In today’s challenging business environment where brand promiscuity is rife, it’s more difficult than ever to attract and manage long-term customer loyalty.
The pandemic is causing many brands to rebuild relationships with customers – collecting new data to get to know customers’ wants, needs, preferences and expectations all over again. You may have to initiate fresh interactions with your customers and deliver up-to-date content. Or offer new, more relevant rewards.
The key to achieving optimal results from each of these measures is to take an integrated, interconnected approach by building a seamless customer loyalty ecosystem.
Components of a customer loyalty ecosystem
A typical customer loyalty ecosystem will have many components.
For example, an important first step towards knowing and understanding your customers on an individual and personal level is to streamline your data to achieve a single customer view across your organisation. A customer data platform can provide that single view, enabling you to collect and store important information about your customers and identify their transactional and behavioural patterns and preferences for enhanced interactions that add value for both parties.
However, collecting data alone is not sufficient to achieve your organisation’s customer loyalty objectives. You need to leverage the right segmentation tactics to easily identify your most valuable customers so you can devote more attention to members of this group and encourage feedback from them.
Once you have identified your most valuable customers, engage with them in a human way to grow the segment as much as possible. This requires resources and skills in data analytics and marketing automation.
Advanced analytics involves knowing what customer data to collect, where to collect it, how to process it, how to use it, and what insights it can generate.
Marketing automation will enable you to deliver individualised messages, communications and content to them, to help elevate their experiences when interacting with your organisation. Customers’ expectations have never been higher, so it’s important to create personalised, timely experiences across relevant digital touchpoints.
Building a loyalty ecosystem
No single component of a customer loyalty ecosystem is sufficient to achieve your organisation’s customer loyalty objectives. At Collinson, we’ve seen the most impressive impact when our business clients integrate all components seamlessly to create a virtuous cycle that continuously turns and enriches itself.
- Knowing your customer
- Encouraging feedback and dialogue
- Understanding, contextualising and delivering rewards
- Promoting further engagement that will alter customers’ behaviours and produce more relevant data
- Knowing your customer even better
The ecosystem gives you more personalised customer insights and a greater understanding of customers’ changing behaviours. With these insights, you can be more relevant to their personal needs and interests.
Partnerships are key
At Collinson, we consider the customer loyalty ecosystem in the context of ‘why?’, ‘how?’, ‘what?’ and ‘now’:
- Why do you need a customer loyalty ecosystem? To attract and retain long-term customer loyalty, grow the segment of most valuable customers and generate more revenue.
- How will you do this? By developing and implementing a loyalty strategy and delivering personalised experiences in the context of a seamless loyalty ecosystem.
- What will this look like? It will incorporate the methodologies required to deliver personalised experiences to customers.
- The now? This is the vision and the decision to act, with the right people to support you on that journey – because, by acting early in this era of digital transformation, you’ll have an opportunity to take a lead on your competitors.
You can begin anywhere in the cycle, depending on your current state of preparedness. Simply identify the strengths and gaps of your existing loyalty proposition or strategy, then find an appropriate starting point to jump in and begin building your ecosystem.
If you have the vision and the willingness to act, you can accelerate your progress in creating your customer loyalty ecosystem with the support of people who have the requisite expertise.
Ideally, the partner you choose would offer the full spectrum of skills in all areas, from planning to operation to evaluation – as this will ensure the full life cycle of a customer loyalty ecosystem is being leveraged and managed as effectively as possible for your brand.
You can speak with Collinson today for help with evaluating your customer loyalty and engagement strategy, with a view to building a seamless customer loyalty ecosystem.