Connect and Collect

Engaging with customers in the age of referrals

 

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In today’s era of instant, infinite media, society has been flooded with advertisements, and each individual consumer is targeted for his/her business and loyalty. While sending a multitude of messages may be an effective way to reach your audience, it doesn’t guarantee that they will respond positively to them. A recent study shows that consumers are growing weary of online advertising, and as technology continues to advance, are finding new ways to negate the efforts of marketers. For instance, 71% of consumers find personalized and behaviour-based advertisements intrusive or annoying. Therefore, the method of communication you choose to interact with your customers is very important, as only the most specific channels will effectively reach them.

 

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Source: MarketingTech Blog, Everyone hates advertising...does paid advertising still work?

 

This phenomenon was exemplified with Facebook in 2014, when they implemented specific changes to their algorithms. Once these changes, which included the limiting of newsfeed clutter, were in effect, growth of sales through social media stagnated. This meant that the Facebook content created by businesses themselves achieved a lower audience engagement compared to before the algorithm was changed. The only exception was content that was sponsored or promoted by the business, meaning they came at a high price. For small to medium sized business owners with low budgets, it became very expensive to reach potential customers, and the cost of trying to attract them outweighed the benefit.

So how does a business attempt to gain new customers when their marketing efforts are not as effective as they used to be? The solution lies in the hands of the existing customers. A study notes that 81% of shoppers conduct online research prior to making purchasing decisions, showing that  word of mouth recommendations have always been a driving sales force. The rise of social networks has brought internet users together, and quickly connected millions to new brands through online recommendations.

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Statistic source: SocialTimes, 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying

 

This provides potential new customers with a way to access information about businesses from other consumers who have already used the products or services in question. It allows for consumers to speak on behalf of the brand, providing a sense of authenticity, rather than a marketed message. This explains why a study found that 78% of consumers don’t find brands open and honest and seek authenticity in the businesses they engage with. Therefore, businesses must be careful as customers can post positive or negative messages. Monitoring what your customers are saying online is a necessary thing to do, and getting to detractors before they write a negative review is even more important. While getting to these critics wasn’t as easy in the past, there are now solutions available, as explained further below.
 

With the increase in the potential of consumer-based promotion, businesses should work to foster a stronger relationship with their customers to gain their loyalty. To keep up with current trends, your business must find new ways to interact with your customers, to create a better in-store experience that would warrant them to return and speak positively on your behalf.


Over the years, we had many businesses utilize TapMango’s customer engagement platform and we are happy to share some tips on creating an innovative customer experience. You want to ensure that your business leaves a positive impression on your consumers. It is only when a customer feels like a business has presented an exceptional experience will they be willing to spread the word of what you have to offer.

 

Engage Customers

While customer loyalty may start at the point of purchase, it spans far beyond this transaction. Following up with a consumer after the transaction is equally important, and creating a relationship with your customers is a crucial part of the process. Send your customers messages after their visits to your store to give them a reason to come back. By offering a positive customer experience, your customers will become loyal to your brand, and will want to come back to your store and write a positive review, especially with the incentives you offer them.

        

You can even tailor your message to specific groups of customers to make sure only relevant information is relayed to them. By categorizing your customers into groups, such as female clients at a hair salon, you can contact them with messages and promotions that are specific to their needs (for women, promotions on men’s haircuts are pure spam!). This is a great way for your customers to know that the messages you send will be suited to them.

 

Listen to Customers


In a situation where a customer has a negative experience with your business, it is best to identify them right away, and find ways to change their opinions of your brand. By implementing a survey system into your customer experience, it allows you to quickly find those who were unsatisfied, and presents an opportunity to improve their future experiences with your business. Time is an important factor for unhappy customers - you want to reach out to them as soon as possible. A digital survey lets you contact your customers right after their negative experience to react as fast as possible.

 

With a set-it and forget-it system, you can set it up once and then the whole process becomes fully automated. As an example, you can send a survey to go out automatically 2 hours after the purchase. To ensure your customers fill it out, you can provide an incentive for filling out the survey and results will flow in. The ultimate approach would be to know how your customers responded the next time they show up at your store. Surprise them with a 10% discount for coming back knowing last time they gave you a low score. We bet after that discount your score and sales will go up!

 

Connect Customers

The best way to attract new customers is to have your existing customer spread the word! Whether it is a positive review on websites such as Yelp!, or a post on their social media page, this is an easy way to get exposure to a new network of potential customers. As our last blog noted, loyal customers make up roughly 20% of the total customer base, but generate roughly 80% of sales revenue. With this in mind, enticing your existing customers with referral incentives is a bonus to everyone involved. New people are introduced to your business, pre-existing customers are rewarded for their recommendation, and your client base can grow.

 

Creating a personal record of referrals for each customer allows their recommendations to be tracked, and each time someone they refer comes into the store, the referrer is automatically rewarded. Technology has allowed for this process to be integrated seamlessly, making it easy for everyone.

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Source: Loyalty360

 

In the age of social media, customers are now voluntarily sharing information throughout the web about the products and services they use. This has become exceedingly important for small to medium sized business owners whose resources are scarce compared to Fortune 500 competitors. The way consumers speak of your business has become extremely powerful in today’s world, and maintaining a happy loyal customer base is the best way to keep good reviews coming. By using some of the techniques that are listed above, you can create a positive customer experience, continuing the cycle of word of mouth recommendations. When you connect is when you collect.

For any questions or concerns regarding this article, please contact us at pr@tapmango.com 

 

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The Loyalty Craze

 

Why Customers love it… Why Businesses Want it…

In today’s day and age, as a small to medium business owner you must ask yourself (and if you don’t, you should), what can you do to ensure that your customers keep coming back to you and how to attract new ones along the way? Is it possible to inspire that feeling of loyalty in customers towards a brand and more importantly, if it is, why isn’t everyone doing it already?

For anyone who has ever heard of the Starbucks Rewards program or CVS ExtraCare Rewards, there is a good reason why you have (and if you haven’t, clearly something’s wrong). Larger retailers have already been doing it for years, spending lots of time and money to implement such programs. A Loyalty Program is a great marketing tool which can help increase growth, retain customers and also provide valuable customer insights. That being said, don’t let the sheer size of these propositions daunt you. Thankfully due to cutting edge technology, it has never been easier to implement one of your own such programs.

Here are a few good reasons why you should consider implementing your very own Loyalty Program:

They Actually Work

There is actual evidence to prove that loyalty programs do provide results. Most businesses are ready to jump on the bandwagon for a reason, and nothing speaks more than $$ does. A study of U.S companies conducted by Experian Data showed that 69 percent of businesses that use loyalty programs could track each of their customer’s lifetime value. They found that those loyal customers spend over 10 times than a non-loyal customer would.

Another study by RJMetrics shows that the top 10% of your loyal customers spend 3x more than the remaining 90% while the top 1% spends 5x more! Furthermore, as seen in the picture below, businesses can increase their profits by up to 95% by just increasing their customer retention rates by as little as 5%. Nearly 83% of customers claim that they are more likely to do business with companies who have loyalty programs in place. So wouldn’t it be beneficial for your business to know who those loyal customers are and provide them with even more incentives?

 

Make Your Loyalty Rewards Practical

SOURCE: FONOLO, 10 GO-TO TIPS FOR INCREASING CUSTOMER LOYALTY

 

Give your Customers a Reason to Keep Coming Back

Studies have shown that customers who accumulate points on their rewards program, tend to keep coming back to stores to redeem them, which leads to further increased purchases and thus, the cycle continues. In most cases, saving money is the primary incentive (almost 60%) behind customers signing up for loyalty programs, but the use of loyalty programs also allows them to gain a sense of achievement by receiving and redeeming rewards they now feel entitled to.

 

SOURCE: TECHNOLOGY ADVICE, WHY CUSTOMERS PARTICIPATE IN LOYALTY PROGRAMS

 

Invoke Brand Loyalty

Customers crave personalization. The more attached a customer is to a brand, the lesser are their chances of switching to another. Think Customer Experience. Businesses need to understand the emotions invoked within their customers which are what lead to the underlying sense of loyalty. Loyalty Programs tailored to their customers give them the sense of importance and exclusivity they innately wish for.

Why would someone come to your store if you offer the same thing as the store across the street? A good reason would be because you make them feel extra special. You give them more than just a product, you make them feel wanted. And who doesn’t want that? This is clearly seen from a study by Bain and Company, there exists an upwards of 70% chance of selling to an existing customer as compared to as low as a 5% chance of selling to a new one.

SOURCE: MARKETING METRICS, 50 FACTS ABOUT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE FOR 2011

 

Valuable Customer Insights

Loyalty programs are no longer about simply receiving and redeeming points, but can also be used to measure any marketing tactics used (promotional offers, sales, etc.) and their results in reeling your customers in. The dollars spent on traditional marketing (PR, media, etc.) are not being discredited here, but simply being shifted lower in the ladder as many of the dollars spent can instead be saved by using the tools of loyalty.

Tracking customer spending habits and product preferences allows businesses to target particular customers who are known to contribute more to the bottom line. A loyalty program helps you understand what works and what doesn’t. As they say… ‘Know thy Customer’. The data a loyalty program could collect for your business provides you with an integral insight into the minds of your consumers so that you can now understand them better to make more relevant offers. It has been found that loyal customers make up about 20% of your total customer base but generate about 80% of the associated revenue by sales.

Loyal Customers are your best Advertisers

Everyone who is in the business to attract new customers knows that keeping the ones you have is on an average 6-7 times cheaper than finding new ones. Not only will a loyalty program allow you to do the former but it could also allow you to use these same faithful followers to help spread the word to their friends, who are more likely to take advice from friends than strangers (refer picture below). Happy customers tend to brag about their favorite brands and having an official system in place which could allow them to refer friends/family by offering related incentives is a tactic most successful businesses are already employing, and that’s based on a good reason.

 

SOURCE: INFLUITIVE, HOW TO CREATE A B2B REFERRAL PROGRAM THAT WORKS

 

Sets You Apart

A myth that most businesses find themselves believing is that customers own loyalty cards from multiple stores, especially retail and grocery stores, and therefore, loyalty programs are ineffective. However, there is evidence to suggest that customers do end up making almost 67 percent of their purchases in their favorite store, making their top brand their dominant spend. In such cases, what needs to be considered is that having your own loyalty program is the first step, but it’s the differentiating factors incorporated that could truly set your store apart.

And So finally…

If you don’t have a loyalty program in place yet, don’t worry because it has never been easier, and cheaper, to get one. At TapMango, we make it possible for any business owner to setup their very own loyalty program, not just comparable to those already out there but so much better. A program customized for our merchants’ specific requirements and targeted at helping them increase sales at an affordable price.

 

For any questions or concerns regarding this article, please contact us at pr@tapmango.com.

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  • Loyalty Programs Need an Identity

    It’s no secret that more and more small businesses are taking on the services of a loyalty provider to bolster their sales and increase customer retention. There’s good reasons for this:

    1. It works for the big guys – Starbucks, for example has a well-known loyalty rewards program called My Starbucks Rewards. The coffee juggernaut credited the rewards program for an 11% increase in revenue the second quarter of 2013 – that’s roughly a 3 billion dollar increase in revenue.
    2. It’s now cost effective – Thanks to the recent boom in smartphone technology there are many loyalty providers out there. The costs have become reasonable as well. For as little as $50 and $200 per month a small business owner can receive a digital loyalty platform to connect with their customers.

    This leaves small business owners competing against their neighbor’s loyalty program. Many businesses pick up a program and let it run without doing anything different. But here lies the problem: just having a loyalty program isn’t really cutting it any more. Small businesses need to stand out.

    Small businesses owners are realizing that they need to build their brand. Having a brand is more than a name and a logo that customers see when they walk in the store or visiting the website. A brand is a business’s identity and what customers connect with; the reason a customer will choose one business over anssages every day. Being consistent with the message customers are being sent goes a long way to help build that identity. This goes as far as to *what* customers see when interacting with a program

    • Rewards should have a purpose – Rewards mean nothing unless they speak to a customer’s needs. It’s easy to just offer a list of items or services that seem fair on the books, but what’s the point if this does nothing for the customer? “Oh that’s nice” isn’t good enough, a reward should be a goal for the customer.
    • Personalization speaks volumes – Having a system that sends messages and provides rewards based on what individual customers want goes miles. If the customer is able to sit back and say “wow, these guys know me” when being rewarded then they are more likely to respond to the message. Just like social media or web based ads should be targeted to user preference, so should a loyalty program.
    • A brand is a unique selling proposition – A brand should end up being the reason a customer goes to a business, rather than simple products and services. Once a patron is able to relate to the brand and see something they cannot find elsewhere then the decision to come back becomes simple.

    So at the end of the day what arother.

    A loyalty program should reflect the business’s brand as well. Every action should scream “This is who we are, and this is why you chose us!” What can be done to accomplish this? It’s the little things that make the big difference.

    • Consistent messaging speaks to customers – Customers are bombarded with marketing mee you doing to set your program apart?

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