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How to use customer engagement to improve profits

How to make customer engagement turn into business profit right now

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Although all customers are, of course, of value; for most brands, affluent shoppers are always at the top of the hit list.  One thing we know about these high end shoppers is that they demand the best – and this includes top quality products, exemplary service and a personalised experience.  When used the right way, customer engagement can be one of the most profitable factors in any business.

Our luxury shoppers understand their purchase power and are in a position to make demands – including a personalised and intimate shopping experience.  These shoppers know their luxury brands – and are passionate about them; which makes them the ultimate brand ambassador for those lucky enough to snag them.  So, how do you tap into this wealthy customer and turn those emotions into transactions? The following guide for luxury brands and retailers will show how you can harness the power of their emotions to improve your data, customer strategies and, ultimately, profit.

Single minded when it comes to customer data for customer engagement

It’s hard to overstate the importance of customer data when it comes to brand marketing.  Much more than collecting information and stuffing it into databases, the key to success is in sourcing and using data across your IT, marketing and transactional systems in order to get a greater understanding of your customer whilst maintaining GDPR compliance.  

Source: Audiopedia

Gaining a full and consolidated understanding of who your customer is and what they want should be a vital part of any marketing strategy.  Hotel giant, Ritz-Carlton, is a great example of a brand who has tapped into the luxury customer market by building a single view of its customer across its entire hotel network.  By doing this, Ritz-Carlton has been able to provide a bespoke customer experience based on customer preferences across the entire chain – meaning that the guest who favours a particular pillow, newspaper or room service option is satisfied every time.

Getting touchy-feely with customers

In 2019, customer touch points should be consistent across all offline and digital channels in order to make the most of data and improve the customer experience.  By creating and cultivating a Single Customer View (SCV), customer engagement and transactions follow. Alarmingly, 57% of brands still have not yet got around to creating an SCV in order to integrate customer data into one, usable resource.  If your brand is one of them, it’s time to acquire the services of a data planning specialist to help you create more profitable relationships which are realistic and aligned to commercial value – whilst remaining in compliance with the GDPR. 

Getting to know you through customer engagement

Knowing who your customer is, in 2019, is nowhere near enough.  As the IoT makes our world smaller by adding more and more digital distribution channels, it becomes more and more difficult to deliver a super-personal relationship between brand and luxury customer.  One effective way of doing this is to identify the entire customer life-cycle by mapping it at every stage.

By doing this, you can pick out your customer touch points across all of your channels – and use this to figure out which touch points can be improved in order to collect more data (whilst remaining GDPR compliant) and, ultimately, deliver a more personalised service.  Luxury shoppers do tend to be protective of their data and so, brands would do well to take a leaf out of luxury watch brand, Tag Heuer’s book. Tag Heuer offers customers a personal profile page whereby, once registered, customers can provide vital data such as hobbies, interests and purchase preferences.

Actionable insights through individuality

You ought to know by now that not all customers are the same – and that the luxury shopper is a niche customer segment with unique demands.  It’s incredibly important for a brand to use data to create a communications strategy based on customer categories. Too many brands are still not doing enough to identify their best or high value customers – those who spend more and more often.  One brand who has nailed this is The Carlson Hotel group (previously known as Rezidor) who has been able to understand its customers across all five of its brands and find ways in which to use the data collected in a more effective way to increase retention rates and, of course, profits. 

Don’t you know who I am?

If you’re after those high-value customers, it’s time to stop churning out generic offers in your communications.  The luxury shopper demands a much more sophisticated and personalised approach – and won’t settle for less. Replace generic advertising with exclusive invitations and offers based on previous purchases.  It should go without saying that engaging customers and soliciting their opinion is of paramount importance. In addition to GDPR requirements, with this market, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of how data is used; the luxury shopper needs to be able to trust the way a brand is using their data, as well as feeling valued by that brand.

The best practices of a working customer loyalty programme
Source: At Kearney

Turning Interactions into transactions

It’s really important to take a look at how you are measuring customer interactions for this market to ensure that it not only takes in current customer engagement but future behaviour as well.  Fashion brand, Burberry, use this to great effect and are experts in transforming interactions into transactions through its social media activity. To date, the brand has a staggering 11 million Facebook fans which, it says, has translated to a 10% increase in revenue. 

Although digital activity is, of course, super-important, it would be a mistake to overlook the equally important customer service in-store.  Brands should be training staff on its customer loyalty, customer engagement and experience initiatives to make sure that customers are recognised and are receiving the personal service that they demand. 

From emotion to transaction

For a luxury brand, there are plenty of opportunities to create better customer relationships through insight and behaviour-targeted campaigns.  It’s no secret that there’s a strong, tangible link between marketing and increased revenue and brands can super-size revenue and create more loyal customers by harnessing the emotion and passion which drives affluent customers to the checkout.  

In short, as a brand, you need to be using your data and insights to attract those luxury customers – and to prove that you deserve them!     

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