Knowledge is power — and getting to know your customers will give you just that. It’s the most effective way to learn to communicate effectively with your audience and make them feel appreciated — which in turn is the best way to cement your bond and perpetuate allegiance to your brand.
Fortunately, your customer loyalty program can help you do just that through:
- The First Impression
- The Deeper Data Dive
- The Feedback Mechanism
- The Ongoing Social Relationship
How can you make the most of each of these opportunities? Below we’ve outlined some best practices to strengthen your customer loyalty each step of the way.
Build a Strong First Impression
You had me at hello.
As soon as your customer signs up for your loyalty program, that’s your first in. You are immediately granted a wealth of data about them — their name, email, address, phone number, gender, birth date, etc. These are the basics that you need to develop an accurate customer profile and establish initial rapport. Make certain you make the most of this first interaction and collect the right data to both start off on the right foot and continue to nurture a personalized experience for each customer down the road.
Deepen with Data
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.
The King and I had it right. That’s the goal of any brand trying to succeed in today’s data-driven world and both first-party and third-party data matter here.
In addition to the basic information customers provide when they sign up for your loyalty program, first-party data gleaned from loyalty apps and websites will enable you to make great strides in getting to know your customers better. For example, marketers can understand the customer’s purchasing behavior and preferences and track which campaigns or channels the individual interacts with the most to determine what tactics work.
Trust that these capabilities will only improve as machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions advance!
Strengthen with Feedback
Tell us what you really think.
It’s so important to take the pulse of your loyalty members periodically. Don’t become complacent. Despite all the valuable data you have collected through your loyalty program, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels and assume the customer profile remains static. It’s more productive and accurate to ask for feedback regularly from your loyal members.
Modern loyalty programs enable you to create surveys to collect feedback and focus on an area that you want to improve, such as customer service or the in-store experience. You can also use surveys to identify things that delight – or irritate – your loyalists. Show them that their opinion matters.
Granted, not everybody loves a survey because we are all super busy. As an incentive, give participants a discount off their next purchase – the intelligence you receive in exchange will be well worth it.
Nurture with Social Engagement
Don’t you forget about me.
It’s critical to stay in touch with your loyal customers continuously. Let them know they are always top of mind and remind them you want to know their opinions and preferences on a regular basis.
Of course, the best way to do this is through social media. It’s not intrusive, like email or text, and it’s likely the way most of your customers communicate in all aspects of their lives.
Your social media followers are great candidates to join your loyalty program, if they are not already members. The conversations you can have with these followers are a great way to learn more about them and how they perceive your brand, and also to engage them to become even more loyal.
Here’s a fun fact – did you know that every third Thursday, one month per quarter, is National Get To Know Your Customers Day? Savvy brands like Chipotle, Taco Cabana, Sprint, Canon, T-Mobile and Publisher’s Clearing House take to Twitter that day to let their customers know that they want to know them better! Here’s a random sample over the past year:
These tweets are fun, engaging, and enthusiastic examples of striving to “get to know your customers.” What’s not to love?
Of course, there are regular opportunities outside of national days of customer recognition – get to know them better year-round through a well-tuned loyalty program.
This article originally appeared on the Stellar Loyalty blog. Read more about Cheetah Digital's acquisition of Stellar Loyalty.
Jon Siegal is the Vice President of Global Loyalty Sales at Cheetah Digital. He is focused on helping businesses use digital and social experiences to acquire new customers and grow consumer relationships.