Some might think the words loyalty and sales shouldn’t belong in the same strategy. A loyal customer makes repeat purchases, they don’t bring you sales, do they?
It’s time we rethink what being loyal really means nowadays. Back in the old days being loyalty meant always going back to the same store no matter what. In 2017 this term has taken on a whole new meaning in addition to these simple purchases such as liking the brand on Facebook, retweeting their post, leaving a review on google, referring friends to their business, downloading their mobile application and much more. Being loyal, just as everything else, has gone digital and plays a crucial role in your sales strategy.
Let’s take a look at the modern buyer’s journey:
This is where a potential buyer discovers their program and your brand. This can be through PR, Word of mouth, Online Ads, Email, Display Ads, etc.
In this phase loyalty will help to increase brand awareness by incentivising consumers to increase their word of mouth. You can give customers promo codes that they can share with their friends, provide rewards for referrals or set up a unique link they can share with their social network community. This dramatically increases your word of mouth and seemingly organic referrals by having an organized system that rewards users for their loyalty to your brand.
The consideration phase is when this buyer seeing different reviews, blogs, direct emails, social ads, social media, etc.
This phase has become more important than ever since there is more access to information than ever in history. With all this access, consumers almost never need to talk to a salesperson, they do all the research and deciding on their own right from their phones or computers. This is where social loyalty plays a crucial role. If you can increase your social engagement, reviews, testimonials, comments, shares, likes, tweets, etc. then you position yourself as an expert in your field, as a brand that people trust. You build this trust in the digital community when you have real engagement, reviews, shares, comments, etc. You can’t force people to engage with you but you can give them incentives and encourage them to perform social media actions, reviews, testimonials, etc. through a social loyalty platform such as Social&Loyal. Here users can seamlessly share posts, give likes, write reviews and give referrals to earn rewards all without having to talk to a salesperson or employee. This unique experience is aligned with the consumer of today, one that won’t trade today’s experience for tomorrow’s discount.
In this phase, the buyer finally takes the leap and makes a purchase from the Ecommerce site, store or website.
This is your chance to interact directly with the consumer, thank them for their loyalty and provide some more rewards for their purchase. These rewards can include giveaways, contests, products, discounts, tickets to an event and many more. By choosing their own reward users feel in control and not only make more frequent repeat purchases but also share this experience with their friends and family.
This is the part most people think is the most important in a loyalty program, when in reality it is just one piece of the puzzle. Retention includes things such as a forum, FAQ section, Emails, Calls, Customer appreciation events, etc.
This is the part where you want to stay on the top of the mind of consumers, so what better way than a platform that rewards them, communicates with them and engages them? Loyalty platforms play a huge role in upsells, increase the lifetime value of consumers and even reaching new clients through referrals. In this retention area, many companies forget this isn’t just a discount you need to provide them or a “heads up” of new products. This MUST be a positive and unique experience that you provide them, something they won’t forget and will help to keep your brand on the top of their mind.
Make your relationship and two-way street by providing consumers with a valuable experience they truly enjoy.
Finally, we have arrived at the last piece that every brand is constantly striving for. Once you can turn a client into a true advocate three magical things occur:
- Increase in Revenue
- Increase in Customer LTV
- Decrease in customer acquisition costs
This should be the top goal of every single company out there, no matter the industry nor the product or service. If your customers are so happy with your business they bring you new business on a consistent basis then you are setting yourself up for huge success. It’s what every single company out there aspires to have, low costs and high profit. This isn’t something you can achieve overnight, a brand needs to set a loyalty strategy in place that is powerful enough to create a positive experience that customers will repeat and share to build a loyal community of followers that doesn’t just give likes, but share, comment, refer, review and buy.
As everything is moving to be more digital we see companies sales and marketing departments meshing together and working as one unit. The new shift we will start to see take place in this ever changing business world is for loyalty programs to play a crucial role in upsells and customer acquisitions. Sales won’t just work directly with marketing but also with the loyalty marketing team whose main goal is to turn every single prospect and client into a raving fan.
Want to learn more about how sales and loyalty are interconnected? Read why you are losing 54% of your business every year to boost your revenue!
If you’d like to speak with one of our experts set up a quick call here!