Building loyalty, then, is extremely crucial to any company’s bottom line. However, technology has empowered customers, giving them more choice. Retaining that loyalty is a constant and ongoing battle. Even a couple of poor instances of customer service can have the most loyal customers looking elsewhere.
The heat is on, and businesses are having to up their game to offer more effective and more personalized loyalty programs. Those who can manage this are reaping the dividends, but this approach is not without its challenges.
Firstly, there is the issue of privacy. Customers are eager to have more personalized experiences from customers and for that they are willing to let companies handle their data. However, they are also more concerned about privacy and aware of the risks which come from sharing their data with third parties. Any business which suffers a data breach will find it more difficult to rebuild their trust with those customers if they are shown not to have taken good care of their customers’ data.
Consumers also like to be in control of their interactions with customers. That means they want to know what data companies have on them and to consent to all forms of communication. Unexpected contact can create irritation as well as potentially breaking various data protection regulations.
However, as long as you are transparent with your customers, and show how you’re taking precautions to protect their data, they will be happy to work with you in building a much closer and longer lasting relationship.
Secondly, competing for their attention has never been more difficult. Customers may receive hundreds of marketing messages each day. The vast majority will go straight to the marketing bin. Standing out from the crowd is almost impossible if you do not inject personalization into your messaging.
Loyalty programs, therefore, take on an extra dimension. By offering a more personalized approach, businesses can provide customers with a more exciting and engaging type of interaction.
The data they can receive from those interactions can in turn be used to improve their marketing efforts and make their offers even more personalized. For those companies which are looking to build ongoing relationships with customers, therefore, personalized loyalty programs will form the basis of their marketing efforts.
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