In the modern retailing era, creating great customer engagement has become a vital element for any retailer’s success. Most marketers have started tracking what the customer likes in their brand marketing plans around brand awareness and brand promotions every year. It’s a proven model that loyal customers can promote your brand much better than traditional marketing promotions. In a few markets, customer acquisition is getting saturated and every new acquisition costs 5X dollars higher than retaining your existing customer. Hence, it is very important that you connect your loyal customer with the right set of product suites to enable them to spread your brand’s awareness through word-of-mouth marketing.
Customers are the center of the retail universe, that has not changed. However, customers today are smarter than ever; they read and analyze all communications available throughout multiple channels before making any decision. Marketers have started improving their marketing plans by understanding the real customer needs. It’s a new retail era where the average customer experience can get the customer satisfaction score down and in the long term can show an impact on retailers’ revenue. To emotionally connect with your loyal customers and understand their real needs, it’s very important to implement the Right communication to the Right customer at the Right point of time (3R) philosophy in your marketing strategy. Although the 3R philosophy is old school, when integrated with technology, it connects with your customers and has produced wonderful results.
Here are 3 simple ways to implement and improve your connection with customers:
In-store Customer Engagement: Customer re-call value of a brand is higher when they are spending time inside your store. The customer engagement for a sales associate is very easy when he can hear the customer’s thought process along with what the retailer wants to communicate. Away from the traditional approach, retailers are implementing a solution where they gain knowledge by understanding customers’ past shopping experiences, and then make current and future shopping experiences richer instantly by communicating the right content while still inside a store.
Retailers attach many elements for connecting with customers inside the store, from collecting feedback about product portfolios, educating the customer about loyalty programs, collecting customer hobbies or interests, to rewarding customers instantly for their loyalty. Research has shown that rewarding customers instantly increases the customer delight which in-turn has shown 30% – 40% response rates (10X compared to response rates from non In-store engagement).
Lifecycle Marketing: Marketers have started closely working with analysts to build a statistical model, which can integrate customer purchase history, click stream data, click-through, customer hobbies/interests and their updates on social media all together. Output of this type of model is the right content for each customer with time of communication as the X-axis. All events and communications attached are personalized at customer level.
Through lifecycle marketing, we are trying to connect the customer with the right content at the right point of time and ensure the customer response rates are higher than traditional campaigns. In the past, lifecycle marketing has helped retailers in multiplying their response rates up to 300% (w.r.t segment based targeted campaigns) on channels such as text, e-mail, and direct mailers.
Store Task Management: To achieve brand goals and ensure you grow at a double digit rate, it’s necessary for each and every store to grow, for which store staff play a key role in contributing to the final success. In a short format of stores especially EBOs, the customer is highly connected with store staff. Store task management can empower the sales associates with personalized content to talk over the phone or e-mail and become emotionally attached with their loyal customers when they are not in the store.
Store task can give an opportunity for associates to connect and re-gain trust with the customers who are about to churn, or if the customers’ re-call value for the brand is lower. This kind of task management is very simple to implement with your current POS and can quickly increase your sales by at least one more customer per day from each store. Think of the possibilities…
How are you implementing a 3R philosophy to improve your customer engagement strategies?
Sridhar Bollam, VP Analytics