How to Leverage Data to Implement the Best Customer Loyalty Tactics
How many times have you found yourself walking into Target for a new toothbrush and exiting with backup cleaning supplies (for next year), new toys for your dog, and a state-of-the-art popcorn maker? America’s favorite department store recently announced its new loyalty program, called "Target Circle," where customers now receive special discounts based on data collected on their shopping habits. With this vast array of data, Target is working “smarter not harder” to deliver a more personalized and enhanced customer experience (CX) for each and every one of its customers. The good news for retailers is that this is something every brand has the power to do. Below is a guide to leveraging data to implement the best customer loyalty tactics.
In-Store and Online Personalization Experiences
Whether buying in-store or online, one thing is for certain: consumers want a personalized experience. In fact, half of consumers say it's important that they receive personalized information from a brand. Retailers should be exploring every avenue to create a customized experience for their consumers, and data is a great place to start.
With the help of data and advanced analytics, retail brands can better understand what their customers want on an individual level. For example, perhaps a brand finds that half of their customers prefer online shopping vs. in-store shopping. From there, that brand can make an informed decision on where to allocate their time and budget towards enhancing the CX on an individual basis. The bottom line is that data helps retailers to understand who to target, where to target and what to target them with (pun intended).
With Target’s new loyalty program, the retailer is offering personalized perks to its customers in-store and online, and allotting them via individual preferences and shopping habits. This strategy has created an atmosphere where customers feel as if they have their own shopping assistant.
Helping Customers Help Themselves Through Better Self-Service
When it comes to pleasing your customers, it all comes down to convenience and speed. Retail brands can provide this by implementing various self-service tools across their website and social channels. For example, Target’s “help” page allows customers to search for commonly asked questions and get answers in a matter of a couple clicks.
Another common example of self-service tools are “how to” videos hosted across brands’ channels. Apple is an example of a retailer that does a fantastic job at this. On its website, Apple uses a “support” tab to link to troubleshooting videos. By providing videos to solve frequent issues customers encounter, Apple is able to keep its phone lines open for more uncommon issues that require the help of an employee, which ultimately improves the CX by reducing wait times and solving issues in a timely manner.
Merging Omnichannel Technology to Create a Well-Rounded CX
The customer journey isn't always direct from start to finish. Consumers browse for products in multiple channels, whether that be brands’ websites, Instagram accounts, personalized Facebook ads, etc. While the customer journey used to be purely transactional, we're now seeing it consists of a series of interactions between the brand and consumer. Sometimes, customers browse in all channels for a single purchase. Luckily, technology exists for retailers to track the customer journey. Through understanding consumer habits, brands can ensure they're present during every point of the customer journey and better understand how to merge omnichannel technology.
While it's impossible to read the minds of customers, retail brands can come pretty close with the help of data and analytics. Understanding the customer journey, and what their preferences are, doesn't have to be complicated. By leveraging data and analytics, retailers can compete with big brands like Target.
Kelli Harrison is vice president of global account management at Sitel Group, a business process outsourcing solutions provider.
Kelli Harrison is VP of Global Account Management at Sitel Group, a business process outsourcing solutions provider.
She joined Sitel Group in February 2000 and previously served in operations, customer experience, and project management roles, where she led functional responsibility for business execution and process improvement. Kelli has over 25 years of experience in BPO.
She holds a degree from the University of Minnesota, is PMO certified and holds business certification in communications and business development. Currently, Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida after spending 4 years with Sitel Group in Europe.