Three articles on loyalty caught my eye this week. First 1:1 had a nice piece on Loyalty Equals Growth for Sony. Sony is a company to which many people are already loyal so it was interesting to see that a formal loyalty program was still a priority for them. Talking about their combined CRM and customer loyalty plan the article said:
The vision was to improve the customer experience at every possible point to increase loyalty and create business results.
So they feel that loyalty requires that you “improve the customer experience” and “at every possible point” too. Could not agree more. Just as I was thinking about loyalty, I saw Ron Shevlin’s post on Why we’re not as loyal as we used to be. As usual, Ron makes some great points. In particular he makes the point that
Successful firms approach customer relationships as just that – relationships. A two-way street. It goes far beyond “customization” and “personalization”.
So now we know loyalty is harder to come by, requires a better experience at every interaction and that it is more than just customization (though Ron quotes a statistic that 76% want more personalized options when it comes to how providers communicate with them, which I believe). As I am wondering whether I can find an example of a good loyalty program to discuss, 1:1 comes to my rescue with Sephora Dishes On Its Loyalty Program. The folks at Sephora clearly take their loyalty program seriously and use
the data it gathers from its Beauty Insider program to customize and personalize communications based on such factors as skin type, eye and hair color, body size, and designer preference.
But this does not just mean personalizing the layout or the words but actually targeting different segments with different communications, offering colors or products suited to the particular person, engaging in a conversation with their customers around their products.
I have blogged before about the power of decision management in keeping customers loyal and I believe that a systematic approach to managing the customer treatment decisions across all your touchpoints is going to be increasingly critical for building loyalty. It won’t save bad products or rude staff, but it will make sure your systems are trying as hard as you are!
I will leave the last word to Sephora who clearly “get” loyalty:
Sephora believes that the client comes first and we want her experience to be tailored to her needs