Posts Tagged: loyalty club

Looking for loyalty? Just ask.

Companies have always looked to instil loyalty in their customers. It’s an invaluable way of increasing customer retention, generating incremental revenue and growing a business.

 

Loyalty can be encouraged through a variety of methods, including e-marketing, offering consumer rewards and demonstrating excellent customer service. But perhaps the most effective way of forging a lasting relationship with your customers is by asking for, and acting on, their feedback.

 

With this in mind, The Rocket Marketing Group present their 5 Top Tips for generating and utilising customer feedback.

 

1. Why do you want it?

Your first task should be to determine why you’re conducting the research, and whether you have the resources to make changes on the back of it. You may want to start with general questions to find out what customers think your strengths and weaknesses are, or you may already have an idea of what needs to be improved, and wish to tailor your questions accordingly. Is your poor customer service putting customers off shopping with you again? Is the ordering process easy for customers to understand? Are your prices prohibitively expensive? Once you have an idea of what may be alienating your  customers, you can adapt your questions to find the specific things that annoy them, and get their suggestions for improvements.

 

2. How do you get it?

You also need to decide what form your customer feedback will take. There are several options to choose from including online surveys, emails, suggestion boxes, a ‘comments’ section on your website and utilising your call centre operatives, who have direct contact with customers every day. They all have their advantages, but it’s essential to match the method of generating feedback with your customer base. For example, online surveys or emailed questionnaires have the benefit of anonymity, which may allow customers to be more honest in their assessments. However, they are unlikely to elicit a useful response unless your customers are web-literate.

 

Generally, speaking to customers over the phone is a really good way of generating feedback, as it feels more personal, helps to develop a two way relationship between business and consumer, and allows you to investigate dissatisfaction by asking additional questions. Also, do not be afraid of receiving negative feedback from your customers. After all, if they only tell you what you’re doing well, you’ll never discover the improvements that can help your business reach its full potential.

 

3. The Reward (for your customers)

Many companies shy away from carrying out feedback surveys for fear of annoying their customers. But demonstrating a genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings lets them know that they are valued, and that you’re committed to providing the highest levels of service possible to them. Providing you’re polite, unobtrusive and respect the wishes of people who don’t want to participate, you should get some great results.

 

You can also offer consumer rewards and incentives either from your own company, or from a specialist provider of loyalty and reward programmes to sweeten the deal, and remind them that you took the time to ask for their opinions. Remember to thank your customers for taking the time out to answer your questions, and if their comments end up changing something about your business, tell them!

 

4. What do you do with it?

There is little use in spending the time and resources generating customer feedback if you’re not going to do anything with it. This is where the initial objective of carrying out the research and tailoring your questions to determine specifics about your business becomes so important. There’s no point conducting research into, say, the price of your product, if you don’t have the necessary margins to alter it when your customers tell you it’s too high.

 

If you’ve used a numerical system of questioning (asking customers to rate aspects of your business from 1-5 or unsatisfactory to excellent etc), you can analyse the data in a spreadsheet and look for trends, especially if you have also gathered information about the customers you’ve questioned, like their age, gender and the product they’ve purchased. If you’ve used a more anecdotal style of questioning, you’ll need to spend some time reading through the responses to understand what issues were uncovered. This may take longer, but it should give you a more detailed understanding of what your customers think of your business, and also has the advantage of providing ready made testimonials from those who’ve had a good experience.

 

5. The Reward (for you)

In time, you should start to see customer feedback as an intrinsic part of a cycle of excellent customer service that doesn’t simply stop once someone makes a purchase. Instead, by acting on the recommendations of your customers, you’re showing that you value their ongoing custom, and are willing to make alterations to your business to make them happy. Customers may also feel that they have an investment in your company if you make it clear you’re taking their ideas on board, and this connection between consumer and company is a key ingredient in building brand loyalty. When done correctly, it will help you increase customer retention and incremental revenue, as well as ensuring that your customers stick with you during the good times, and the bad.   

 

Read more on Looking for loyalty? Just ask….

The dos and don’ts of email marketing

 

Email marketing has become
one of the primary methods of communication for companies looking to
generate incremental revenue from new and existing customers.

 

The strengths of email as a
marketing tool lie in its ubiquity, speed and economy, and when used
correctly it can be an invaluable tool to generate revenue, drive
customer retention and encourage repeat business.

Read more on The dos and don’ts of email marketing…

New marketing avenues generate big increase in online revenue

 

With
VAT set to rise to 20% in 2011, the retail sector will welcome the news
that online sales jumped by 22% in May, compared to 2009 levels.

 

The
online market has become a key sector for businesses, in part due to
the financial limitations imposed by the recession. Companies have found
marketing and selling their products online to be a very cost effective
way of generating revenue and attracting customers, with the latest
figures
showing that shoppers spent £4.5bn online during May alone.

Read more on New marketing avenues generate big increase in online revenue…

The own goals of World Cup marketing

 

Brands have been queuing up to
align themselves to the World Cup, as spending on marketing campaigns
looks set to top over £1bn by the end of the tournament.

 

Read more on The own goals of World Cup marketing…

Is this the end of the sale season?

 As Morrisons announce an underlying profit before tax up 22% to £359m (2008/9: £295m) and the Halifax reporting that house prises rose another 0.8% last month there are now definite signs that the recession is slowing and maybe even that the end of our current economic problems are on the horizon. What does this mean for businesses and the average consumer? Will consumers maintain their spending ransom on businesses, forcing them into drastic recession solutions or will we eventually see the end of the sale season?

Read more on Is this the end of the sale season?…

Top ten UK & Ireland city breaks – the rewards for consumers and businesses

With Brits spending more and more time holidaying at home on ‘staycations’, I wanted to explore the UK and Ireland to find my favourite city break destinations, seeing what there is to entice tourists there and which businesses are potentially profiting from this increased trade. There are so many different areas in the UK and Ireland, each individual in what they have to offer tourists. And as companies such as The Rocket Marketing Group launch discount clubs like the 241 Hotel Club, which gives members 2 nights for the price of 1 at over 300 hotels, the UK and Irish tourism trade really can now compete with the rest of the world for offering affordable yet interesting and unique holidays.

Read more on Top ten UK & Ireland city breaks – the rewards for consumers and businesses…

Can the British holiday boom last?

There have been many surveys and reports this year indicating an increase in the number of British people taking their holidays in Britain. Travelsupermarket.com conducted research back in July, showing that 50 % of British holiday makers said that they were most likely to book a holiday in Britain in the next 12 months. The ‘staycation’ as it has been dubbed is a new fashion that is fantastic for the British economy. But as we begin the ascent out of recession, can the British hotel trade continue to compete with the allure of foreign holidays that offer the probability of good weather and escapism from our everyday life?

Read more on Can the British holiday boom last?…

Waitrose… Pizza Express … does aggressive discounting destroy the brand value?

It seems like all people want at the moment is the cheapest deal, and that lowering prices and putting huge sale posters up is the only way to entice consumers into a shop/business. But with sale savvy shoppers and the help of internet comparison sites how far can this go? Have prices finally reached rock-bottom and how has this aggressive discounting damaged the perceived value of these items/services? Have we allowed the financial panic to reduce brands’ value? The possible recession solutions have raised so many questions for marketing professionals and as we start to see light through the economic gloom the answers are starting to become clearer.

Read more on Waitrose… Pizza Express … does aggressive discounting destroy the brand value?…

Cost-effective marketing during recession

Advertising is expensive and whilst it is essential, it becomes increasingly difficult for a business to advertise through the traditional mediums when advertising budgets are being slashed. Companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to promote their brands. There are lots of marketing options and some can prove to be just as effective. This is in part due to the changing times (people absorbing media in different ways) and the improvement of the channels for advertising online etc. This is compounded by the fact that most people now spend time looking for the exclusive discounts available not just the brands they are familiar with.

Read more on Cost-effective marketing during recession…

Rewarding small to medium sized businesses

The British Bankers’ Association reported that the amount banks lending to small businesses rose by 239 million in January, proving that small businesses can still emerge and grow despite the current economic climate.
In some instances small and medium sized companies are actually better
equipped to deal with harsher times as they can be more streamlined,
determined and focused on consumers needs. But are there things that
small businesses can do to optimise these advantages and boost consumer confidence?

Read more on Rewarding small to medium sized businesses…