What constitutes a loyal customer?
Increased spend? Order frequency? Brand advocacy?
While our new 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study showed that 67% of loyal customers buy from their favorite brands at least once a month, and what happens in between purchases is just as important.
Learning what truly drives customer loyalty also reveals the less favorable habits as well.
Here are 5 not-so-good truths from the study that marketers should keep in mind.
1. Thirty-six percent of consumers rarely or never check their loyalty status/points.
What can brands do to improve this area of customer loyalty? In a word: Communication.
Communicate with your loyalty program members more and send more timely reminders. For example, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts both do a great job of communicating with members via SMS, email, and within their respective program apps.
Customer segmentation helps brands communicate more efficiently with members based on how engaged they are and how much they use your program.
Optimize your messaging for these different customer groups. Understand your customer segments and their preferences
Personalize rewards for greater engagement and offer promotions tied to your loyalty program. Always communicate with your members about their loyalty status and make it top-of-mind for them.
2. Fifty-eight percent of consumers rarely or never post about their favorite brands on social media.
This stat is surprising, considering how often consumers access social media. Incentivize your loyalty program members for social media engagement.
You can incentivize consumers with social media rewards such as a discount or points for shares, or free items for submitting user-generated content. Examples of user-generated content include texts, posts, images, videos, and reviews.
But to truly elevate social media engagement among members, consider offering experiential rewards since these become highly shareable.
When your brand engages on social media, it raises awareness and encourages customers to interact. Incentivize your customers to share brand-related content on social media and then their friends and families will see it.
Incentivizing customers to write reviews is a beneficial activity to include in your loyalty program. Reviews provide brands with critical customer feedback, help build your reputation, and amplify your brand to prospective customers.
Social media is where your customers are, so it makes sense to engage often with them and offer customer support.
3. In the past year only 17% of consumers have posted about their favorite brands using their hashtags/handles.
This stat continues the social media theme and how brands can engage consumers via hashtag campaigns.
A hashtag campaign is a social media marketing campaign that involves a specific hashtag that a brand creates and promotes to generate awareness for your brand, a product, launch, or event.
This type of campaign extends your reach and reputation and is a terrific way to engage your customers and increase your number of followers.
Hashtag promotions stimulate social advocacy. Hashtag sweepstakes on Twitter and Instagram are low-cost and highly effective solutions to stimulate social advocacy for your brand, products, and/or services.
Each time a participant publishes a post containing the brand’s promotional hashtag, he or she is automatically entered into the promotion.
For example, we worked on a hashtag campaign with Varo Bank called Varo For Tomorrow $100,000 Giveaway.
The entire promotion lived on Twitter/Instagram. To enter, participants had to follow @VaroBank on Twitter, post a photo or video answering the question, “What are your 2021 money goals?”, and include #VaroForTomorrow and #Sweepstakes, and tag @VaroBank.
Brands can spark interest in social media sharing by using hashtags that resonate with their most loyal customers.
4. Only 24% of consumers provide feedback/fill out surveys for their favorite brands.
Consumers are always looking for value from any brand. So, if you are trying to get consumers to engage with your brand by filling out a survey, or providing any other feedback, make sure there’s something in it for them.
For example, if you want consumers to fill out a survey, be sure that it is short and easy to do. If it seems complex to any degree, you’ll lose people instantly.
Also, when asking them to fill out a survey, offer something in return that makes them feel acknowledged and special. That can be a free gift, a discount on the next purchase, or a sweepstakes entry.
Any survey should be compelling to consumers, filled with intriguing questions that are relevant to them. If you make surveys relevant to your target audiences, you’ll have a better chance of them filling them out.
To solicit any other feedback from consumers, your loyal customers should be rewarded every time they engage with your brand. That can be after purchase, providing a review, joining an online group, reading a piece of content, or referring a friend.
Your most loyal customers want to engage with your brand if there’s value in it for them. They want to provide any feedback you wish on products, services, and anything else. When you ask for their feedback, they feel important and special.
5. Only 19% of consumers share personal data with their favorite brands.
One of the ongoing missions for any brand is collecting valuable customer data. For brands to get more consumers to share personal data with them, brands must be transparent about why they’re asking for specific pieces of information.
As is the case with many of the previous stats listed, brands have to offer valuable incentives for consumers to share personal data. If you offer consumers rewards for any type of brand engagement, the more open they’ll be to sharing personal data with you.
Loyalty is rooted in trust and consumers base their buying decisions on how loyal companies are to them. People want to feel like they are valued by a brand and, in exchange, would be more amenable to sharing personal data.
Brands need to integrate customer behavior with their product data to better understand various buyer segments. If a brand’s communications are tailored to individual customers, it should help retain their loyalty.
One-to-one interactions with customers can never be discounted. The better you get to know your customers and their preferences and desires, the more likely they will be to respond to requests for personal data.
Focus on 1-to-1 Communications to Enhance Your Customer Loyalty
All this adds up to brands thinking holistically about their customer loyalty and engagement strategies and offering something for their diverse customer groups.
Listen to your customers and personalize your interactions whenever you can.
You can make your best customers more loyal by offering additional ways to engage with your brand, whether that’s through in-store events, email, experiential benefits, or social media sharing.
If you’re struggling with your customer engagement efforts, or simply want to improve them, reach out to us at any time here.