Posts Tagged ‘Customer Loyalty

08
Sep
08

Engagement – What does it take to engage customers and employees?

Allegiance and Peppers & Rogers write:

..the traditional axes of competition – product,price,place, promotion will no longer propel growth but will simply allow parity with competition perpetuated. Winning today requires a new competitive advantage: people – both employees and customers – who are not only satisfied, not only loyal, but also engaged.

.. the new view of engagement involves five levels. At the most basic level, an engaged customer or employee must be satisfied…. If this is achieved, then there exists and opportunity to build loyalty…Loyal individuals have the option of recommending the company to friends…. The last tier in the continuum involves an emotional connection…reflected in an employee employee proud to work for the company or customer being excited about the direction of the company.

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01
Sep
08

B2B Loyalty – Best Practices

Here are the latest trends in B2B loyalty, technology and analytics that can help business build a bond with other other businesses:

How do you transform your company from a mere vendor into a valued partner? By building a loyalty platform on a strong foundation of customer data—and leveraging that platform to identify, understand and influence the consumer behind the account number.

Here are some best practices that you should consider:

IDENTIFY: People, not account numbers

Here’s a look at a few of the predominant models for identifying critical B2B contacts:

Give them some face time.

Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Business Development Officer for Eastman Kodak Company, is intimately familiar    with the B2B identification challenge.Given the vast variety of customer types, Eastman Kodak’s approach is to facilitate meetings and events with end users who value the chance to interact with the company on a personal level. Kodak’s annual Graphic Users Association Conference brings Kodak product managers and software developers face-to-face with their end-users, while a series of customer councils for publishers, commercial printers, and database marketers helps Kodak identify key decision-makers and influencers and give them tools to help them grow their businesses.

Use Web 2.0 tools—but warily.

One in three small-business owners now cultivate leads and choose suppliers based on recommendations from social-networking web sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.”Increasingly, small-business owners are getting referrals and searching for supplier recommendations through their networks. Direct mail, newspaper and broadcast advertising are becoming less efficient mediums for reaching small businesses.”

UNDERSTAND: It’s the database, stupid

Once you have identified your sweet spot of small-business customers, the next step is to spend some time understanding their current behavior and comparing it to that of your best customers. Your goal is to isolate behavioral gaps that can be overcome with the right offer.

Treat your database like an asset.

B2B data degrades much more quickly than consumer data. While a consumer might keep the same email address for most of her adult life, a small-business buyer might change jobs, get a new title or return to the corporate world. That makes data refreshment a continual challenge.

Thou shalt not live on transactional data alone.

A 2008 Marketing Leadership Council study found that, because the cost of switching suppliers is higher and more complex in B2B, “attitudes”—in other words, the customer’s emotional connection to the brand—are often better indicators of B2B loyalty than pure transactional behavior. Small-business customers can look loyal in the transaction file, but a survey might find pockets of disgruntled customers who could benefit from an intervention.

Become a data conduit.

In the consumer world, data tends to flow one way, from the consumer to the database. B2B marketers, by contrast, can also learn a lot about their small-business customers by reversing the data stream. Small-business credit cardholders who lack accounting departments, for example, can benefit from information on their business purchases. AT&T Universal Business Rewards cardholders not only earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points on all purchases, but also gain access to a wealth of tools to help track and analyze business expenses.

Source: Colloquy

31
Aug
08

Customer Experience – Firms fail to deliver

According to CCF online, obtaining customer loyalty through quality experience is high on the corporate agenda, yet companies still fail to understand customer expectations, according to new research.

Although the study indicates that 80 per cent of the executives strongly agree that customer strategies are more important to companies’ success than ever before, firms fail to design and deliver those strategies and, as such, lose customer commitment and loyalty.

According to the study:

• Only 43.9 per cent (up from 40.0% in 2006) believed that their companies deserve their customers’ loyalty.

• 34.8 per cent indicated that their company has a dedicated customer experience management role.

• Just 27.2 per cent of the respondents said that the definition of the customer experience is well-defined and communicated in their companies.

24
Aug
08

Automotive Loyalty – A huge challenge

Automotive customer loyalty at the manufacturer level has dropped by 9.2 percentage points, from 49.1% in 1998 to 39.9% in 2008, and costing some automakers more than US$3 billion in annual sales, according to a study by Experian.

Loyalty challenge
“However, the increased number of available manufacturers and models make engendering customer loyalty a bigger challenge than ever before,” Waldron warned. “Automakers that have a firm understanding of what drives their customers to remain loyal will have a significant competitive advantage in such a challenging market.”

The company suggests that even a small rise in customer loyalty can lead to significant increases in revenue. For example, a manufacturer with 10 million current customers will have approximately 1.5 million of those customers return to market in a given year. A 1 percentage point rise in customer loyalty would produce 15,000 additional annual sales, or approximately US$405 million in additional revenue (based on an average vehicle sale price of US$27,000).

But if that same manufacturer could improve loyalty performance by the 9.2 percentage points lost since 1998, it would generate an additional US$3.726 billion in annual sales.

17
Aug
08

Survey reveals telecom industry missing marketing oppportunities

A recent survey by Valista reveals that mobile industry wants more streamlined campaign on-boarding and management methods. At Cequity, we do encourage telcos to start thinking  CLCM( Customer Lifecycle Campaigns) which includes planned on-boarding of new acquisitions, defending the relationship in the first 90 days, reinforcing the relationship in the next 45 days and win-back programs if there is a churn amongst these customers. It needs to be a systematic and planned process of customer engagement. Take a look at what the survey revealed: 

“It can typically take months to introduce a new mobile campaign across all the carriers,” Heeran said. “This clearly needs to change as many campaigns lose relevancy with each passing month and some campaigns are never considered because of the production time. Mobile service and content providers need to be able to react to the market quickly and provision new mobile campaigns in a more dynamic fashion.”
 
According to the survey, the mobile industry could take better advantage of customer loyalty programs as a way to spur purchases of downloaded content.
 
“Surprisingly, none of the respondents said that they use any form of loyalty scheme as an incentive to increase content purchasing or encourage repeat buyers,” Valista officials say. “Over 70 percent of those surveyed, however, use other promotions methods to entice customers to purchase more content, including discounts, free trials and product bundling.”

Read more

09
Aug
08

Building brand agility thro’ customer insights and integrated marketing techniques

A slow economy does not always mean death-knell for brand marketers. The ones who mine customer data, identify purchase patterns and discover useful insights will be the ones who will win in this environment. At Cequity, we continue to advice companies to walk this path with 3 specific strategies:

  1. Accelerate your customer database management strategy
  2. Embed analytical thinking within marketing teams where use of data & analysis is made mandatory
  3. Micro-market – Identify smaller & smaller segments and increase campaign velocity with relevant offers

Here’s what the article has to say:

According to Experian, companies that can gain useful customer insights through integrated marketing techniques will benefit from greater agility than their competitors and will be able to more quickly adapt to market changes and provide products, services, and value propositions that are more closely tuned to customer needs and purchasing patterns.

Collect insights, not just data
According to Marie Myles, director of marketing consulting at Experian’s Integrated Marketing division, “Based on our experience with some of the world’s largest consumer brands, the turbulent economy simply means a re-doubling of efforts to derive even more valuable intelligence from every consumer interaction.”

Actions for brand growth

  1. Understand customers and their needs
    Customer insight needs to be continually revisited to ensure that it is up to date, focusing research investment on this area and not solely on the brand. Marketers need to use this intelligence to create engaging and relevant messages based on a solid understanding of each customer’s preferences, needs and behaviours. This will pave the way for true one-to-one communication and enhanced brand loyalty.
  2. Analyse and segment
    Customer profiling, clusters or RFV models are essential to identify which customers are spending the most, how to uplift sales and to detect high value customers that show signs of diminishing value. As new trends emerge, marketers can use this insight to adapt and refine retention marketing techniques on a personalised basis.
  3. Adapt products and services
    It is imperative to assess the environment and for marketers to re-evaluate their propositions. In a changing economic climate brands need to be responsive to evolving buying habits. By taking this approach, marketers will be able to offer a better service to customers, making it harder for competitors to lure them away.
  4. Integrate channels to increase customer engagement
    Customers expect to be contacted through different media. Companies need to understand these media links and weave different online and offline messages to build compelling, engaging and personal experiences. Integrating channels at different stages of the customer buying cycle and customer management programme will drive benefits including a more consistent and persistent message.
02
Aug
08

Loyalty data translates in better marketing

According to a Nielsen report on consumer insights, stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships can be achieved by a sound analysis of shopping behaviour, leading to targeted marketing programmes.

At Cequity, our belief is that loyalty marketers don’t really use their loyalty marketing data effectively for creating tangible business impact. Our belief is that loyalty data has to be effectively used in real-time(week after week in grocery retail or month after month in lifestyle, CD/IT retail) in target marketing campaigns to build ” value perception” & ” personalized service/rewards privileges” amongst loyal customers.

Take a look at what the Nielsen Report has to say:

Foundations of loyalty
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, companies that use their loyalty programmes to establish a deeper relationship with their customers are better positioned to prosper. Two foundational factors are especially important within any loyalty scheme:

  1. Maintaining good customer data with insights, which can be easily distributed throughout the organisation for decision-making;
  2. Developing a business culture that constantly looks for ways to improve programmes that benefit customers by applying shopper insights.

Creating a process for gathering insights, testing programmes and learning about customer response is important. While a few interesting facts about a cardholder’s household composition might come from the initial card application, such information and even deeper insights may also be derived by capturing sales history and assessing information about customers from transactional-level purchase data.

Sales data not only tells an analyst about additional family members in a cardholder’s household, but it also identifies opportunities to target the household more uniquely through a better understanding of preferences for specific categories, products and brands to satisfy the special needs of a child or any other household member.

Analytical models
Increasingly-sophisticated models also enable analysts to understand why customers shop, how they shop, what they buy and how sensitive they are to various price structures. If properly collected and assessed, sales data can point out everything from pets in the home to family health and nutrition needs. Analysis of the data becomes one way to answer those burning business questions:
· What do customers want?
· How can I keep them shopping in my stores?
· What opportunities exist to increase sales?

The data, analysis, and decision-making are only as good as the commitment by business leaders to continuously apply the insights to developing programmes that positively impact customer behaviour. This kind of transformational change and the impact it has on the enterprise takes time. If leadership embraces the use and application of customer data, the business will follow. Even then, the business must adapt in other ways.

Structural changes needed
Organisational and structural changes are required to re-align goals and incentives or develop planning processes that place a focus on the customer. The end result, however, works. Nielsen Loyalty has witnessed established retailer programmes achieve:

  • Sales effect increases of 1% to 5% in same store sales;
  • Loyal customer basket sales increases of 5% and 9%;
  • New customer retention rate increases from 20% to 40%;
  • Supplier funding for insight and communications rises from 0.05% to 0.1% of sales;
  • Promotional budget savings from 20% to 40%;
  • At least 75% of sales tracked at customer-item level.

Every aspect of a retail business and the interaction with supplier partners must embrace the needed changes for these levels of success to occur. It does not happen quickly, but the sooner the shift in focus occurs, the sooner all parties can begin trialling new solutions.

A good example
One North American retailer, well known for rewarding it best “Platinum Fans” customers, wanted to use its Loyalty card programme to further build customer affinity and grow sales. By all accounts, this grocery chain has earned some measure of success-achieving over 85% of sales on card by reinforcing a message of customer value, targeted offers, and special services. These loyal customers received periodic special in-store gift cards and coupons presented to them directly by the store manager for maintaining high loyalty thresholds.




At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
November 2017
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