8 Ways to Increase Engagement with Your Loyal Customers
March 29, 2021
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If you’re looking for ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers, then the good news is that you’ve already uncovered the secret to brand loyalty and customer retention!These days, customer engagement revolves around creating meaningful experiences, rather than fleeting transactions.
There are a number of techniques you can employ to ensure that customers are consistently engaged and enjoying a pleasant experience with your brand via numerous channels; from social media and digital loyalty apps, to your online shop and in-store interactions too.
What do these statistics suggest? As CX (customer experience) grows increasingly important, businesses must turn to highly intuitive state-of-the-art platforms to automate things like personalization, omnichannel engagement and other strategies for strengthening the brand-customer connection.
By weaving a well-structured digital loyalty program into the fabric of your business, you can effortlessly implement the following ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers.
1. Surprise & Delight with Spontaneous Rewards
Who doesn't love to be pleasantly surprised? Rather than wait for customers to complete their digital stamp card, why not throw in an occasional “gift” at random moments in the customer journey?
This technique is referred to as Surprise & Delight, and it:
Shows your loyal customers that you value their business
Reinforces a positive brand message
Provides a welcome opportunity to engage your customers – after all, who is going to be annoyed when they receive a text/email/push notification that says "Free drink on us", "Buy One, Get One Free" or "25% off next time you're in"?!
The Surprise & Delight technique helps customers to grow familiar with receiving communications from your brand, and they will associate it with good news. This paves the way for further engagement, and strengthens their emotional connection to your brand.
2. Acknowledge Milestones in the Customers’ Journey
When considering ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers; every milestone in the customer’s journey is an opportunity to touch base and enhance their customer experience.
Whether it’s their birthday, the anniversary of their signing up to your loyalty program or perhaps it’s their 10th purchase in a single calendar month, give your most valued customers a pat on the back.
Just to acknowledge the occasion will usually leave a lasting positive impression on any customer, but of course it doesn’t hurt to attach a small token of gratitude to the message – double loyalty points on their next purchase, perhaps.
3. Engage Customers with Personalized Offers
Knowing your audience is arguably the most crucial factor in a business’s success, and it’s key to customer engagement. How can you engage your customers effectively if you don’t know who they are or what they want?
Your digital loyalty program is an invaluable tool for unearthing this information, because it can tell you:
What your customers are purchasing
How often they are purchasing it
What else they are purchasing along with it
What time of day they tend to make purchases
Whether they prefer to shop with you in-person or online
Countless other data points that your rewards platform can then use to send targeted communications, for a more personalized customer experience
The more you engage your customers, the better your digital rewards platform gets to know them, and the more personalized their experience comes with each new interaction.
You can offer free shipping to your customer who likes to shop online, while offering “Buy One Get One Free” or an exclusive upgrade deal to your customer who tends to frequently purchase the same item.
In this day and age, generic communications that are sent out to an entire customer base simply don’t cut it anymore. Tailored offers are one of the key ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers.
4. Make Sure Your Rewards Are Relevant & Achievable
Is an 80-year-old lady going to be tempted by your loyalty program, if the reward is a remote-controlled racecar? Similarly, is a teenager with limited expendable income going to sign up for a program that requires 20 transactions before rewarding you with a 50% off day spa package?
Never say never, but you’re not exactly appealing to a wide audience...
Depending on what type of business you have, your customer base might already be extremely niche and thus it’s very easy for you to offer relevant rewards that will appeal to your entire clientele.On the other hand, your business might attract people from all walks of life, in which case your rewards need to be enticing to as many customers as possible.
There are several solutions to this – you could use personalization to segment your customer base and offer tailored rewards, for example. Another approach is to partner up with businesses that share a similar customer base (hotels and airlines, for instance), and create an overarching loyalty program that provides a more wholesome loyalty experience with greater variety.
5. Provide a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
What do I mean by this? A good way to increase engagement with your loyal customers is to ensure they can engage with your brand across several devices, in a variety of ways, for numerous purposes, and still enjoy a seamless experience.For example, let’s say someone is browsing your online store via their laptop. They add a few items to their basket, then get distracted by a phone call and go about their day.
Several days later, they receive an abandoned cart email from you – “Hi Michelle, don’t forget your cart! Here’s a 10% discount code for you to apply at checkout.”When Michelle gets home, she proceeds to checkout via her mobile device. The items are still in her cart, and the discount code has already been applied automatically.
Immediately after completing her purchase, Michelle realises she hasn’t updated her address since she moved house last month. She jumps on social media and instant messages the business directly, explaining her issue.
Within minutes she receives a response from a friendly member of the support team, acknowledging the issue and asking her for the new address. The issue is rectified, and Michelle immediately receives an email stating that her address has been updated and her package is on its way.
This is an example of outstanding omnichannel engagement that pulls multiple avenues together in order to create a convenient, seamless and ultimately reassuring customer experience.
By utilizing a state-of-the-art rewards platform that stores customer data in an efficient and reliable manner, you can ensure consistent communication across all of your business’s touchpoints.Social media plays a huge role in omnichannel engagement, and we’ve dedicated an entire other article to improving customer loyalty through social media.
6. Educate Customers on Your CSR Initiatives
As a marketer or business owner looking for ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers, Corporate Social Responsibility has never been more important. Your customers want to know what your business is doing to help with environmental and societal issues, and your messaging needs to reflect this.Popular gaming retailer EB Games has even taken it a step further, by providing customers with an easy way to get involved in its CSR initiatives through the Edge Rewards loyalty program.
Essentially, the program rewards members who donate old unused games and consoles, by offering them discounts on new items. The old games and consoles don’t even need to be purchased from EB Games, which demonstrates the company’s commitment to reducing e-waste.
More than half of all global internet traffic now occurs on mobile devices. If your customer experience is not catering for mobile users, then you’re setting yourself up to fail – especially considering that over 50% of people will neglect a brand if the website isn’t mobile-friendly.
From online shopping to searching for contact information, returns and exchange policies, social media engagement and more; try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and engaging with your own business via mobile. This will give you a good idea of whether your mobile optimization needs some attention.
In general, your customers want a seamless and convenient experience that provides instant gratification –they will expect this whether they are on their phone, laptop, tablet, shopping in-person or any other touchpoint for that matter.
8. Add Loyalty Program Members to Your Newsletter List
This one might seem obvious, and yet plenty of businesses that have both a loyalty program and a newsletter subscribers’ list forget to merge the two.
There’s no need to be covert about it, either. Be open with your customers about the fact that signing up to your loyalty program means subscribing to your newsletter for exciting industry news and exclusive deals on products – if they don’t like it, they can opt out.
In our experience, anyone who shops with your brand often enough that they are willing to join your loyalty program, will actually want periodic email updates about upcoming events, exclusive promotions and other goodies.
By building a list of email subscribers that consists of your loyal customers, you can keep them engaged with quality content that directly applies to them, and improves their experience with your brand.
Never stop searching for new ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers
If there’s one rule of thumb that trumps all others in loyalty marketing, it’s that the industry never stops evolving and adapting.
So while the tips listed here are certainly useful ways to increase engagement with your loyal customers, it’s important to keep a close eye on emerging trends and techniques in the industry, and constantly update your marketing strategy to ensure you continue to engage your customers in the most effective ways possible.