Customer loyalty in the digital transformation age
Digital transformation is becoming increasingly more present, processes are being automated and technology accompanies people in actions that used to be physical. Buying or requesting a service can now be done on the internet and it’s with you at home or wherever you want in a matter of hours. These trends can be seen in the tastes and needs of consumers, who are increasingly more demanding with what they need, which is why we need to adapt to digitalisation. According to the IAB, 75% of Spaniards between 16 and 60 use the internet every day, and of these, a further 80% have bought something using digital media. This is a clear trend that is set to rise in line with the generational cycle.
How can you ensure that a customer becomes a returning customer?
There is a whole range of tactics and trends with which to attract customers and create customer loyalty; it is essential that they enjoy their first experience of the company or product as this will be the gateway through which to develop new strategies. Thanks to digital transformation, inbound marketing, a more personalised and less intrusive way of attracting customers than traditional advertising, is gathering pace.
This needs the communication channel between the company and the customer to be two-way. Storytelling is one of the most widely-used techniques, because rather than just generating publicity, it tells a story that represents the brand, the consumer is more aware of it and they will pay more attention. For example, Estrella Damm and Toyota are sharing a type of trailer on traditional media, like television, and inviting viewers to continue watching on their website, where value contents, offers and suggestions appear. We must remember that the viewer is king and content aimed at them must be as personalised as possible. Another good example of storytelling is the Spanish Directorate General of Traffic “Tú Eliges” [You Choose] campaign. Using a 360º-camera, viewers become the boy in a group of friends having a drink in the early hours; two sequences show what would happen if he were to drive if he hadn’t been drinking and the consequences if he had.
Tips for securing online customer loyalty: Customer Experience
There has been a real revolution in customer management due to the digital explosion. Today, the customer has changed and they now seek positive experiences, added value, which is why companies need to change with them in the digital environment. This is why Customer Experience is fundamental and therefore continuous innovation and the application of new technologies play a fundamental role.
The digital age has transformed the business-customer relationship and the main challenge now is to connect and retain increasingly more demanding and informed customers. The omnichannel could help us with this new type of consumer. We need to operate in the 3.0 environment to improve customer experience (web chats, video calls, social media, e-mail, Whatsapp, and many more).
Innovation is key to brand positioning, and a tool that can be extremely useful in this is the incorporation of business intelligence into operations. This will enable us to become more efficient in the roll-out of operations and learn more about customers, so streamlining decision-making.
Also, the use of apps, UX and social media play an essential role when it comes to improving strategy.
1. Use of apps: having a mobile app for the brand makes both loyalty and digitalisation processes easier. Food and drink companies, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, use them to offer their users discounts and extra promotions when they make a specific consumption.
2. UX: this concept refers to website usability and user experience, the aim of which is to create products that meet the specific needs of users. Like apps, the corporate website should be a shop window through which to convey the brand. Promoting services and posting articles is not enough and each section must have a function and enable customers to make it useful.
3. Social media: this relates directly to the two points above. The ones that set the trend, such as Facebook and Instagram, act as a huge shop window for the brand, as they form a bridge between users and the website or product on offer. Facebook is the best known, as it enables communities to be created where users can share unique content and talk about themselves.
In short, a company that has not digitalised its brand is missing an opportunity to create customer loyalty via another channel, as well as having a good product or service, at the right price and effortless processes.