A critical step in building a successful rewards program is understanding what makes your customers happy. This second article in our three-part Heartland Rewards blog series focuses on why utilizing customer data is key to your rewards program.
At the outset of planning your program—before you even begin to consider offers, processing or marketing—you must take a holistic look at your business and your customers. Specifically, seek deeper insight into their current behaviors and stated “needs” and “wants.”
Customer data can be used to help you find better and more cost-effective ways to meet the needs of your market. That’s a major competitive advantage over other businesses that don’t offer rewards programs. We can start using this data to identify your most loyal customers—by frequency or profit—for targeted marketing.
Many businesses rely on surveys to find out which kinds of rewards matter most to customers. While this is generally a good idea, remember that what people say they will do and what they actually do can be two very different things. Past behavior is usually the best predictor for future behavior, so use whatever customer data is available to you (common purchases, frequency, order/ticket size, etc.).
Leverage your existing data!
Use reporting and analytics to define customer segments
Registered accounts over store lifetime
Account visit/frequency details
Total active accounts
Customer demographics of registered users by age, gender
Don’t Have Enough Customer Data?
This is a common concern for many businesses.
Your company almost certainly has a little data on customers, such as how much your best customers spend on average and how often they use your services. Use this to identify your most loyal customers—the top 10 percent by frequency or profit—and start there.
In addition to using your own customer data, there is a wealth of regional and national sources for trends data on who’s buying what, where and why. Do your best to make sense of the latest trends and market insights.
But you don’t have to go it alone—ask for help from your vendors and providers. Your payment processor, in particular, should be able to provide a wealth of insight, not only into consumer trends but also how similar businesses are building rewards programs.