Sustainable loyalty requires businesses to continuously nurture their customer relationships. The way to a person’s emotions is often through personalization. McKinsey found “executive teams that make extensive use of hyper-personalization and predictive analytics to influence their business decisions [will] see a 126% profit improvement over those who don’t.
A business marketing a $100 bottle of wine won’t have much success if their messaging targets backyard barbecues, however, an everyday beer can see great conversions by enhancing everyday activities. Although innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) may be trending, it should not overshadow the value of data found in the Customer Experience (CX).
In order to reach maximum customer loyalty, better products aren’t enough. Customers want better experiences. A beer is not just a cold drink to go with dinner – but it could represent the end of a long day’s work. Other times, it’s a social activity, a memory of a son’s first drink with his father, or a casual Saturday afternoon.
Customers will buy a high-ticket spirit only to lock it away in a cabinet for an extended period of time. These customers purchase in anticipation of a special occasion. They want to be ready. Some customers want to be transported to a favorite region or a new place they’ve never experienced. Others see a special bottle as a personal reward system or measure of social status.
Hyper-personalization elevates experiences. Elevated experiences increase loyalty.
The main goal of loyalty programs is to increase customer retention. It turns casual buyers into loyal customers who are not only consumers of your products, but advocates, encouraging their own network to become customers, too.
For business, higher retention rates mean a steady flow of bottom-line revenue, which cuts costs when acquiring new customers. This is precisely why your loyalty programs must be highly effective and serve a real purpose.
By fusing data with retention strategies to provide your customers with the best experience, you can dynamically increase your revenue and impact your team’s approach to reach potential buyers. Now, influencing customers to become loyal isn’t a magic trick. It just requires data you more than likely already have that’s only not being used to its full potential. The beauty of loyalty is that regardless of your industry, most organizations have mounds of useful data. Take this data and assign team members to analyze your most valuable customer data points and begin to uncover the correlation between purchasing behavior and customer characteristics to find commonalities to infuse with your sales and marketing strategies.
Don’t Get Distracted with Shiny Objects – Innovate with Real Data.
Recent studies show almost 40% of CMO’s believe AI will be the biggest game-changer moving forward, but the rush to utilize AI technology shouldn’t discount data readily available.
Social Media is an Untapped Data Source
Brands struggle to manage virtual channels for digital CX, such as social media. Many run before they walk, investing capital in advanced data-centric technologies instead of exploiting the value of readily available social media data.
Customers desire to interact with brands via social media, yet brands remain slow to embrace social media channels and the data it provides, such as a real-time perspective of what their audience cares about. For many, this data source remains untouched.
For example, some brands have captured the value of integrating social media data into its customer profiles to provide better visibility for service teams to see customers based on social media activity. Activities such as previous purchases or service requests are used to solve the problems faster and more effectively.
With more opportunities to reach people, brands must be mindful of consumer-to-brand interactions. A senior director of digital experience in CX said: “People’s behavior, habits, and previous interactions will play an increasingly active role in defining which promotions and marketing messages they receive. By 2021, the customer experience will largely be defined by two-way relevant discussions between “intelligent” software rather than a unidirectional flow of promotional content.”
Find a Balance
It’s a significant challenge to unify, organize, and make sense of such a broad range of data unless the technology is underpinned by overarching strategies that seek to unify and manage customer data. This will only yield fractional results.