In the last year, we have noticed an increased interest in building loyalty programs.
Immediately, a parallel can be drawn between the 2008 recession, which hit us only about two years later and persisted until around 2012-2013 if we are not mistaken, and the “Ukrainian crisis”. Before the first recession, companies didn’t concern themselves much with who their customers were because business was booming everywhere (including in our industry at the time, where we had an agreement with a potential buyer for an exit, but it didn’t happen due to stock market declines). It truly hit us when the market across the ocean began to decline, and it lingered here. Companies were in a panic because they didn’t know who their customers were. Big discounts and various platforms like “Ena na dan”, “Kuponko”, and others started emerging. It was great for us as customers. But did we become more loyal to those providers/companies? No, we didn’t. What was created? Discount hunters.
This time, it seems a bit different. Many companies have started thinking in this direction, perhaps having learned something from the previous period, which is commendable because it was a lesson for them.
In our opinion, one of the key ingredients for a successful loyalty program is personalized communication.
In today’s world, where marketing offers and promotions are present at every turn, we must be aware (as mentioned above) that offering mere discounts and benefits is no longer enough to create lasting customer loyalty. The key word is personalization. We tried to educate about this as early as 2008 and beyond, but there was no receptiveness.
When we focus on creating and building a loyalty program, we must understand that customers are not a homogeneous entity. Each customer is an individual with their own desires, needs, preferences, and story. That is why it is crucial to establish personalized communication based on individual customer needs.
Personalized communication involves understanding the customer’s behavior, purchasing habits, interaction history, and other available data. Based on this information, we can create an authentic and relevant experience for the customer. The most basic part is that instead of mass messages and generic offers, we can use the customer’s name, and provide recommendations based on their past purchases. This part is already largely offered by companies here, which is commendable. Sending customized content that is truly relevant to them is slightly more challenging. This is best done by digital providers/online stores.
Why is this so important? Personalized communication allows us to connect with customers on a personal level. It shows that we understand them, that we are attentive to their needs, and that we want to build a long-term relationship with them. When customers feel that we are willing to invest additional energy and attention into them, their loyalty to our brand also increases.
In addition, personalized communication enables us to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. This optimizes our efforts and resources since we focus on those customers who are most likely to buy again or engage with our brand.
To achieve successful personalization, we need to have the right data. Collecting customer data can occur through various channels such as websites, email, social media, loyalty cards, etc. However, we must use this data responsibly, follow applicable privacy laws, and provide customers with a sense of security and trust.
In a world where competition is increasing, and customers are faced with numerous offers, personalized communication is a crucial factor in building a loyalty program. Customers want to be treated as individuals, not just as a number in a crowd. Therefore, it’s time to focus on understanding their needs, offering them customized experiences, and building long-term relationships.
For the success of a loyalty program, we must not settle for basic discounts and benefits alone. Personalized communication is a key component that enables us to create lasting customer loyalty. Let’s use it as a tool to build trust, increase customer engagement, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
We invite you to think together about how we can further leverage the power of personalized communication in our organizations when creating and building loyalty programs. Only by doing so can we create lasting value and maintain a competitive advantage.