Some Themes in Customer Management

Customer loyalty
"...Customer loyalty is hard-won; retaining it is even harder......the challenge is to remain relevant to the needs of the consumer..."
Alex Timlin 2019

This is getting more complicated with the changing consumer behaviour in the multi-channel digital economy and with brand fragmentation.

The market for loyalty programs is growing
"...Global market for loyalty programs is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4 - 5 percent..."
Beroe as quoted by Alex Timlin 2019

"...There is a growing demand for customised reward programs that use data analytics and insights to make every step of the customer journey a 'customer experience'..."
Alex Timlin 2019

Trends identified amongst digital consumers
"...- flexibility and control are becoming core drivers of long-term loyalty
    - consumers expect efficiency and convenience from the customer experience
    - consumers need to feel in control
    - consumers seek immediate access to products and services.."

Foresight as quoted by Alex Timlin 2019

Also, loyalty is harder to achieve with the online customer
"...87% of customers who are satisfied with the exclusive benefits offered by a retailer's paid loyalty program were likely to choose that retailer over a competitor offering a lower price..."
Clarus Commerce as quoted by Alex Timlin 2019

Traditionally memberships of loyalty programs have been free. However, younger consumers are willing to join paid loyalty programs, ie
"...80% of Millennial customers are willing to join a paid loyalty program if their favourite retailers offer them and the benefits areneed to get hold of riverbeds are similarly more books valuable to them..."
Clarus Commerce as quoted by Alex Timlin 2019

It is now claimed
"...can improve customer retention and lifetime value by rewarding customers at every stage of their journey with more personalised omnichannel away blanket discounts as part of a loyalty solution leads to one-time purchases and inconsistent, broken customer experiences......companies can develop personalised loyalty programs that customers across all channels by integrating a company's customer relationship management (CRM) system, product and customer analytics and sales data into a single platform..."
Alex Timlin 2019

"...a loyal a customer who keeps buying and tells their friends what a great experience they have whenever they interact with the retail or service provider..."
Alex Timlin 2019

· · The only way to command and maintain the loyalty of customers is to create relationships with them based on superlative service, trust, quality and responsiveness

· · Customers are moving targets governed by competition, fashions and trends, market infrastructure and strategic relationships

· · Market creation is more important than market share, ie aim for a piece of the action and not somebody else's action, as the market share is limited and hotly disputed

· · Should aim to handle the future needs of your customers

· · The market-driven approach operates on the dialogue between you and the customer, with service and products adjusted, based on the findings of the dialogue

· · Using predictions based on past performance is very dangerous as the future is becoming less and less like the past with the explosion in technology. Furthermore, past successes do not guarantee success in the future

· · Importance of qualitative research rather than the quantitative, ie people versus numbers

· · Marketing is everyone's job, not just a marketing department's role

· · The rise of the importance of the Internet and associated technologies (mobile phones) has put the power more in the customer's corner in marketing.

Marketing techniques are continually evolving. For example, ome changes in direct marketing techniques since late last century

- it started with addressed mail, ie snail mail
- this was replaced by letterbox drops
- then telemarketing
- then came along fax marketing
- followed by e-mail marketing
- then social media marketing
- now texting
(source: Wayne Mansfield, 2021)


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