
-Solve customers problems
-Flex to accommodate changing market conditions
Focus your loyalty programme data on three dimensions of customer understanding
Double down on data driven personalisation
Consumers wants to feel special. Think in terms of next best experiences when consumers might not think much on products or services right now.
Focus on the 3 R’s of Personalisation
- Deliver Relevance
- Build Emotional Resonance
- Show restraint
It’s about acknowledging your customers as people you value greatly and appreciating them for their support.