Author: Jennifer Krizanek
Do you ever find yourself wondering whether businesses even know who you are? Or better yet, how many times have you willingly given information about yourself and they still can’t identify you or your account when you begin a business transaction?
Businesses expect customers to be loyal and yet they themselves don’t take the initiative to actually “get to know” their customers. It is no wonder businesses and customers alike are frustrated when loyalty is not returned or acknowledged.
Unfortunately, this is the way a lot of businesses are conducting themselves these days.
I happen to be one of those “loyal customers” that all businesses strive for. I am a Virgo, so I was born to be a committed and loyal individual. Once I find a brand that I love, I will forever shop there as long as the quality of their products remains and that the customer service is always excellent.
I frequently shop in-store and online with a particular brand. However, I am finding that even though I spend a lot of money with this business every year, they still can’t figure out who I am every time I check out.
Seriously, I can’t begin to tell you how many rewards cards I have been given and countless points I have lost out on because every time I check out, this company can’t find me in their system. I even told them that I receive their exclusive member emails. Apparently I must be in that huge black hole of a database they have somewhere. They can’t even find me using my email address. I presented them with the latest rewards card that I was given, only to find out that the card was issued with a placeholder name!
How irritating is it that the previous salesperson couldn’t take the time to correctly enter my first and last name. This made me wonder why would they not want to know who their customers are? This retailer might want to review this list of 100 Customer Service Stats provided by InsightSquared.
I realized I was tired of dealing with this one-way relationship.
Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for this brand, I can find these same products in over a dozen other places. And that is exactly what I did: I took my business elsewhere.
Successful Retailers Need a New Path Forward
Today’s consumers are savvy, informed, and they drive the decision making process of businesses. Some customers are loyal, but many are not. These multichannel shoppers have access to information at the swipe of their fingertips and they shop within several channels, knowing how to get the best deal.
It should be important to businesses not only to know who their customers are, but also how loyal they are. Loyal customers not only purchase from them on a regular basis, but they are also brand advocates, as they will frequently speak highly of their favorite brands and their experiences when talking with other people.
But let’s be clear: businesses need to provide an exceptional and differentiated experience in order to gain customer loyalty. This won’t happen if you don’t have accurate, complete and up-to-date information about your customers’ profiles, preferences, what products they purchased, what location they frequently purchase them from, the value of the products they returned, or why they contacted customer service.
Customer loyalty should be a priority for luxury brands, because, as my colleague Irene Nathan points out in her article Harnessing Customer Information to Unlock the Luxury Market, “customers tend to respond poorly to conventional strategies, experiences, products, solutions and services.” As she goes on to explain, accurate and complete insight about your customer is key to any sales or marketing efforts. And the same can be said about rewards programs.
Read more of Irene’s insights at MyTotalRetail.com