In October 2021, the industry re-opened from the last lockdown. Fast forward 21 months and it is clear that customers and their expectations have changed. Consumers, now more than ever, are looking for more from their investment and with the increased cost of living pressures, are wanting to spend less for better value, and they will shop around to get it!
What is your strategy to grow your membership base and retain valuable customers?
Many sales and service-based businesses (e.g. retail, travel, hospitality) offer some form of a loyalty program based on spend, and sometimes attendance, to encourage membership and usage. The general format usually comprises earning and redeeming points (or some other form of internal/external currency), generating periodic offers and awarding discounts/rewards. Often there is the use of tiering to complement the increase in visitation and spend in exchange for improved value to the member.
While these programs may be effective in driving customer loyalty and engagement, they can run the risk of being one-dimensional, potentially alienating the target audience through lack of relevance and customer focus while fostering a culture of entitlement. They can also negatively impact on a business’ bottom line if the program’s “satisfaction meter” and the cost of the program is not regularly measured, or the Return on Investment validated.
How can we better understand our customers’ needs while delivering a loyalty program that works more effectively and efficiently?
One key approach is to streamline the delivery of your marketing and brand strategy, which is why many businesses within the service and sales sectors now rely on third party platforms to integrate with their existing systems.
Customer Relationship (CRM) or Customer Experience Management (CXM/CEM) programs have evolved to the extent where they can present a cost effective solution to drive your business in a way where you are only limited by your imagination, and can then efficiently measure the success of your creativity with limited resources and skill sets required.
So what is the difference between CRM and CXM?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Program is used to track customers to an extent and convey an offering through direct marketing. For example, a reward/campaign/communication piece is set up with a targeted list, who are then notified via email/SMS/push notice. On completion of the campaign, the data is then reviewed to analyse the take-up, cost and the subsequent success of the offer can be formulated.
Consider examples like MyerOne (retail), BMW (Sales & Service) or Coca Cola (commercial purchasing) – these companies are all successfully utilising a CRM platform to drive engagement with their products or services.
Customer EXperience Management (CXM) on the other hand refers to a platform which integrates data from multiple systems across various touchpoints in real-time. Loyalty, hardware, applications and messaging are all connected by one source, set up and published centrally and then reported on in real time. A CXM will facilitate automated communications and campaigns based on prescribed parameters and then delivered instantly through various modes such as push notifications, Email or SMS.
Examples of companies very effectively using a CXM are McDonalds, Bakers Delight and Woolworths, who curate real-time offers and incentives specific to an individual’s needs (or wants) based on factors like their spending habits, location and preferences to drive repeat visitation and brand loyalty.
CXM primarily differs from CRM in that the real-time data, from multiple sources, ultimately offers greater insights into customers changing needs and behaviours while providing operators with key information to understand what motivates their customers. This then allows the operator to react instantly to create a unique experience and exceed their customer’s expectations, a seamless, positive experience which will ultimately drive brand affinity and loyalty…if it is done well.
So how will your business adapt to the ‘new norm’?
Visit RedeemX at the AGE at Stand 630 and be inspired by a scalable CXM, tailored for your business, integrating your systems to drive your customer’s experience and your bottom line.