At the beginning of every year it is important to sit down and take a look at upcoming trends in the industry and determine what your team can do to get ahead on your strategy for the year. While a lot of trends stay consistent, it’s important to look at where you can revamp and put more of your energy. Here are 3 trends to keep your eye on within customer loyalty this year and how they all work together to make your loyalty program stand out.
Focus on customer retention
While customer acquisition will always be important, customer retention is beginning to take the upper hand. Acquiring new customers takes time and costs a lot of money when you could be putting that money and energy into money existing customers. Current customers have built that trust within your business and are willing to spend more money trying new products and services. Happy customers, in return, create loyal customers and they will promote your business for you. Customers are excited to recommend brands that they trust and are easy to work with. With a rise in competitors in the customer loyalty sphere, your reputation and customer engagement is more important than ever. Focusing on customer retention doesn’t mean that you won’t be acquiring new customers, your new customers will come from the marketing that your current customers do through word-of-mouth praise and recognition.
Making sure that your customer’s experience is personalized is not new when it comes to a marketing strategy. However, there are new loyalty programs popping up left and right, and your rewards need to be leveling up to keep up with the new programs. If your rewards are the same as everyone else’s then there is no reason that they should choose your program over the new one with the cute Instagram feed. When you put the time in to know your customer base and predict what they want to see as a reward option then that will build their customer loyalty to your brand.
There are also other ways to catch customers' eyes that go beyond just awards. If your business is partnered up with a non-profit or a charity it makes you stand out from the crowd. More customers want to see their everyday actions have a positive impact on the world and a way to do that is through charitable donations via their loyalty programs. A growing number of businesses are starting to link their loyalty programs with humanitarian causes, understanding that customers are more inclined to participate in a loyalty program when they know it not only benefits themselves but other people or communities as well. Companies who incorporate charitable initiatives as part of their brand identities can then see this reflected in their brand communities of loyal customers and advocates.
Monitoring and understanding customer data has always been important, and loyalty data in particular will play a bigger part as brands continue developing and tweaking their 2023 strategies. Like we discussed before, personalization leads to loyal customers, and the data collected will help brands determine exactly what types of experiences and touchpoints play a part in building loyalty customer relationships. Predictive analytics are especially important for going into 2023 because understanding trends in customers’ needs, preferences, and issues is now essential to providing a good customer experience. Customer standards are always rising and if their expectations aren’t met then they will likely look somewhere else. In order to achieve predictive analytics you need to Describe, Diagnose, Predict, and Prescribe. While you might not be able to get to the ‘Prescribe' stage in the snap of a finger, taking the time to understand your customers' data – the trends in their interests and what drives them to make a purchase – will enable you to better market towards them in the future.
These are only 3 upcoming trends and there are plenty more that will pop up throughout the year. However, being prepared and utilizing insights like these can help you lay the foundation for a successful and long-lasting loyalty program. It’s more important than ever to dig deeper in understanding your customers and what they care about, because doing so will not only benefit them but also you and your brand in the long run.
Have some questions on how to implement this into your loyalty program? Reach out to us today and see how we can help you!