Customer Experience and Loyalty Data + Insights Loyalty Marketing

Loyalty: The Future of Customer Engagement [Part 1]

Loyalty can mean many things to many people; personally, and professionally. In its simplest form, it is the notion of a tool used by brands to drive customer engagement by leveraging a reward or incentive to make a purchase decision. And in its deepest form, it is a means to evoke a personal and emotional connection. What makes loyalty so unique is that it is ubiquitous. It transcends all brands regardless of what you are selling or offering to consumers or distributed sales partners.

Elements of Loyalty

By definition, loyalty is a feeling of strong support or allegiance. We all, as humans, have felt that. As marketers, there are so many considerations, points in time, and moments of engagement that influence a consumers’ decision to buy a brand product or service. Some of those might be based on price, convenience, habit, what influencers are sharing, or their own personal connection to the brand.

Deep rooted loyalty is based on an ongoing series of connections that continue to bring a customer back to a brand. Building this kind of brand loyalty and customer engagement over the years is a combination of elements inside and outside a brand’s control. At the end of the day, brand loyalty over time is about living up to the expectations of the consumer.

Building Brand Loyalty

The most successful brands align their brand vision with their customer experience and value proposition. Customers demonstrate brand preference across behavioral actions as well as emotional connections. Brands build loyalty through structured tactics like loyalty programs, as well as unstructured tactics like engagement initiatives.

Meeting Consumer Expectations

As marketers, it can be overwhelming to think of all the possibilities to foster long-term loyalty among consumers. What will really drive your goals and objectives can be daunting. Plus, consumer expectations have never been higher, and a one-size-fits-all solution is no longer feasible. Consumers want to be treated as individuals. Brands today have the data, so they should show consumers they know them. The key is to engage and communicate across channels in a consistent and tailored way.

The Role of Data and Customer Experience

Over 80% of companies believe they are delivering great customer experiences. That’s significant. However, when consumers were asked about customer experiences, only 8% believe they are receiving a great customer experience (CX) with the brands they interact with most [source: Bain & Company]. So how do we change this? ​It starts with the data.

Easier said than done, right? That’s especially true for brands steeped in heritage and legacy or built on acquisition. Customer data that is consolidated is key. Breaking down the data by segments and then understanding how those segments are behaving will help you begin to understand how all your consumer touchpoints are interacting within the customer journey, and where there are gaps and pain points in your CX.

Another key to success is pre-purchase engagement. A recent Forrester blog post highlighted the importance of this type of engagement to drive loyalty. It’s this notion of the Discovery and Evaluate phases of a customer lifecycle – “Discover is meant to attract and engage prospective loyal customers. Evaluate is focused on making your customers’ purchases easy.” And they emphasized the importance of establishing an emotional connection to encourage loyalty. Emotions ultimately drive behaviors. Data from Forrester’s Customer Experience Benchmark Survey shows that, of consumers who feel appreciated, 88% plan to stay with the brand, 83% plan to spend more with the brand, and 87% will advocate for the brand. ​

The Ansira Experience is Everything

Working with brands across a multitude of industry verticals from tech to QSR (quick service restaurants) to automotive has given Ansira a window into the unique challenges and commonalities brands are facing today. Whether you’re looking to optimize existing programs, overhaul a program entirely, or are just beginning to ideate your loyalty strategy, we can partner together to design a loyalty program that will create brand fanatics for life. Contact us today.

By Kelly Jacxsens

Kelly is Ansira's Head of Client Partnership and Engagement and has more than 15 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industries. She is skilled in digital strategy, advertising, cross-channel and performance marketing, CRM, customer loyalty, and MarTech solutions. She has a demonstrated track record of success with integrating organizations and building and reorganizing teams focused on delivery excellence and client relationships.