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How to win back your customers with an effective loyalty program

As soon as stay-at-home orders were in place and retailers across the country were forced to close their doors, the need for e-commerce boomed (even more than it had before). Retailers were forced to act fast and shift to a solely digital operation to stay afloat, while not leaving customers in the dust.

The truth is that pivoting strategies overnight and trying to deliver an exceptional customer experience during a pandemic is hard. In the midst of it all, both mailing centers and call centers were overwhelmed, making it difficult to uncover and fix customer issues efficiently. Unfortunately, this caused retailers to lose customers.

Months later, retailers have settled into their new normal, and they are asking themselves an important question: who are their loyal customers now? And, even more importantly, how can they win back the customers they lost during the initial upheaval?

Retailers, we are here to help you win back your customers while building lasting customer loyalty. It starts with an incentive program backed by high-quality customer data.

Here are some tips and tricks for you to better understand who your customers are today and how to build an effective loyalty program.

Tip #1: Start by analyzing your customer base.

Since the spring, consumer habits have changed. It’s important to do an analysis on who your customers are today and how their buying habits have shifted.

According to Mckinsey, in the U.S., “75 percent say they have tried a new shopping behavior during the crisis, and upward of 60 percent of consumers who tried a new behavior plan on sticking with it post-crisis.” Furthermore, Mckinsey also says that U.S. consumers are mostly trading up for value or re-evaluating buying habits for availability and convenience.

So, how can you better understand who your customers are and how they are shopping now? By using your own customer data.

Trick: Before beginning your customer analysis, make sure your customer database is complete with valid contact information. This is a crucial step to take post-crisis since it’s highly likely your customer base shifted in some way. You can verify contact data and append any information that is blank. From there, enrich your data with attributes like buyer propensity to understand your customer’s buying habits to the greatest extent. This will give you the foundation needed to analyze who your best and worst customers are now, better understand their habits, and what information you need to build an effective loyalty program.

Tip #2: Don’t forget about building trust with your customers.

Before we get into the specifics of your loyalty program, remember that the key to building loyalty is by establishing trust with your customers. So, where do you begin?

Our most recent research uncovered 87 percent of business leaders who say data insight is essential to managing customer experience and operational efficiency in a digital environment.

First, in a world of social distancing and online shopping, a customer-brand relationship needs to be built virtually. Make sure you are continuously engaging with customers through social media, online ads, email campaigns, and even direct mail. Second, make sure you provide an exceptional customer experience via social media to delivery and everything in between.

It’s important to take care of your customer’s needs from start to finish. This way, you will begin to build a trusting relationship with your customers.

Trick: To get the most out of the interactions with your customers and build trust, make sure you are leveraging customer insights. By capturing valid customer contact information, like emails, phone numbers, and addresses, you can always be certain your order confirmation emails are delivered to the right inbox and your packages are delivered to the right mailbox.

Tip #3: Leveraging data for loyalty is key to success.

You know who your customers are and have a trusting relationship with them. Now, it’s time to build your loyalty program.

This is where you will want to leverage a complete, correct customer database because your data can tell you what your customers want. While analyzing your database, ask yourself these questions:

  • What products are they purchasing?
  • How much are they spending?
  • How frequent are they buying goods?
  • What goods are they buying together?
  • And, how are they making these purchases? Online? An app? In-store?

The answers to these questions will help you build your loyalty program. The perks of your loyalty program should be attention-grabbing and fit the needs of your customers. Think about where your customers can save money on select purchases, like a special discount code. You could also include how members become eligible for other perks, like free shipping.

The goal of your loyalty program should be to capture new and existing customers and influence them to buy more with you. An effective loyalty program gives you the opportunity to retain loyal customers, even during a global crisis.

Trick: Take it a step further by personalizing your loyalty program efforts for each and every customer. When your customer database is built out with enriched customer insights, you have the chance to understand your customers on a deeper level. For instance, you can get an idea as to where your best customers live, what their lifestyle is like, and how they shop. This will help pinpoint the right messaging for your loyalty program and other marketing campaigns.

With the economy beginning to reopen, this is the time to win back customers and build everlasting customer loyalty. Having a brand backed by loyal customers means revenue growth and stability. Implementing a data-driven loyalty program means security for the future.

As the economy begins to reopen, it's time to use data to build out your loyalty program. 

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