2017 has come and taken us by storm, and a whole new and exciting year is in store for us. With a new year comes new challenges, however, and it’s up to us to come up with fresh and innovative ways to boost our business and stay ahead of the curb.
It has long been proven that maintaining existing customers is significantly less costly than acquiring new ones, in fact, many analysts agree that it is 4 to 6 times more expensive to acquire a new customer, and this gap is only growing wider. This means that nurturing and taking care of your existing clients, through Customer Loyalty Programs, is an essential and indispensable part of your business strategy.
So, let’s take a look at what revolutionary Customer Loyalty trends await us in 2017.
1. Transcendent and Omnipresent brands.
Consumers no longer want to just purchase a product – they want to purchase an experience. 2017 is fast moving and when life comes at you at dizzying speeds, it is easy to forget anything that isn’t right in front of your eyes. With the passing of time, being present and constant in a user’s day to day life has become more important than ever, and it is our job to make life as easy for our users as possible. Studies done by DMNews have shown that 53% of consumers want to be recognized as the same person by the brand across all the channels they use to contact them, and they don’t mind retailers using their information to make it easier for them, either.
In short, 2017 will be the year when brands begin to fully recognize that they need to become one single entity, and truly their client’s friend, knowing who they are whether through their e-commerce, Loyalty Platform or Facebook page. Put all the information you have on your clients to good use and create a personalized, useful and out-of-this-world experience that will make them feel recognized and taken care of, and they won’t be able to get enough of you.
2. Our Generation Z-ers are growing up!
Parents aren’t wrong – they grow up fast. The Centennial Generation, or Generation Z, who were born between the mid 90’s and the beginning of the 2000s, are starting to become adults. This generation is also, and more importantly to our cause, known as digital natives. These are the people who were practically born holding smartphones and iPads, and spend a large majority of their childhood days instant messaging their friends and posting pictures on social media. They know exactly how this whole digital thing works (a lot better than most adults), and have absolutely no patience for things that do not interest them. They have also been estimated, as a group, to have around 44 billion dollars in spending power.
The way to get through to them is to become their friends – their companions, through the thick and the thin. A company who, sure, is there to sell to them, but is also there to entertain and help them when in need. Loyalty Gamification is the way to truly get in sync with this generation – after all, Z’s just wanna have fun! Make it fun for them and, rather than forcing yourself on them, make them genuinely want to spend time with you by offering them enjoyable and entertaining ways to do it. They have their whole lives ahead of them, and establishing a connection with them now will give you a start at a life long relationship.
3. Getting personal and emotional.
Monetary benefits and discounts may keep consumers coming back for a while – but it’s emotions that forge long-term relationships. As a company, you need to have values and things that you stand for – and 2017 is the year to make sure that the image you are putting out there is completely in sync with that, and the time to give some personality to your Loyalty Platform. Let your users know exactly who you are and what you fight for, and give them something to connect with.
According to SocialAnnex, there are four main types of emotions that drive loyalty: Compassion, Respect, Nostalgia and Corporate Social Responsibility. Pick a path, and give your users a reason to stick with you that their hearts simply won’t let them give up on.
Take it to another level, by making it personal. Use information from your Social CRM to get to know your users as best as you can, and use all these unprecedented and revolutionary technologies we now have access to give your clients a unique and one-of-a-kind experience that is tailor made just for them.
According to research carried out by eMarketer, more than half of surveyed brands confirmed that they plan to increase their loyalty budgets in 2017. Companies are beginning to realize the unparalleled importance of Customer Loyalty Strategies, and how essential they are for any business. Don’t miss out! Use this inspiring new year to get ahead by creating, or optimizing, your Client Loyalty strategy. And if you need any help at all, we are always here to help!