To win with your loyal customers, you need to be equally in tune with the elements that cultivate loyalty and those that detract from it. Marketers tend to think about the customer experience and the customer journey, both important, but often the difference between winning and losing with your most valued customers is determined in the moment. Seize the moment and, ultimately, you seize the day and the customer.
The promise of mobile marketing is it affords you the ability to impact the moment. So how do you mobilize your loyalty strategy? A good starting point is to conduct an opportunity analysis to understand and to prioritize the moments that add to or detract from a customer's loyalty. This analysis must be grounded in customer insight, but also needs to assess where it's appropriate to engage the customer on the go. Not all moments are appropriate for customer engagement; for those that are, mobile provides the optimal mechanism to make the connection that positively impacts the customer's loyalty to your brand.
Industries such as travel, retail, and consumer packaged goods are especially well-positioned to enhance their loyalty strategy via the mobile and GPS-enabled devices customers carry. These industries illustrate the potential impact that can be yielded via well-timed mobile dialogue with customers.
For an airline it might be as simple as anticipating and delivering against customer information needs via the customer's mobile device, providing the time- and information-starved traveler with in-the-moment status updates on upgrade availability, baggage claim, or connecting gate information. Or it may be requesting a simple "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" assessment of the flight upon arrival at the traveler's destination. The opportunity to enrich the traveler's experience or to quickly understand their satisfaction can drive impact in those critical moments where customer loyalty is won and lost.
Retail is also well-suited to realize improved loyalty through mobile. Mobile can afford a real-time channel for a quick-serve restaurant to entice a nearby customer with a location-based offer or for a specialty retailer to draw in-store traffic within the confines of a competitive mall. High-end retailers, whose loyalty is often built on service excellence, may find mobile as an avenue to provide quick follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction, ultimately yielding the coveted objective of customer loyalty.
Consumer packaged goods companies have a tremendous opportunity to maximize share and engender loyalty through mobile. Imagine the in-the-moment impact of mobile and how that can be game-changing to the tactic of traditional couponing. Providing loyal customers with a value-add offer may determine which jar of peanut butter, bottle of soda, or box of detergent is purchased. The power to engage with the customer in the moment where the buying decision is made is uniquely enabled by mobile technology.
The levers of loyalty are well-known and have been sufficiently evangelized such that many companies have developed sophisticated strategies to drive customer loyalty before and after the experience with the product or service. But the bottom line is this: Mobile technology changes the pace of the game. Mobile puts you in the hands and heads of your customers in the moment, when loyal customers are won or lost.
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About the Author: Guy Cierzan is partner, client services, at Denali Marketing