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Most businesses understand the importance and benefits of customer loyalty and engagement. But, somewhere along the way, some brands may have been lured into loyalty programs that offered untargeted, mass discounts and eroded margins and the bottom line.

By rewarding your best customers you can increase revenue and have a positive ROI. In this post, we discover the ABCs of customer loyalty and engagement for your business.

Appreciation

Making your customers feel special, increases their spending by 17%. Customer appreciation is key to customer satisfaction. When a customer feels appreciated, they want to spend more refer others to your business. Send offers to every new customer who signs up for your loyalty program and target your best customers with tailored offers that make them feel appreciated for their loyalty. Your best customers are those with the highest visit frequency and the highest spend. By sending offers to the right customers at the right time, you will build appreciation and customer loyalty.

Behavior

Every customer behaves differently and they shouldn’t all be treated the same. Some customers may only visit once every other month and spend a lot when they visit, while other customers may visit every single day, and only spend $5.00 during each visit. It’s important to measure customer behavior when it comes to visit frequency and average spend to understand how you can build stronger relationships with your best customers. When you measure their behavior, you will understand how to target the right customers and encourage them to visit more and spend more.

For example, Co-founder and CEO of Mixt, David Silverglide said, “We have learned more about our customers and their habits in 3 months with Thanx than in 7 years with punch and plastic cards. Thanx gives us actionable data, lets us incentivize customers in new ways, and ensures that our most loyal customers stay that way.”

Behavioral data is crucial to having a successful customer loyalty program because it shows you how each and every customer interacts with your business.

Capture

Business success and customer loyalty are increasingly measured by a company’s ability to capture critical customer data. In the world of e-commerce, companies have been able to capture data for a few years, but with companies like Thanx, brick and mortar businesses can capture valuable data about their customers to increase customer loyalty. Thanx does all the data collection for you and serves it up in easy to understand dashboards and charts with actionable recommendations. Once you understand who your customers are, you will be able to use data to personally target them and influence their future behavior.

Data

Data is king. Whether you’re a coffee chain, a bustling restaurant, or a car wash company, use customer data to drive engagement, increase ROI and build customer loyalty. Everyone wants more customer data, but how can you capture the right data and use it to your advantage? Look at customer data around frequency, spend, and engagement to help you understand how customers are behaving with your competitors and your business. You can use this data to power targeted campaigns that can grow your business.

Experience

Customer loyalty relies on customer experience. If your customers are happy, they should remain loyal to your business. From the very first stage of becoming a new customer, all the way to becoming a loyal VIP, you are responsible for the experience your customers have. Having a customer loyalty program in place will help you measure your customers’ overall experience. You can measure customer satisfaction with out-of-the-box NPS surveys, communicate with customers directly, and see how their experience at your business influences their behavior. By taking control of your customers’ experience by using data, you’ll build customer loyalty with your best customers.

Frequency

The customers who visit you the most are some of your most loyal customers. Using technology to capture data around customer visit frequency will help you gauge who your top customers are and how you can target them to increase frequency and average spend. Measuring frequency will also help you identify changes in patterns. For example, if your data shows that a customer who visits your business once a week, goes an entire month without visiting, you can send them an offer to encourage them to visit again.

Goals

Having clear goals helps you and your team remain focused. Decide what customer loyalty means to you and how you plan to achieve it. Create a plan for measuring it and what results you would like to see by the end of the quarter or year. For example, your goals could be to decrease churn, increase revenue, retain best customers and shorten response-time to customer complaints. As you make moves to increase loyalty, always check that the changes you make are in line with the goals you set.

Hire

Service is everything. Having a customer loyalty program isn’t all it takes to have loyal customers – you also need to have the right staff who will make your best customers feel appreciated and valued. If your customers don’t vibe with your staff, they may not return. Your staff will influence the experiences your customers have. If your staff feels appreciated, they will make your customers feel appreciated as well. Sing their praises when they receive positive feedback from a customer and create incentives like “Staff of the Week” to motivate them to give your business their all.

Incentivize

Incentivize your best customers to come in more frequently, spend more, and refer their friends. When you measure customer behavior and analyze customer data, you can take actions that will incentivize the right people at the right time to give more to your business. For example, if you have a loyal customer who visits every weekend and spends a lot during each visit, send them a promotion to come in on a Tuesday. This can increase their spend and visit frequency, and it will drive them to visit your business during one of your “slow days.” Send targeted offers to your best customers and incentivize them to take the actions you want them to take.

Journey

Every customer is at a different point in their journey. Some are brand new customers, some visit once in a while, and others are VIPs. When you know where each individual customer is on their journey, you can use that data to help them progress to take next steps and build a stronger relationship with your business. For example, when a new customer enrolls in your customer loyalty program, you want to quickly convert them into being a regular customer. Send them an offer for their first visit and ask them for feedback afterward. Keep the conversation going and make sure to target your best customers because they bring you the most business.

Know what’s to come

You have tons of customer data, what do you do next? Metrics aren’t always black or white. Once you measure customer visit frequency and average spend, use that data to predict what’s to come. What patterns do you see for each customer? How can you use these patterns to predict their future behavior? For example, does your data show you have customers who are about to churn? This data will alert you before it’s too late so that you can winback a valuable customer. You may see that a customer started visiting less, or stopped coming in – using customer data can help you predict future behavior and bring your best customers back.

Lifetime value

Customer lifetime value, or LTV, shows you how much profit you can expect to gain from each customer during the entire time they remain your customer. According to Forbes, LTV is one of the most important metrics for businesses. This information can help you identify who your most loyal customers and which customers you should give the most attention to in order to increase ROI. LTV is made up of the average spend, frequency of visits and customer value. You can increase LTV by encouraging your best customers to spend more and visit more often.

Measure

Customer loyalty shouldn’t be a guessing game. With a robust customer engagement and loyalty program, you can measure nearly everything your customers do so you can have an ROI positive program. Robust data helps you measure the impact your customers are having on your bottom line based on their spend, visit frequency, customer feedback, comparative insights, and more. For example, Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe uses loyalty to drive a 26% increase in average check size across their 19 locations. They drove traffic to previously “slow” days by measuring customer data like visit frequency and average spend. Their slowest day used to be Wednesday, but now, Wednesday draws the most traffic 50% of the time.

NPS

NPS (Net Promoter Score) is used by every successful merchant to measure customer satisfaction and gather feedback from customers. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable tools a merchant can use to measure and promote. customer loyalty. The score reveals how likely a customer would recommend your business to someone else. These surveys usually include one question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [business] to a friend?” You can include follow-up questions as well to get more insight into why they ranked your business the way they did.

Tom Hanson, COO of Pacific Catch, explained the effects of NPS: “We get a 20% NPS response rate after transactions — something I never thought would be possible. In addition, we can track NPS at both the restaurant and brand level to know how satisfaction trends over time. Thanx also provides us benchmarking data, which helps us understand how we are performing relative to the industry. Years after launch, we still see every piece of feedback as an opportunity to better understand our customers.”

Platforms like Thanx automate NPS surveys so that you can effectively measure your NPS and see which customers you should target and when. The NPS data allows you to see trends in customer satisfaction over time across your locations and industry benchmarks.

Ownership

Take full ownership of your customer loyalty program from end-to-end. Once you’ve set clear goals, implemented the program and hired the right staff, make sure it’s launched and promoted in an effective way. Incorporate social media, email marketing, newsletters, and events to keep your customers engaged and increase customer loyalty.

Program

Everyone wants loyal customers — developing an organized and effective customer loyalty program will help you measure your growth and success. Encourage your customers to enroll in your rewards program so you can track their behavior, analyze customer trends, gather customer feedback and automate targeted campaigns that motivate them to take the actions you want them to.
Quality

Traditionally, customer loyalty programs relied on punch cards and only focused on how often a customer visited. Valuable data wasn’t captured because there was no real way to capture customer data for a brick-and-mortar store. Companies like Thanx are changing that for merchants, providing them the technology to actually measure customer behavior at your physical locations. Anyone can have a customer loyalty program, but not everyone can maintain a high-quality one that gives you the data you need to be successful and grow your business.

Revenue and ROI

Revenue and ROI might be the most important aspects of your customer loyalty program. Focusing on your VIP customers using behavioral data will exponentially grow your revenue. Each action taken by your best customers will be measurable and you can use targeted campaigns to send them offers most relevant to them while making them feel valued. Thanx removes the guesswork when it comes to hard ROI. We will grow your business and result in increases in revenue and an ROI positive program when you reward your top customers.

Simplify

An effective customer loyalty program is simple to use for the merchant and for the customer. Every merchant uses a plethora of technology behind the scenes. But do you need it all? Thanx enables you to replace redundant tools like your email service provider, survey/feedback tool, business insights, competitive benchmarking and more. It’s an all-in-one customer engagement platform that helps grow your business based on data. When it comes to POS agnostics, we don’t care if you have one POS or seven; or if versions are up-to-date. Thanx partners with credit card networks so you don’t have another reason to be locked into your POS — we guarantee we work with whatever you have today (and next year). It also means a hassle-free setup and always-on uptime.

Timeshift

Use customer data to timeshift your best customers. Encourage your best customers to spend more by visiting your business outside of their normal patterns. For example, let’s say you have a customer who always visits your restaurant for lunch during their break at work and loves your food. They are a loyal customer, but how can you encourage them to spend more and visit more often? After using data to measure their behavior, send them a targeted offer for a meal between 6 pm – 11 pm. Timeshift users see 18% traffic increases during previously “slow” times.

Understand

Understand who your customers are and what they want. Focus on your best customers and analyze their behavior to understand how they feel about your business and how you can send them offers to encourage them to spend more or refer their friends. When customers feel understood, they feel appreciated and will remain loyal to your brand. The key to customer loyalty is having an effective tool in place that provides you customer behavior data that will allow you to understand your customers and reach out to the right people at the right time.

VIP

At Thanx, we are big believers that not every customer should be treated the same. Focus on the top 20% of your customers who bring you the most business. Having a VIP program in place will retain your high-value and high-impact guests. They are the ones who will remain loyal to you, spend more, visit more, and encourage their friends to do the same.

For example, Barley + Rye pays special attention to its VIPs, knowing that the top 10% of their customers drive 58% of their sales. Thanx helps Barley + Rye identify and target these top customers with personalized communication and special perks, keeping them happy and engaged while increasing their sales by an average of 17%.

Winback

Sometimes your best customers can churn or visit your business less often. You can winback your lost customers and generate 6X your ROI. Use data to measure each customer’s visiting pattern and identify which ones you need to win back before you lose them.

Shenaniganz leverages customer loyalty data to drive measurable revenue and win back their customers. They experienced a 542% increase in ROI from won-back customers after only two months.

We use AI to streamline the process by automatically showing you when you need to reach out to win back your best customers. When we detect a lapse in visit frequency, your program will automatically reach out to the customer with a special offer to win them back. Not only do these offers encourage customers to visit again, they also lead customers to resume their normal visiting patterns. Winback is proven to drive 49% of lapsed customers back to your business.

X-Factor

The X Factor in customer loyalty is a data-based customer engagement platform that has robust data and focuses on rewarding your most valuable customers versus all of your customers. Gather data to understand who your customers are and how you can incentivize them to spend more, visit more and bring their friends to your business.

Yearly reviews

Now that you have a customer loyalty program in place, how do you measure its success and continue to improve? Have yearly or even quarterly reviews to analyze the effects your new program has had on your business. Do you notice increased revenues or customer patterns you never knew existed before? Ask yourselves how you can utilize your customer engagement platform to inform your future campaigns and build stronger relationships with your best customers. Present reports to upper-management to prove the program’s success and develop key KPIs to measure for the next quarter or year.

Zero in on your best customers

Last but not least, zero in on your best customers to drive your revenues and increase customer loyalty. Your best customers are the ones who will contribute the most to your business. Analyze their behavior, gather their feedback, and enroll them as VIPs so that they feel appreciated and want to keep coming back. Your best customers will take your business to the next level if you target them the right way and always make sure they are happy.

Wrap up

Customer loyalty has come a long way since the days of the punch card. Use the ABCs of customer loyalty to focus on rewarding your best customers to grow your business and drive measurable revenue.

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