A business won’t thrive without a customer base that’s willing to put its trust in a product or service. New clients are definitely important, but loyal patrons are far more valuable, especially when they become brand advocates. In fact, studies have shown that the costs of acquiring new customers far outweigh the costs of retaining existing ones.
And while continuously improving service, innovating products and solutions, and creating rewards programs can entice customers into loyalty, there is an under-appreciated yet very crucial tool in ensuring customer loyalty: customer analytics.
In the age of the Internet, you can gather a wealth of data using simple tools that are already built-in in your website or some of the other platforms that you use. If not currently present, such tools can be incorporated in a few simple steps. Even Facebook has a user-friendly page where you can view and download information and statistics about user activity, customer preferences, and various advertising information.
These data that you gather can then be analyzed and interpreted to help develop more effective measures to foster and ensure customer loyalty.
Understand and respond to customer behavior
With analytics, you can have a clearer picture of your customers’ preferences, wants, and needs. You can also make their lives easier, so to speak, and thus give them more reasons to prefer your brand over others and become repeat customers.
For example, businesses that rely on subscribers and memberships can employ a subscription billing software if traditional payment methods are becoming a barrier in closing the loop on new subscriptions. You can also use this strategy to prevent previous subscribers from falling out.
Analytics can also help you determine which campaigns and promotions are working for your brand. If a points-based rewards system is working better than loyalty discount, for example, you can develop more programs anchored on this scheme.
You can also discover patterns in consumer behavior that can help determine which marketing platforms you need to be present in, or the kinds of services or features you need to develop. This way, you can be present where and when your customers are. It’s not entirely wise to maintain a Facebook page just for the sake of having a presence in the social networking site, when the data you have points that you have more loyal customers, and therefore more opportunities, in Pinterest.
Having analytics on your side also means that you don’t shoot in the dark when developing new strategies. It is sometimes tempting to ride the wave of popular trends, but with the help of analytics, you’re confident that your programs are based on something concrete.
Loyalty programs can especially benefit well from analytics, because you can fine-tune or create new programs based on customer data. For example, you can strike up partnerships with other brands that your customers show an affinity to; this can help expand your brand’s reach, increase both presence and preference, and create an entirely new set of customers that you can turn into other loyal patrons.
This is not to say that analytics are the only thing you need to ensure customer loyalty. However, data can be a reliable foundation for your brand’s strategic and creative direction. “Number crunchers” sometimes get a bad rap for focusing on even the smallest of figures, but these tiny details can spell the difference between a one-off customer and a loyal one.