There wouldn’t be a need for CRM (customer relationship management) loyalty solutions if there weren’t problems in the first place. One of the main problems for loyalty, and the one CRM software seeks to solve, is the vast amount of data which needs to be collated to run a successful program. As with all business solutions, however, where there is a problem, there is opportunity.
CRM has existed in some way or another for decades. However, it hasn’t been until the technological advancements of the internet age that we can really put them to task. Social&Loyal shows you how CRM is making loyalty programs more vital then ever.
We have already spoken about how multichannel distribution can affect customer loyalty programs on this blog. It is important to ensure that all points of sale information converge in the same hub so that it can be analyzed correctly.
With CRM, this type of data collection and analysis is no less an imperative for a successful loyalty program. What makes using loyalty software as a means for CRM so important is that it isn’t simply distribution which is multichannel.
Customers have so many different ways of being in touch with a brand, depending on your brand’s mode of operation. All of these methods you should consider.
For example, if you have customer enquiry lines, using customer numbers you can add relevant information brought up during the conversation to their account. Adding their email address starts to build a customer profile which also allows you to start opening new lines of communication for relevant offers and promotions. Live chat, response to marketing materials and many more data sources are being brought together to build up a profile which can determine how the customer/brand relationship can progress.
However, where CRM and loyalty really provide new opportunity is through social media. The game changer of loyalty management, social media allows for a greater interaction than customers and brands have yet known. Not only can customers address brand representatives directly through networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but brands can build their profile with the kind of engagement which is now more valued than ever.
By checking trends and monitoring their responses (through likes, shares, comments, etc.), brands are able to feed this information back into their loyalty programs to both troubleshoot problems and test the water for new directions.
Managing the Customer Relationship Timeline
One of the most important CRM loyalty solutions is the ability to foster customer relationships long term. Management of customer relationships means maintaining this relationship for loyalty purposes. It is not just about using data to get them interested in the first place. Many customers might be initially interested in promotions, but if you don’t know how to keep them interested you will lose them.
By feeding a customer’s data into the mainframe of your loyalty program software, you are able to see when they are buying more and spending less. This means you can get a better idea of when they will want to hear from you, when they might be sick of hearing from you and when they may need a prompt to remind them of how you can better their customer experience.
You are also able to see when they might be discussing you on social media, how they respond to certain promotions and when there may be a problem which may be addressed. This is not just based on spending patterns, but whatever vectors your customer loyalty program has set out from the get go.
Ready to launch your own loyalty club?
CRM and Rewards
When you have a loyalty program established, then you need to find a way to boost engagement. One of the best methods for this is to provide a reward program to which the customer will actually respond.
Having these built up demographics and individual profiles from collected data means you can now put them to good use. Whether you have a points based system, tiered accounts, specific purchase rewards or even surprise rewards for loyalty, you are able to boost engagement by providing rewards which suit the individual.
If a customer has shown a specific preference for a product, you are able to use your CRM loyalty solutions software to reward with an accessory which would compliment it. If you sell suits and a customer has a preference for sharp grey numbers, you can provide a matching tie for their preferred look. You don’t have to be presumptuous, however. The advanced detail recording for a healthy CRM program means you can alert the reward through your chosen interface and provide different options from which the customer can choose.
Preferring the Relationship
This preference accommodation for specific rewards leads us to our next important problem solved by your CRM: adhering to your customer’s preferences for interaction. With such high levels of competition, brands who smother customers in alerts and advertising (even for promotions the customer may have otherwise found appealing) run the risk of sending them into a competitor’s arms.
Using the data collected means you can interact in the way the customer feels most comfortable. This should start off from the very beginning. First impressions mean a lot and bombarding new customers with promotional material after a small singular purchase can mean they won’t purchase with you again.
Instead, use your choice of customer interface cannily. Allow tick boxes for preferences, change alert settings on customer loyalty apps and don’t do anything without permission. Not only does it stop customers from associating you with annoyance, but it shows you to be the open and amenable service brands need to be in this marketing era.
Looking Beyond for New Relationships
Forging the right customer relationship with existing customers can be best carried out by collecting and analyzing data in your CRM loyalty program. However, like any good and loyal friend, your customer shouldn’t operate on a one way street.
A system of bespoke rewards and a tailored services means you are a brand worth sticking with. Loyal customers who are adequately engaged, feel appreciated and are listened to will want to bring more to the party. You can do this through referral and ambassador programs. You can make them successful by showing potential customers how well your CRM program works with existing ones. The loyalty solutions your customer relationship management approach brings should have the end goal of not just maintaining relationships, but creating new ones.