‘re­peat’ value

“Com­pa­nies that do a very good job of re­tain­ing their cus­tomers and de­vel­op­ing the value of ev­ery­body over time should be awarded a much higher mul­ti­ple than an­other busi­ness that does not re­tain their cus­tomers as well, even if the his­tor­i­cal rev­enue pat

The Smart Manager - - Contents - NI­RANJ SAN­GAL IS GROUP CEO OF OMA EMI­RATES GROUP.

Evolv­ing buy­ing habits of con­sumers ne­ces­si­tates build­ing smarter so­lu­tions, opines Ni­ranj San­gal, OMA Emi­rates Group.

The dig­i­tal era helps con­sumers stay well in­formed. With news and in­for­ma­tion be­ing ac­cessed and passed on every frac­tion of a sec­ond, to­day’s con­sumers are not only smart but also know ex­actly what they want and where it is pre­cisely avail­able—this could be through a dig­i­tal medium or via the usual bricks-and-mor­tar store. They are hence driven by the power of choice—ei­ther seek op­tions on­line, which re­quires al­most no ef­fort, or the tra­di­tional route (vis­it­ing a store to pur­chase or con­sider the clickand-mor­tar model, which a num­ber of off­line and on­line busi­nesses are adopt­ing). This sug­gests that the abil­ity to re­tain a con­sumer’s in­ter­est in any busi­ness model is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult, con­sid­er­ing the numer­ous choices avail­able. This is in­vari­ably sup­ple­mented by the need for busi­nesses to re­de­fine their cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion strat­egy which is equally im­por­tant.

Be­ing an ac­tive fin­tech player in the area of pay­ments, we gen­er­ally ser­vice the end cus­tomers di­rectly or through other busi­nesses. It has be­come im­per­a­tive for us to keep the end con­sumer at the cen­tre in or­der to de­velop in­no­va­tive and ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions. While con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing and de­vel­op­ing seam­less so­lu­tions is the ba­sic essence, un­der­stand­ing what po­ten­tially in­flu­ences the buy­ing de­ci­sion has be­come an­other fun­da­men­tal. Legacy busi­nesses are grad­u­ally adapt­ing to this par­a­digm shift and the pro­gres­sive na­ture of an in­di­vid­ual’s buy­ing habits. As far as emerg­ing busi­nesses are con­cerned, only a handful have been suc­cess­ful in de­ci­pher­ing the code. It is vis­i­ble that suc­cess here lies in in­creas­ing cus­tomer loy­alty and re­ten­tion. This in­evitably is fol­lowed by cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion, con­sid­er­ing con­sumers are vo­cal about their choices and ex­pe­ri­ences.

cus­tomer loy­alty

Cus­tomer loy­alty, ie, re­turn­ing cus­tomers, is a de­ter­min­ing met­ric that may be used to de­fine the suc­cess of a busi­ness. Re­tain­ing cus­tomers and build­ing a more sus­tain­able re­la­tion­ship paves the way for loy­alty. More­over, re­search in­di­cates that re­tain­ing a base of loyal cus­tomers is a much faster process than ac­quir­ing new ones, and can cost up to five to seven times lesser. This is also a more ef­fec­tive strat­egy to fol­low as it also drives en­gage­ment and higher re­call.

One happy cus­tomer could bring in a dozen more as loyal cus­tomers are more likely to be­come in­di­rect mar­keters for any busi­ness. In or­der to foster cus­tomer loy­alty, a busi­ness should set the right ex­pec­ta­tions at the very on­set by means of clear and reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion. This elim­i­nates uncer­tainty to a great ex­tent, and busi­nesses can en­sure that cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­ence a higher level of sat­is­fac­tion.

re­ward­ing the cus­tomer

So what is it that an in­di­vid­ual is look­ing for? – A re­ward.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that happy cus­tomers may not be al­ways loyal; and that it is nat­u­ral for them to ex­pect a re­ward for their loy­alty. Build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the con­sumer aids loy­alty, how­ever it has be­come im­por­tant to of­fer con­sumers more tan­gi­ble re­wards.

Cus­tomer re­ten­tion is of­ten driven by that one unique re­ward and value add that is other­wise not of­fered by other play­ers. Dis­counts and cash­backs for­merly would do the trick, how­ever, now these are sec­ondary con­sid­er­ing every other en­tity of­fers the same. Cre­at­ing a com­pletely in­te­grated ecosys­tem and be­ing able to bol­ster the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence can add great value. Also, rein­vent­ing the buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the smart con­sumer can work ex­cep­tion­ally well. This can cre­ate a highly com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment in a small and large mar­kets equally. The crux of the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence and what ap­peals most to the con­sumer is what she gets to take away each time she makes that pur­chase.

It is about time that busi­nesses, how­ever large or small, re­course to pass­ing on ad­di­tional ben­e­fits in the form of re­wards to con­sumers. Those who do not see value in such

a ges­ture could very well lose out on their mar­ket share. Of­fer­ing an in­te­grated and in­ter­est­ing loy­alty pro­gram is the way ahead. The for­mat of keep­ing en­gage­ment lev­els high at the same time works most ef­fec­tively.

Con­sid­er­ing dig­i­ti­za­tion is on an up­swing, tech­nol­ogy should be de­ployed to pro­vide a ro­bust and ex­cit­ing loy­alty scheme that an in­di­vid­ual is at the cen­tre of.

schemes that work

Tra­di­tional loy­alty schemes pro­vid­ing dis­counts and cash­backs need an over­haul. In ad­di­tion to fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing re­call, there also needs to be a steady fo­cus on im­prov­ing the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­ered at the time of pur­chase. Loy­alty pro­grams to­day are re­stricted in terms of their of­fer­ings, and en­hanc­ing them would cre­ate more value.

Con­sid­er­ing dig­i­ti­za­tion is on an up­swing, tech­nol­ogy should be de­ployed to pro­vide a ro­bust and ex­cit­ing loy­alty scheme that an in­di­vid­ual is at the cen­tre of. Large busi­nesses may have the ca­pac­ity to de­velop such so­lu­tions from the grass roots level. For smaller busi­nesses, there is tremen­dous scope if they con­sider lev­er­ag­ing the op­por­tu­nity by in­te­grat­ing with ex­ist­ing new age and en­gag­ing loy­alty pro­grammes.

Hav­ing un­der­stood the chal­lenges loy­alty schemes pre­sented, OMA Emi­rates de­vel­oped a com­plete ecosys­tem to en­hance the en­tire buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with ‘Ben­e­fit Be­yond’. The unique­ness of the scheme is that with a sin­gle com­mon branded card, users can avail them­selves of ben­e­fits across any store that is part of the scheme, to ac­crue and re­deem the ben­e­fits of loy­alty. More­over, con­sid­er­ing the in­creas­ing pref­er­ence to trans­act dig­i­tally, this card can also be used as a pre­paid card for pay­ments. This sim­pli­fies the process of buy­ing, pay­ing, and en­sures that a con­sumer en­joys the ben­e­fits of be­ing loyal with­out any re­stric­tions. At the same time, the dy­namic scheme helps the busi­ness un­der­stand how its cus­tomers choose to buy.

Multi-faceted with a com­pletely in­te­grated loy­alty ecosys­tem of such formats is known to help busi­nesses achieve the high lev­els of ef­fi­ciency. Loy­alty schemes se­cured with tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion and ad­vance­ments, which pro­vide cus­tomers with ben­e­fits much be­fore they ex­pect will be widely ac­cepted.

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