“2011 may well be called the year of customer loyalty,” says Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360 – The Loyalty Marketer’s Association. “In today’s crowded marketplace, creating loyal, engaged customers is more important —- and more challenging — than ever. That is why we are going to see a number of key trends unfold over the next year.”
Johnson predicts 11 key trends will dominate the Loyalty Marketing Industry in 2011 . I’ve highlighted three that focus specifically on customer engagement:
Companies will increasingly look at how customer engagement and employee engagement work together to drive bottom line results. A 2009 Gallup quantified the impact of customer and employee engagement. They found that those in the upper half on customer engagement and the lower half on employee engagement, or vice versa, get a 70% boost in bottom-line results; those in the upper half on both customer and employee engagement get a 240% boost.
Relevancy will be a key driving force of customer loyalty, engagement. Today’s customers want loyalty programs to be “about me” — individual, relevant, meaningful, etc. Personally relevant deals are the second most frequently chosen reason for spending more with a company, mentioned by 48% of people, according to new research by Ipsos Mori and The Logic Group. Data collection and usage is extremely important in building relevancy. Brands need to use the information they collect strategically to show customers they’re listening and give them what they’re asking for.
Goal of customer loyalty initiatives will be to engage customers. Marketers now realize that although spend and number of transactions are important, customer engagement is the holy grail for loyalty initiatives. Because with engagement comes loyalty, advocacy, trust, passion —- the soft side of the customer relationships that directly impacts the bottom line.