Loyal customers are the most beneficial brand advocates a company could ask for. Here, Tink Taylor from dotmailer looks at how retailers can drive loyalty by building an emotional connection with their consumers.
Customer loyalty is critical for businesses to build a strong and long-term success record, therefore it’s key to graduate your brand from good to great by fine-tuning customer loyalty programs. Evidently, brands need to move beyond typical transaction-based engagements and start being creative with customer offerings to earn brand advocates.
The key to keeping customers loyal, beyond great products, services and customer service, is to continually cultivate an emotional connection. Stats from Capgemini reveal that 70 percent of emotionally engaged customers spend up to two times more on brands they are loyal to, compared to 49 percent of consumers with low emotional engagement. With emotionally connected consumers, brands can meaningfully drive loyalty to increase basket size and gain a significant profit. These three tips will help retailers achieve emotional brand engagement.
Maintain Relevancy with Personalisation
Customers want personalised experiences, and while the product and its quality remains the most important factor when it comes to purchasing decisions, the customer experience plays a crucial role in their commitment as consumers. With the product being both the point of entry and departure of brand loyalty, this means that every touchpoint is an opportunity for a brand to engage with the customer and create an emotional impact. By using data collected through multichannel loyalty programs, brands can engage customers in relevant, meaningful ways that create a positive experience.
According to the CMO spend survey from Gartner, CMOs are spending, on average, more than 14 percent of their marketing budgets on personalisation efforts. By demonstrating to consumers that their needs are understood, brands can add value by creating a better experience for them and therefore nurture an emotional connection. Automated email programs can assist with achieving this, as retailers can use the program to capture consumer data and leverage it to create personalised brand experiences.
Reward Your Customers with More Than Points
Although the core idea of a loyalty program is to give points for purchases, it can result in the brand-consumer relationship feeling more like a transactional exchange. Brands should explore and test a variety of ways to reward their customers for loyalty. Whether it’s with elite rankings or entry to special events and experiences, offering unique rewards will make members feel special, valued and appreciated. Loyalty programs should offer exclusive rewards that help customers feel part of a community or, by offering early access to sales, make customers feel appreciated. By extending those points and creating an emotional connection through thoughtful experiences, customers are more likely to become advocates and feel attached to the brand.
Be Consistent Across all Touchpoints
Brand loyalty is not spontaneous, and it takes time for customers to cultivate a long-lasting and solidified relationship. Retailers need to leverage the right elements and data for re-engagement strategies. When using email marketing as part of a loyalty strategy, sending personalised emails with automated processing allows brands to focus on the whole customer journey and maximise the outcome at each touchpoint.
Keeping in constant communication with customers in a personalised way keeps your business front of mind, while also encouraging loyalty. Your customer’s journey could start with a memorable welcome message, and for long-time consumers, their loyalty is celebrated with recurring anniversary emails offering exclusive deals. For retailers, the key to a fruitful brand relationship is being consistent with a loyalty strategy that engages the customer across all touchpoints.
As we are steadily approaching the New Year, there is no better time for brands to have a thorough understanding of what the customer wants and how to make them connect. Beyond attractive shipping and prices, it’s important that brands establish a direct relationship with their customers. The brands which come out on top are those that develop a deep understanding of each customer to create thoughtful experiences and personalised rewards that celebrate loyalty and commitment.