June 26, 2018
Customer engagement and loyalty are important when it comes to retaining your best customers. The happier your customers are, the higher your overall ROI will be. In this guide, we’ll discuss what customer engagement and loyalty are, why they are important, and how you can increase your overall success by knowing and understanding who your customers are.
What is customer engagement?
Let’s start with the basics. Customer engagement is a term that is thrown around a lot but what does it really mean for your business? Customer engagement is about building relationships with your customers. You want your customers to form an emotional connection with your brand so that they will visit more often, spend more, encourage their friends to visit and improve your overall brand perception and awareness. According to Sujan Patel, the Co-founder of Web Profits, your customers may actually be your best salespeople and have a direct correlation to improving your ROI.
Engaging with customers on a personal level is crucial to the success of any merchant who wants to grow their business. You can engage with your customers in several ways. For example, on social media, mobile apps, in-person, email, and send them targeted offers and rewards through a customer engagement and loyalty program. We will review several ways to engage your customers throughout this guide.
What is customer loyalty?
Customer engagement leads to loyal customers. Not every customer holds equal value. Focusing on your best customers, those who spend and visit the most will help you build customer loyalty. Having an effective customer loyalty program in place will encourage your best customers to feel connected to you and will encourage them to spend and visit more.
For example, you can send birthday rewards, or send offers when a VIP customer stops visiting your location. We will review several ways you can personalize your loyalty program and retain your best customers.
What does customer engagement and loyalty mean for offline, multi-location businesses?
While everyone benefits from increasing customer engagement and customer loyalty, brick-and-mortar merchants face unique challenges when it comes to building strong relationships with their customers.
While e-Commerce companies can track customer data via their website and online tools, brick-and-mortar merchants need to implement new technologies to capture valuable customer data and measure customer engagement and loyalty. Traditional punch card rewards programs don’t cut it any more of knowing and understanding your customers. It’s difficult to measure who your best customers are without capturing crucial data, like a customer’s average spend, visit frequency, and lifetime value.
Research shows that it’s 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain one. It makes sense that your focus should be placed on your best customers so that you can personalize engagement and loyalty to actually improve your ROI.
Capturing customer data
Using an automated customer engagement and loyalty platform like Thanx will help you capture the valuable customer data you need to improve engagement and loyalty. Thanx enables you to capture customer data so that you can see how each and every customer interacts with your business locations. This data will show you who your customers are, how often they visit your business, how much they spend on average, what their feedback is, where there are any gaps, and much more.
Once you’ve captured this data, you can use it to identify who your VIP customers are. Focus on those who visit your business the most and spend the most because they will help you grow your business. You can also capture customer feedback and NPS surveys to measure the experiences your customers are having.
Once you have the right data about every customer, you can segment them by type and purchase behavior to target the right customers in a hyper-personalized way.
Audience segmentation and personalization
Audience segmentation and personalization are important when it comes to improving customer engagement and loyalty. Once you’ve captured the right data, use these insights to encourage your VIP customers to take the actions you want them to take.
Use segmented lists to determine who your best customers are. Once you do this, target your best customers with personalized rewards and offers.
For example, if you see that a VIP customer only visits your business on the weekends, you can send them a targeted offer for a free appetizer or dessert during the week. This will encourage them to visit you more often and spend more. It will also help to build a personal relationship with them.
If a VIP customer provides negative feedback, you can address their concerns immediately by apologizing, resolving the issue, and sending them a personalized offer. This makes sure that each unhappy customer feels heard and will feel loyal again.
You can also use segmentation and personalization to win back any VIP customers who have stopped visiting your business. Thanx will flag loyal customers who stopped visiting your locations and will enable you to send them a personalized offer to bring them back through the door.
When using personalization, it’s important to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Insightful customer data will help you create the personalized campaigns you need to engage your customers.
Re-engaging your customers
Sometimes your best customers stop visiting your business. This could happen for a variety of reasons like, they had a negative experience with your staff, they moved homes, they switched to a competitor, or they simply got busy.
There are many ways you can re-engage a customer and win them back. First, pay attention to the warning signs. Choose a technology like Thanx, that will take the guessing game out of customer experience. Once you have the right data, you can then analyze a “lost” customer’s visiting patterns and look at any feedback they left about your business.
Once you understand why customers stopped visiting, you can send them targeted rewards or offers to encourage them to come back. For example, you can send them a $5 off reward on their next visit, or offer them a free dessert. Send them personalized messages that give them an incentive to come back.
How do you know if you are winning at customer engagement and loyalty? There are different metrics you should be looking at when you evaluate your business and your locations.
When measuring customer engagement and loyalty, take a look at your customers. How many loyalty members do you have? How many VIP customers do you have? How many have you won back? If these numbers are growing, you are in good shape.
Analyze all customer feedback and your response rates across your different locations. Were all unpleasant experiences addressed? Did customers visit your business after receiving targeted and personalized reward and offers?
Also, take a look at how many of your customers signed up for your customer loyalty program. The more seamless and easier your program is, the more people will enroll. Members can easily make mobile payments, leave feedback, fill out quick NPS surveys, and receive rewards and offers on their mobile devices. This will increase your overall customer engagement and loyalty.
Simplifying your marketing tech stack
Most merchants use various technologies to help them capture all of the customer data they need. The more technologies you use, the more complicated it can be when measuring your overall success and customer satisfaction.
Choose a technology that enables you to simplify your marketing tech stack. A technology like Thanx enables you to capture critical customer data, manage all customer communications, send rewards, win back customers, measure customer referrals, analyze timeshift, and see how your different locations perform against one another other.
It provides an overall insight into your business that will give you all of the tools you need to improve customer engagement and loyalty. It also makes the process easier for you since everything is stored in one place.
Brick-and-mortar merchants may face more challenges when it comes to capturing customer data, but they have unique opportunities for building strong relationships with VIP customers.
There are several ways to increase customer engagement and loyalty with the right data. The key is choosing a technology that enables you to know who your best customers are and how to contact them with the right message at the right time.
To learn more, get our free guide to Driving ROI Through Customer Engagement and Loyalty.