In order to build a solid customer base that is loyal retailers need to break with old-school tactics, realizing instead that earning consumer trust, preference, and loyalty is a strategic initiative that goes far beyond points, coupons, discounts, and mass-blasted emails. A number of factors cultivate genuine loyalty. Your channels. Your incentives. Your frequency of contact. But five strategies, in particular, have proven most effective for brands to deliver experiences that kindle authentic customer connections.
- Find your most valuable customer (MVC)
Traditional marketing budgets earmark 80 percent of funds for customer acquisition
and 20 percent for retention. Yet MVCs account for 75-85 percent of revenue. Retaining these customers clearly calls for more than a 20 percent investment. MVCs are already on their way to genuine loyalty. Converting them to brand fanatics requires personalized engagements and carefully tended relationships. But before that can happen, you must further understand their behavior.
- Uncover what’s motivating your MVCs
Understanding how consumers are motivated to interact with a brand will help structure your customer onboarding strategy
. Some customers may spend less but make more frequent visits to your store; others may spend more but shop less often. Identifying patterns and motivations enables customized communication. Sift through previous successful and failed campaigns and cross-analyze this data with available consumer information.
- Return to the drawing board
The look and feel of promotions, offers, products, events, content, and other marketing initiatives should also be tailored specifically for the intended audience and delivery platform (desktop, mobile, social, etc.)
. Although it might consume more resources in the development stage, the customized design has a measurable impact that leads to higher levels of interaction and greater returns
Analyzing the actions, milestones, and events used to deploy engagements is vital to understanding customers across their path to purchase and overall experience with the brand. Every touchpoint should subtly push the customer toward a purchase. Each interaction should cater to customers’ purchase behavior and previous brand interactions, offering exactly what customers want exactly when it’s most relevant.
The smartest retailers will find innovative ways to predict when a customer needs
to make a purchase.
- Make sure timing is on point
Maximizing response rate begins by examining the timing of customer engagements. Identifying the right cadence and deployment timing should dictate your strategy.
Consumers interact on multiple channels in diverse ways and at varied times. Improve efficiencies by understanding when and how often consumers prefer to be contacted.
When brands deliver relevant experiences that create meaningful customer connections, they build genuine loyalty. How long will that take? There’s no universal answer. Figure out how many interactions it takes to turn a visitor into a brand loyal; then continue to invest in keeping them engaged. As the poem goes, make new friends, but keep the old -- your new customers may add silver, but your loyal customers are gold.