What got people talking in March? We bring you the month’s most talked-about stories in the world of customer appreciation, loyalty marketing, and practice management. Read more
We’re back again with another roundup of some of the month’s most talked-about stories in the world of customer appreciation and loyalty marketing. Read more
What got people talking in January? We bring you the month’s most talked-about stories in the world of customer appreciation and loyalty marketing. Read more
Today’s connected consumers look to social media as a way to interact with and promote their favourite brands. According to Kitewheel’s study, nearly 60 per cent of consumers use social media to make comments about their brand experiences – but brands are struggling to integrate these social channels into consumer interactions.
Consumer insights drawn from the study describe the backlash that is brewing by brands’ inability to keep up. A majority of consumers expect a response on social media within 24 hours of tweeting directly to a business, but 45 per cent of marketing executives say that it’s unlikely a brand can afford to respond to every customer’s social media opportunity. Oftentimes consumers feel the only way to get a quick response from a company is to complain on a social network, and this can result in consumers opting out, causing loyalty to waiver. “Brands need to listen proactively,” says Kitewheel.
Non-generic responses over social media are also important. “Consumers seek a unique brand experience,” says the study. A mixture of automation and human response is necessary to connect with highly connected and mobile consumers appropriately. 34 per cent of marketing executives are currently developing the ability to automatically detect and reply to consumers on social media.
If a company provides a positive experience, customers will share their excitement with their network over social media channels – driving traffic to your brand. By implementing that two-way communication seamlessly across all communications channels, consumers will feel connected and appreciated.
It is no secret that technology is reshaping the landscape of human interaction. In Kitewheel’s recent study, authors point out that brands must find ways to integrate both digital and traditional channels and touch points in order to reach today’s connected consumer.
According to Kitewheel, the majority of consumers expect an all-around seamless customer experience to be delivered by brands. Digital efforts should enhance outcomes across traditional channels, and vice versa. This seamlessness points to a brand’s ability to craft and provide positive consumer experiences, no matter what the platform.
The study shows that 54 percent of consumers expect that their experience will be seamless across digital and physical touch points, and their loyalty wavers when brands are unconnected.
“Brands are hamstrung by countless touch points, and different technologies, most of which were never designed to work together,” the study states, “They are challenged to find a way to easily connect all of these individually complex components.”
By striking a balance and creating a consistent experience from traditional to digital platforms, companies can capitalize on the opportunity to extend their reach. 43 percent of consumers in the study said they use multiple devices simultaneously while making a single purchase online – this is critical to note in reaching today’s connected consumer.
As mentioned in the study – loyalty is fickle. If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll move to another company. This reinforces the importance of providing a positive customer experience, no matter what the platform.
In our latest edition of our loyalty and appreciation series, we bring you some of November’s most talked-about stories:
- Less than a month away from the holidays! Five holiday retail customer loyalty lessons learned from back-to-school. (via Loyalty360)
- Five tips for creating the best digital loyalty program. (via Mobile Marketing Watch)
- Give thanks to your customer – here’s how. (via MediaPost)
- Why companies should start implementing digital loyalty options. (via BrainSINS)
Extra: Have you seen our other blog series? It’s based on the Kitewheel study: The State of the Customer Journey. Check out the first post in the series ‘Loyalty and Appreciation: Using Mobile to Bridge the Gap’ here.
What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know on Twitter at @eTrove!
Now more than ever it is important for both consumers and businesses to recognize the status of their relationship.
A recent study by Kitewheel, The State of the Customer Journey, found that 73 per cent of consumers feel that loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show their loyalty to the consumer. The same study found that 66 per cent of marketing executives believe that the same loyalty programs are a way for consumers to show their loyalty to a brand.
So, who should be loyal to whom?
“Businesses must revise their strategy and prove to consumers that loyalty goes both ways,” the report points out. There is currently an area of disconnect between consumers and businesses, with varying levels of expectation.
With the current combination of both digital and traditional platforms, brands are struggling to meet consumer expectation. This environment demands real-time convenience and immediate response, ultimately driving consumer loyalty and retention. Brands must “bridge the gap” between consumer data and experience.
This is where mobile marketing, a mostly untapped potential “bridge”, comes into play. According to the study, 76 per cent of consumers use mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews, but only half of businesses are taking advantage of these numbers by managing mobile apps or text messaging. By integrating timely responses brands can better facilitate the consumer experience.
The end result of all of this? The relationship needs to be a mutually beneficially, two-way street, showing appreciation both ways. Appreciation is, after all, the next step in loyalty. By making programs easy and personal for today’s connected consumers, brands can attract loyal and appreciative customers. “Loyalty is about the individual, not the segment.”
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