Last year the big eCommerce buzzword was loyalty, this year it is retention. It’s a fact that retaining a customer costs five times less than attracting a new one with the returns being the same. On the face of it, it may seem as though retaining a customer isn’t profitable yet when we delve deeper and look at the customer lifetime value (CLV) you see that losing that customer could cost your business thousands of pounds over time.
Even the biggest brands pay attention to the individual as they realise the amount of money at stake. With one disgruntled customer telling on average eight people about their bad experience, poor customer service can cost a company a lot of money.
We Want It All and We Want It Now
It seems that businesses are now over a barrel. The consumer is in control and they know it. The companies that meet the strict customer care criteria thrive while those that ignore the importance of customer relations fade away.
Before the internet, as consumers we would enjoy face to face contact with our service providers and shop managers. We’d engage in conversation and expect a shopping trip to last a little longer as it became a social event. Then the internet provided convenience. Customers didn’t want contact, they wanted to sit at home and order what they needed with zero effort involved. Their wishes were answered and the age of ecommerce evolved.
How the Credit Crunch Affected Consumer Behaviour
Just as we settled into a world predicted by George Orwell’s 1984, the credit crunch made us more aware of where our money was going. Ecommerce was unprepared. Yes, they’d covered customer service in store or in the office, they hadn’t however considered it when selling on the web.
Shoppers became pickier, they wanted to know that their hard earned cash was going to a worthy business. They wanted to receive great value for money and most of all they wanted their spending to be appreciated.
In the past this would be done with a smile and a thank you. Customers would realise their value when greeted by name or asked a question about their family. On the internet this wasn’t possible. The best that could be done was a generic email thanking for the order and an ill equipped sales team at the end of a phone in case of any complaints.
Those quick of the mark realised this and began to track the individual, they spent time on consumer analysis, they segmented customers to deliver a more seemingly bespoke shopping experience and they communicated armed with information about the customer to break the ice.
These companies are still thriving today as they know one of the worst phrases you can utter to a customer is, “remind me who you are”.
How Beacon Technology Can Help
Unless you’ve been living in a hole, you would have heard of beacon technology for brands. Unfortunately, this innovative new way to connect with customers is still in its infancy which means many brands find they can actually drive customers away with it. That being said, beacon technology is here to stay and those that do it well will receive many rewards such as consumer loyalty.
There is one company, and one company alone that understands all the psychology behind beacons and consumer relations. They have developed an APP to ensure businesses only notice the positives, eliminating the negatives. The APP delivers on many levels to the shopper, most importantly giving them complete control over the beacon notifications they receive and when. This removes the risk of putting a customer off with notifications or annoying the shopper by sending an ill timed beacon notification that impedes their access to their personal texts.
Right now Brand Street are talking with select brands, the platform is invitation only to retailers. Soon, it will become available to all and has been heralded as the missing link commerce has been waiting for. You can catch a glimpse of developments over at the Brand Street blog, or contact Martina Mercer for more information or a brochure.