how do you establish close relationships with your customers and turn them into real ambassadors for your brand?
companies have realized that customer loyalty is no longer “exclusive” but is becoming increasingly “shared”1. which is why developing close relations with customers has become a major issue today. but how do you achieve this?
according to Philip Kotler2, loyalty is not only dependent on past experiences and the messages conveyed by the brand: a customer’s loyalty comes from the repeated performance of actions (product purchases, use, etc.) and from the emergence of a deep sense of engagement with a brand, product or service.
generally speaking, companies have already worked on their brand and product communications with care. the next step is to show real appreciation for regular, engaged customers in order to make them into your ambassadors and create a brand community.
customer loyalty programmes today only reward purchases, and so only the last interaction of customers who may have gone and compared companies and prices, tested products, done research, perhaps even communicated their expectations, completed a profile, and so on. how can you acknowledge all these signals given before a purchase is made? what do you do with a customer’s regular visits to your website? their subscription to your newsletter? their daily likes on Instagram and multiple shares of Facebook posts?
for a company, showing your appreciation also means being able to recognize all forms of customer engagement with the brand, over and above purchases:
- rewarding account creation and completion helps to enrich your databases;
- rewarding frequency of use helps to encourage regular exchanges between the customer and the brand;
- rewarding depth of use promotes add-on services;
- rewarding social interactions can help to activate your brand community and create real ambassadors capable of attracting new, qualified leads to you.
to create a truly 360° relationship programme, all the sales and contact channels must be used and activated. that way, a customer can access their loyalty account at a brick & mortar shop, on the web and from a dedicated app. they will of course need to earn points across all three channels, as well as all your other marketing media such as your newsletters and interactions on the brand’s social networks.
example: Kaporal – Le Klub
in 2017, Kaporal worked with app’s miles® to create an omni-channel relationship programme to reward “relationship” actions (data inputs, frequency of use, depth of visits and social media), in addition to transactional actions (purchases).
below are some examples of reward-earning actions under Kaporal’s Le Klub programme:
actions rewarded in the mobile app:
- launching the app
- actively using geolocation features
- viewing special offers or news items`
- searching for a brick & mortar shop
- sharing the app
actions rewarded on the web:
- creating / logging into a Le Klub account
- visiting pages with special offers & news items
- sharing photos with @kaporalofficiel