No one is reading this blog because they are disinterested in making money. While the forward looking market is one which engages in customer loyalty with their ethics in check, no for-profit company is going to last the distance if they aren’t taking care of the bottom line.
Some businesses are non-starters. Some have a good start, yet falter after a few months. Successful businesses are those which know how to keep their customers not only engaged, but engaged in the right way. While short term success might mean a sharp uptick in revenue, this is no guarantee of long term profitability. This leads to the understandable question of when loyalty engagement will mean an increase in revenue.
What is Loyalty Engagement?
At its most basic, loyalty engagement is how you interact with a customer to keep them interested in your product or service. A simple definition does not mean an easy task. On the contrary, keeping on top of your customer loyalty engagement means constantly keeping track of how they are engaged, what type of engagement works and, equally as important, what doesn’t work.
This is why customer loyalty software is so important as it helps to keep track of this engagement and ensure it is working for you effectively. We’ll learn more about these specifics as we go.
Types of Engagement
Customer interaction can be at any level. They might see your product in the bargain bin and decide to put it in their basket on the way to checkout. This is not the same as engagement. Engagement means interacting with your customer in a way which both informs them of what you’re about and why this should convince them to purchase with you. It is much more subtle, however, than saying ‘buy this’.
Your packaging is one way which will engage your customers. If they have never seen any of your advertising, when they actually see your product they will want to know why it should be bought. If your customer base is low-income and you provide necessities, then your packaging should reflect this. Even low engagement is a type of engagement. If your customers demand quality, profess belief in buying sustainable product or have any specific thoughts about your product, then the packing should reflect this too.
How you know what your customers will respond to means having loyalty program software which allows you to build up demographic and individual customer profiles. This means it needs to have data analysis capabilities from points of sale as well as any possible type of engagement.
While you may have the resources to provide print or television advertising, most smaller businesses understand that their best type of customer engagement begins on social media. This is not only perhaps the most accessible to you, it is also likely the most useful. This is because our ability to record engagement is much higher.
Social media allows us to see how much engagement we have through impressions, likes, clicks to landing pages and shares. It also allows us to interact directly with customers and see more readily what type of campaigns generate positive feedback and engagement.
With all of these different types of engagement, customer loyalty programs allow us to bring them all in through a mainframe. This means not only can we examine individual channels but we can compare them as well.
A profitable customer loyalty program isn’t one which only uses other people’s platforms. It also involves us creating our own forms of engagement. Whether you want to create reward programs, competitions, big media stunts or whatever type of engagement, making sure you can bring in all the data you can is tricky.
Having your own application is one of the best ways to ensure your customer loyalty program software is comprehensive. You can allow customers to choose their levels of engagement with priority settings and choose the type of engagement they have with you in terms of contact and promotions.
Having brand ambassadors means you have one of the best ways to generate demand for your business. Customers more and more see peer endorsement as a key factor in deciding what they want to buy. Brand ambassadors fit the profile of your demographics and show them why they should join your fold.
They do this by actually understanding the benefit of your company to someone like them. This means it provides the ultimate type of engagement: genuine engagement. When you have a product or service which genuinely meets the needs of your customers, then finding suitable ambassadors is relatively simple task.
Ambassadors only work, however, when they complete one of the end goals of loyalty engagement. Specifically, this means referrals. The other major part of loyalty engagement is, of course, keeping them loyal to the point of repeat custom.
When it comes to referrals, this can often be at the end of a longer period of engagement. Customers are becoming more and more discerning and the internet allows for greater amounts of price and quality comparison.
This is why loyalty engagement is so important. It sets your business apart from the others. It shows the potential customer that what you have to offer is not only good, but it reflects the personal ethos of the consumer. They can only know this through adequate engagement.
How Engagement Affects Revenue
And here we are back at the bottom line. Unfortunately, many businesses see any type of brand engagement as an automatic boost to revenue. While it may provide some spikes with individual campaigns and offers, this is short sighted.
What a good customer loyalty program will do in terms of engagement is cover all the bases. It allows to build profiles of the type of customer who will respond positively to your brand. It searches markets to see where these customers will be best engaged. It provides the right kinds of marketing and promotion to get these customers interested. It solidifies their purchase by knowing their loyalty with your brand will be rewarded.
Customer loyalty means building revenue through customers who see why repeat purchase is valuable. It creates customers who will become ambassadors for your brand and spread the word, even if you don’t explicitly bring them into a brand ambassador program. All these will lead to referrals to people who will themselves become loyal customers with repeat purchase.
This is why loyalty engagement doesn’t necessarily mean immediate revenue. What it does offer is exponential revenue build up as your customers stay loyal and generate demand.