Focus on Customer Loyalty: How to Identify and Retain Your Best Customers


One of the most important aspects of any business is keeping your customers happy.

However, keeping your customers’ needs in mind is more than just ensuring that they’re satisfied with their current experience. It’s also about focusing on long-term strategies that can cut your churn rate, drive customer loyalty and boost your bottom line.

Retention marketing is just such a strategy — it focuses on keeping your existing customers happy and engaged instead of chasing after new ones. After all, 80% of sales come from just 20% of the customers, according to a Forrester Institute study.

Returning customers are the most desirable because they also share their experiences with others, effectively helping you acquire those new customers we all want and put so much effort into getting. Think about the restaurants you frequent, the brands you use, or the airlines you fly. When a friend asks where they should eat, what they should buy, or how they should travel, you typically have a recommendation at the ready, and the reasons why you give a friend that recommendation are the same reasons you need to provide to your own customers. More times than not, the motivation behind those recommendations goes deeper than just a good quality product or a wonderful-tasting meal: it’s about the experience you had and the way the exchange made you feel. That is the heart of great customer retention and loyalty.

That being said, it’s also important to recognize that the top methods for keeping your best customers around changes and evolves with how customers behave. With the continual exponential growth of eCommerce and mobile marketing, keeping customers happy today means having a very strong data driven strategy that capitalizes on how you leverage your customer behavioral knowledge and your ability to deploy real-time marketing.

So how do you cultivate these repeat customers in our hyper-crowded eCommerce world? There are many theories behind what the best customer retention and loyalty-building strategies. Here we give you some of the best approaches that utilize a strong Customer Data Platform and modern in-the-moment marketing brio.

Use Data To Gain Insight on Customer Needs and Wants

It’s become an undeniable truth that succeeding in today’s eCommerce world means knowing how to collect, analyze, and utilize customer data. Data collection is the first step in a successful customer retention marketing strategy. How are you collecting information on your customers? What tools are you using to help collect this data? And what do you have in your tech stack that is allowing you to analyze this data to develop and deliver the most customized engagement to each and every customer? Having a robust data-driven Customer Data Platform like FiO’s CDP empowers you to look at both customer acquisition data and customer retention data – along with a multitude of other salient customer behavioral, purchase, and predictive data points – and informs the steps you need to plot out on a customer journey map to ensure that your best customers stay engaged and involved. Designing, testing, and automating customer journeys that reward active customers and encourage re-engagement from detached customers. Real-time results reveal the proven pathways to conversion and journeys can be adjusted accordingly.

Make the Most of Your Customer Loyalty Programs

If you’re a retail brand by now you should know that one of the best ways to retain customers and increase customer lifetime value is with loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are valuable for two essential reasons:

  • They reward customers for their loyalty.
  • They collect vital customer data on consumer preferences and shopping habits.

Loyalty programs are also especially effective for encouraging specific behavior and driving customer incentives throughout the year as well as providing an excellent platform for deploying real-time, relevant marketing messaging and continually accessing data about what customers are doing and thinking even when they’re not actively purchasing from your brand. Active Customer Loyalty Programs provide a pivotal way to make sure that customers are continually receiving brand messaging. Building gamification into your Customer Loyalty Program is also a proven way to let your best customers know you are invested in keeping them close to your brand.

Use Real-Time Messaging to Make Marketing Touchpoints More Personal

By now reality brands should understand the value of personalizing their marketing efforts cuts customer churn, boosts brand loyalty, and improves the performance of their marketing campaigns. Hyper-personalization in your customer engagement is no longer a “nice to have”, it’s a MUST HAVE. A solid data-driven CDP can ensure you are utilizing tailored marketing efforts with your customers, giving them benefits like personalized recommendations on products based on previous purchases, special day discounts (like birthday coupons), and detailed ordering and shipping information. Capturing real-time data and putting it to use through site targeting/retargeting, segmentation, and cross-channel messaging via email, SMS, push, in-app, web, and mobile wallet—hits customers at the right time, in the right place.

But why not ratchet it up a notch to demonstrate how cutting-edge your brand is by deploying relevant, real-time marketing messaging? FiO is the only tech provider of a ground-breaking solution that can serve up real-time marketing moments via all manner of modern mobile devices. These marketing moments not only extend the customer experience, but also gives customers and partners unprecedented marketing real estate and customer intel that empowers and expands engagement. Being able to deploy marketing messages like advertisements, discounts, and special offers in the moment that customers are most likely to use them, – like when they’re near your bricks and mortar store, or at a sporting event that propels them to want to buy your branded merchandise, – takes hyper-personalized marketing touchpoints to a deeper level that outdoes the competition.

Bottom Line

Returning customers also tend to spend more on their follow-up purchases. The same Forrester Institute study revealed that 57% of consumers are prepared to pay more to purchase from a trusted brand that has proven they deliver on promises and customer service. So, become that trusted brand. Nurture your customers. Deliver personalized experiences that make them feel noticed and appreciated. Invite them to come back by engaging with them in ways that continually demonstrate your commitment to providing them with the highest level of hyper-personalized, real-time brand engagement.

Retention Marketing is Relationship Marketing. Just as you’re more likely to remember someone who invited you in than someone who waved at the door, customers who feel they’re a part of a two-way relationship are more likely to engage with you. And return.

So, yes, find new customers, and increase your list. But the real value is in the long game. It’s not about the first purchase. It’s about the second purchase, the third purchase, and so on. That’s real value. That’s lifetime value.

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