Customers move at a speed that is faster than ever. That speed, coupled with the breadth of options available to them and the constant barrage of marketing messages they’re pelted with 24/7, chip away at the customer relationship—or keep it from ever getting started.
Today’s customers expect to be treated as individuals.
Without properly engaging new customers or strengthening one-to-one connections with current ones, relationships may never take hold. Or if they do, they could vanish in the blink of an eye. Although it may seem like customer loyalty is eroding in the current environment, it is actually just evolving.
More than ever, consumers are willing to create relationships with brands in exchange for tangible value. And that value can flow both ways.
VALUE IS THE KEY
More than ever, consumers are willing to create relationships with brands in exchange for tangible value. And that value can flow both ways. Rich insights are derived when customers share information, which in turn empowers brands to increase engagement and improve profitability.
Delivering the right experience is the result of listening to the information customers provide and answering with the most relevant approach to meet their needs. This relevance—driven by individualized insights—elevates the loyalty programs of the past to the engagement of the future.
These five tips will help you foster and maintain a strong relationship with your own customers:
1. Keep Pace With Expectations
As product and service options grow, consumer expectations increase. What they bought in the past may not be what they want in the future. If you do not evolve with your customers, you could soon become obsolete. Know what your customers want and need from you, then make sure what you’re delivering is on target. If you’re not giving them what they want, someone else will.
2. Deliver Integrated Value
It’s critical to recognize each customer individually and understand his or her relationship with your company, its products and its services. You also need to fully integrate the customer’s insights into the entirety of that person’s experience with your brand. This proves that you know him or her as an individual, and that you leverage this deep understanding to serve the person’s needs.
3. Connect in the Mobile World
Digital disruption isn’t just about the impact to the marketplace or how it affects the way you do business. It’s also about reaching your customers across their preferred devices. It’s commonplace for people to pull out a smartphone or tablet to find virtually anything. They can research and buy whatever they need with just a click. As consumers increasingly shift to mobile, they expect their experience to be consistent across all platforms and available everywhere they are. The individualized experience spans online and offline boundaries, often using mobile as the connection point between the two worlds.
If you do not evolve with your customers, you could soon become obsolete.
4. Focus on Customer Engagement
Vast budgets can be wasted on disposable interactions that will never be seen. After all, savvy consumers have grown accustomed to ignoring the irrelevant, making some ads invisible to them. In our increasingly connected world, personalized loyalty provides the opportunity to interact with and engage the individual—as long as the interactions honor the relationship and add value to the customer.
5. Be Transparent
Your customers will have concerns about what you’re doing with their information. They may understand that sharing data leads to a better overall experience with your brand and more relevant offers, but they may also be cautious. It’s important to respect their concerns and nurture their trust. You can do that by being open about how their data is being used and giving them opt-out alternatives.
By centralizing your customer view to include traditional behavioral data, you’ll crystallize your understanding of who your best customers are along with what they need and want from your brand. Using data-driven solutions, you can shift from merely approaching audiences to creating value exchanges on a one-to-one basis. That experience will touch every point of interaction with your customers: online and offline, wherever they are and whenever they’re ready to interact.
A two-way exchange with customers establishes longer lasting relationships, fuels engagement and allows you to increase your wallet share. Plus you get the opportunity to find out what they are thinking—and what they think about you.
This story originally appeared in the Q4 2015 issue of Teradata Magazine.