Kevin Doyle, regional vice president of Salesforce, tells us that a “constant customer-centric approach is the lifeblood of any small to medium business”. Using data to create meaningful connections with customers is just one strategy he recommends when competing with larger organisations on customer loyalty. “You can never outspend big dealers, so you have to over-service,” he says.
So how can you use data in meaningful ways to increase customer loyalty as a small to medium-sized business? Here are three simple ideas.
Track purchases and their total cost over time
You can incentivise repeat business by tracking a customer’s total spend over multiple transactions. For example, fitness supplement supplier VPA Australia offers a tiered reward program to repeat customers, letting them ‘unlock’ perks like product discounts and free shipping offers when they reach certain spending totals.
Similarly, Melbourne-based fashion label Alpha60 tracks purchases of customers who spend more than $1,000 over multiple purchases and rewards them with a gift card they can use for their next purchase. This approach can tap into the psychological benefits of gamification strategy, encouraging customers to return for repeat business.
Identify complementary product recommendations
You can also use a customer’s purchase history to provide recommendations on related products for their future transactions. This style of cross-selling can be especially effective online, where you can use data to make connections between multiple individual products. For example, online coffee retailer Alternative Brewing pairs sales with tailored recommendations – like filters to match specific models of coffee grinders.
Using data insights to make links between related products can help you to anticipate a customer’s needs before they’re even aware of them themselves.
Use purchase dates to your advantage
Purchase dates can be useful tools to encourage repeat business. This is equally true of routine transactions, such as recurring hairdressing appointments for returning customers, and annual car services. For example, a hairdresser could automate email reminders that are sent eight weeks after a customer’s last appointment, encouraging them to make a new booking.
You can also use purchase dates to encourage consumer spending. For instance, if you capture personal details during a sign-up then you have the opportunity to create individual discount offers for milestones like membership anniversaries or birthdays.
This level of personalisation can help you to connect meaningfully with your customer base and drive future business.