The Science Behind Customer Retention

by Natasha Ambavle |

The Science Behind Customer Retention

The year 2020 shed light on the significance of customer retention and since then, it has been the talk of the town! While everyone stresses the importance of adopting this strategy, there isn’t much speculation about why and when you should focus on retention. In this article, we will learn about when you need to … Read more

Strategic Advantages and a Playbook to Improve Customer Retention

Imagine collecting seashells from the shore, putting them in your beach bag, then returning home to find the bag was torn, and you were left with nothing! As a company, if you have faced a similar predicament of securing new customers through expensive marketing strategies and failing to retain them, you’ve wasted important time and … Read more

Fundamental Strategies to Reduce Churn Rate

Brands invest heavily in customer acquisition, expecting and anticipating that these newly acquired customers will have a high customer lifetime value and remain associated with the brand for a long time. But customer churn is as inevitable and unpredictable as the stock market. According to a study by Kolsky, “1 in 26 unhappy customers will … Read more

Lessons in Marketing – Customer Loyalty and Customer Retention

customer loyalty and retention

At first glance, you would assume that customer loyalty outweighs customer retention. Who doesn’t want a strong set of loyal customers? Retaining customers may seem less important compared to having loyal customers, but what most fail to understand is that customer retention is a very important stage that leads to customer loyalty. How can you … Read more

Retain More Customers in 2021

Retain Customers

Imagine spending thousands on marketing campaigns and strategies to acquire new customers every year…and then routinely losing these customers to competitors or a new trending product in the market! Each year, companies across various sectors allot a whopping figure solely for customer acquisition. But to make the most of this investment, a company must have … Read more

Client Retention and Strategies for 2021-22

Client Retention Strategies

Brands and companies across the world are focusing more on client retention programs as compared to customer acquisition. Ever wondered why? The answer is simple. Repeat purchases are cost-efficient, and more importantly, they promote brand loyalty. Loyal customers have a high customer value and are an asset to any company. They spend more on the … Read more

Restaurant Loyalty: Turn Guests into Fans

Restaurant-Loyalty

When you think of restaurant loyalty, what comes to mind?

The card you’d carry in your wallet. You’d pull it out each time you bought a sub, waiting for the card to fill up, for the reward of a free lunch.

Probably not. Today some of the best loyalty programs are being run by restaurants.

When asked about “your” favorite loyalty program, the two that repeatedly make the top 5 are Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. Guests of these QSRs are huge fans of these brands.

What is it about these programs that make them stand out over all other programs in the market today? They practice the (new) KISSS –

Keep it,  Simple. Seamless. Satisfying.

Simple

Keeping it simple is far more difficult than it sounds. As marketers, we work to please a lot of people: our boss, the CFO, the CIO, CEO, our team members, and our guests. A few years back I was involved in an RFP for a QSR that had a remarkably complex loyalty program vision. The program had multiple steps to earning and burning, multiple values to the rewards, and a requirement to use the app only. The program spec was documented in over 100 pages. Thankfully, for the guests and the marketers, the program was never launched.

Simplicity is key to the success of a restaurant loyalty program. We’d like to think that our guests think about our brand all the time. The reality is that they will not take the time to read rules nor learn the ins and outs of program earnings. It’s just not going to happen. Especially when the potential value of that time spent is a brownie (even though they are delicious!).

Seamless

Over the last week, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with analysts focused on customer experience. Each discussion narrowed to friction as one of the biggest challenges of delivering positive customer experiences. (Not to confuse friction with effort, as some effort is good – it creates a commitment between the brand and the customer.)  Making a guests’ loyalty experience with you seamless delights the guest. Not only do they come back more frequently, but they also become advocates for your restaurant.

Starbucks loyals love the seamless experience the Starbuck app awards them from ordering to payment to rewards and reward redemption. All are just a few clicks away.

Satisfying

Another area that becomes complex or challenging for marketers is creating a program that has a value that’s exciting to members. When actually, guests will be happy with the opportunity to get a better experience and a few perks along the way. If you actually look at the value of the Starbucks program (sorry Starbucks) the value isn’t really that great or valuable. It’s the fact that as a Starbucks guest, I’m recognized for my patronage. They recognize me and make me feel appreciated. Plus, as a bonus, I get a free coffee or meal along the way.  Satisfying!

To deliver on a KISSS strategy, you’ll want to incorporate the following:

  • Simple program structure. Create a structure that is easy for people to understand how to earn and redeem.  Also, ensure it’s easy for a guest to understand what they get if they increase their frequency and spend.
  • Seamless omnichannel experience. This is delivered by ensuring your loyalty technology is embedded as the heart of your tech stack. You’ll integrate with all data sources including but not limited to CRM, ecomm, mobile well as POS, and order systems. This will ensure that guest data is used the same way across all channels, including in restaurants.
  • Satisfying. Your program will have a core value proposition. You’ll be able to augment that with relevant messaging (based on the data collected). Plus you’ll be able to add in promotions or loyalty gamification to recognize and engage guests that will increase satisfaction.

Following a KISSS approach will ensure you build a program that will engage your guests and keep them coming back. Contact the experts at Annex Cloud for guidance as you build out your KISSS loyalty strategy.

Why the one thing you need in 2022 is loyalty

loyalty strategy

The one thing you can’t live without in 2021 is customer retention & loyalty strategy.

There are a lot of uncertainties in the world today but the one thing we all know is that keeping existing customers is vital to the growth and sustainability of your business.

Unlike this time last year, where we were citing all the reasons retention is important – the Bain stat that says increase retention 5% and you’ll increase profits by 75%, this year poses 3 significant, different reasons to connect at a new level with your customers. Emphasizing that you really can’t pass on your loyalty strategy in 2021.

  1. Economic uncertainty and recessionary times
  2. Consumers demands (and needs) for real connectivity and empathy
  3. Saying goodbye to cookies and other 3rd party data approaches

Economic Uncertainty = Need to Focus on Customer Retention

When times get tough, money is tight, people spend less and make more critical decisions to where they do spend. In 2008, many organizations made conscience decisions to shift there, then, limited marketing dollars to retention efforts. Those that did fare far better through and post the recession than those who kept spending consistent or slowed spend all together.

With limited resources, consumers will fear making a purchase mistake. They will be less likely to try new things. With limited cash in hand, consumers will make the familiar choice, the trusted choice.

To ensure your customers come back to you, you need to connect with them. Remind them of your value. Remind them of the positive experiences they’ve had and reinforce those experiences at each touchpoint.

Consumers Need Real Connectivity

Fast forward 10 years, 2018, 2019, consumers began to raise the bar on their expectations of the organizations where they do business. It was no longer okay to personalize with my name in an email. Or offer up product selections based on the gifts I purchased. Consumers know they are sharing their data. They’re expecting organizations to be good stewards of their data and use the data to deliver a more relevant customer experience.

Additionally, people today are more focused on what they feel is important – doing good, giving back, sustainability, etc.  They expect organizations they patronize to represent the same responsibility, they are taking.  A few years ago consumers were asking brands to “know me, understand me, inspire me”. Today consumer’s expectations go further to “walk with me, walk in my shoes”.

Add on top of all of this a year in lockdown.  People are focused more than ever on what’s important to them.  They’re making more and more conscience choices based on that their values.

The right loyalty strategies and programs allow organizations to create a clear, unique, personal, even empathic value exchange with customers.

Bye Bye Cookies

As marketers, we’ve grown accustomed to building out our marketing strategies based on 3rd party data and technology tricks like cookies to identify customers and prospects and deliver somewhat personalized experiences based on these inferences.  We’ve built our tech stacks and our analytics around look-alike models and personas.  We’ve invested in CDPs that can get us to 70-75% accuracy in matching data.  These activities have been working fairly well for organizations.

Now, all of this is changing. The stringent privacy laws to protect consumers and their data are finally coming to fruition. They are finally here. Organizations are now being forced to play by new rules. These new rules are affecting the technologies we’ve grown accustomed to using.  A great example of these changes – cookies are going away.

With the dawning GDPR, CCPA – now morphing to a much more stringent CPRA, mean organizations will need to move from reliance on 3rd party data, to going directly to the source – your customer – for information.  Organizations will be forced to work directly with customers to collect their information and gain permission to use their data in marketing efforts.

For many organizations, this means a whole new way of marketing and potentially a number of new technologies.  The good news – loyalty technology is built on the foundation of permissible value exchange.

These 3 major environmental changes point to loyalty as the solution and strategy you must have to be successful in 2021 and beyond.

To ensure you are successful in your loyalty strategy, the Annex Cloud Loyalty Experience Manager solution is the perfect answer.  With roots in the social space, Annex Cloud is the only solution that can track, understand and communicate with your customer with a personalized, empathic message at every touchpoint.  Plus with our extensive integration and partner network, the launch process is swift ensuring you can make an impact in 2021.

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