Sales & Marketing

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How businesses can boost customer experience and drive brand loyalty

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When it comes to this, big retailers have traditionally led the field when it comes to creating a fluid, omni-channel customer journey – and aligning that with customer rewards to drive brand loyalty.

Given that 34 per cent of customers’ state that they wouldn’t be loyal to a certain business if it weren’t for that company’s loyalty programme, businesses of all sizes in all sectors can and should seek to emulate the big retailers’ sophisticated approach to drive brand loyalty throughout the customer’s digital journey.

Driving cost efficiencies through online processes without compromising on the end user experience, while at the same time offering a choice of rewards with a high perceived value with ever diminishing loyalty budgets, is key.

There is evidence that marketers are rising to these challenges – 56 per cent of digital experience decision-makers are planning to assess the impact of digital on the customer experience, according to a cross-industry study commissioned by Accenture Interactive.

Marketers face a real challenge in getting their loyalty scheme to stick. The market is saturated with such schemes and customers display little loyalty to brands. Some 60 per cent of shoppers are willing to jump ship to a rival retailer if their preferred method of delivery of loyalty rewards is not available.

An effective approach is multi-faceted and starts with responding to customers’ express desires for instant gratification with mechanisms to drive brand loyalty that delivers quickly and efficiently.

Increasingly, consumers are saying that they do not want to wait to build up points over a long period or wait for vouchers to arrive in the post. They want a reward for their loyalty there and then.

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Personalisation is king

Applying artificial intelligence and data analytics to customer data is no longer the preserve of large retailers –organisations of all sizes and in all sectors, are tapping into data to personalise their offer to individual customers to remain competitive and drive brand loyalty.

For example, a business may wish to incentivise a customer buying mainly from one of its product ranges to either buy more of those products or to buy from another range.

Personalisation of rewards is important or very important to 75 per cent of consumers and yet only 53 per cent of businesses voted branding and personalisation as important or very important.

To align and drive brand loyalty through customer rewards with the digital sales strategy successfully, customer access to rewards must be as smooth as possible and it is essential to remove all potential barriers.

The web interface a customer sees, whether they are buying from the organisation or accessing information about loyalty rewards, should be simple and consistent.

Organisations of all sizes can now achieve this level of seamless customer journey – continue on the next page for five quick tips on how to drive brand loyalty.

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