Consumers today have an infinite number of choices and, often, a limited attention span. A major key to success is a loyal customer base. However, it’s often difficult to build that base. What’s more, retaining customer loyalty for the long term can be even more challenging. Offering various incentives, usually through a rewards program, can be a game-changer.
Data Collection Is Key
Nearly 90-percent of Americans are willing to allow details about their online activity to be tracked in exchange for more personalized brand experiences and loyalty rewards.
Collecting the right data from your customers helps to build and maintain the loyalty programs that work. It’s a multipoint endeavor. Customer information needs to be collected from all areas — including from mobile apps, point-of-sale systems, integrated products and websites.
Take the guesswork out of compiling the data with an interface/tool that analyzes the information so you can determine how to best put it to use. Any data collection must comply with all privacy regulations.
Tips for Capturing First-Party Data
First-party data or the information a consumer provides directly to a company is vital. It includes but is not limited to:
- Profile data that may feature age, gender, geographical location, marital status, education level, and job or career information.
- Psychographic data based on interests, values, opinions and personality traits.
- Purchasing data such as purchasing history, cart abandonment details, and life span with the brand or product.
Capture first-party data from multiple sources to develop the most comprehensive consumer profile. Data points can come from account profiles, surveys, interactive content, one-on-one live chats, social media interaction, engaging quizzes and a satisfaction question asked after a purchase.
Understanding and Utilizing Data Points
Collecting data points is only the beginning. It’s essential to understand the data to maximize its potential. Data points create a story, a deeper look into your customer’s buying habits. As this story develops, it becomes easier to spot the trends. Now, you can better fulfill the customer’s needs and even offer solutions for future concerns.
Information collected from first-party data as well as browsing history, click-through statistics, past purchases, loyalty program sign-up and usage, and cart abandonment details will come together to create the individual consumer’s story.
Here’s how it can work. When a customer’s data points indicate a proclivity to fill a cart on Friday afternoon, but he or she abandons the items and only returns 10% to purchase, a buy-now incentive may reduce cart abandonment. Discounted or free shipping if purchased in the next four hours or a percentage off the cart total are options. Fear of missing out on a deal is a motivator, but you can’t fix that issue if you’re not reading the data points.
Generate Personalized Recommendations
Personalization creates a more intimate and special experience. Customers want to be seen. Generating personalized recommendations helps get that done. Try recommending a companion product for an item recently purchased or already in the cart, send a back-in-stock notice, and generate alerts for new items similar to previous purchases.
Listen and Act on Feedback
Not only do customers want to be seen, but they want to be heard. To create and maintain customer loyalty, it’s critical to listen and act on feedback.
Make it easy for customers to leave feedback via:
- Short surveys following a purchase or return (no more than three questions)
- One-click satisfaction questions with option to leave comments
- One-click star ratings with option for review
- Open comments on social media
If it’s easy to leave feedback, the customer is more likely to share his or her opinions. Then, it’s up to you to respond and to do it in a timely manner — especially when a customer reaches out through social media.
If you’re receiving similar feedback from customers, look closely at what they’re saying. These are important data points that illustrate trends — positive and negative. Responding and acting on the feedback will be noticed and can help to improve loyalty to the product and brand.
Make Loyalty Program Easy and Convenient
More than half of all consumers say they join loyalty programs to get discounts and earn rewards on everyday items. However, if the sign-up process is complicated with multiple steps, they’re less likely to join. Keep it simple and convenient. Offer a one-click signup at point of sale or an easy opt-in via an app.
Developing customer loyalty is building a relationship. It takes time and trust, but incentives can be a crucial component as well. Collecting and interpreting the data points can help direct those incentives. Neglect that data and it’s difficult to build and maintain the loyalty that helps to grow a business and keep it thriving.
Author Bio: Juan Jaramillo is Performance Marketing Director for Cordial, a cross-channel marketing and data platform. He has 13 years of experience in the industry and focuses on performance marketing, search engine optimization, and analytics.