Is customer engagement the new customer loyalty?

customer brand engagement

Today’s post is an article written by Brandhook, good friends of ours and the sharpest brand research and insights agency around.

Last month I attended the Customer Loyalty and Engagement Conference in Sydney and although the speakers represented a wide range of industries, what emerged as a common theme was the importance of maintaining an ongoing relationship with customers after the sale.

David Galt, CEO of Webjet, spoke about how his team would high five and celebrate every time a customer made a booking but in an increasingly competitive environment the sale (and subsequent high fives) is just the beginning. It is what the Webjet team does after the sale to continue the relationship that has been the key behind their success.

After a customer makes a booking, they receive the expected confirmation and itinerary emails, which is the first in a sequence of highly personalised and targeted emails. Shortly after the initial emails, Webjet follows up with a city guide for the travel destination, a value add for the customer and a great opportunity for Webjet to cross-sell other offers such as car hire. Aimed with the insight that travellers typically book flights first and accommodation closer to travel, Webjet then follows up again with a timely hotel offer in the days leading up to the departure date.

Also wanting to extend the relationship beyond the membership sale, Lewis Pullen from the NRL spoke about their partnership with the Melbourne Storm to launch a game-ified program for its members. The program, ‘Lightning Rewards’ engages members and rewards behaviour such as interacting with the club online and consuming content, purchasing food, drinks and merchandise during events, driving new revenue and even arriving to games at least 30 minutes early. To do this, the rewards program relies on game mechanics such as ranks, challenges, rewards and leader boards.

While listening to these presentations I realised that a number of brands that I frequently purchase from have recently changed the way they communicate with me. When ordering from Victoria’s Secret in the past I have typically received a tracking number, which every couple of days I would eagerly log in to check on the progress. But after placing my recent order, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a follow up email to let me know that my order had arrived in the country, another one when the parcel cleared customs and a final one when my package was on board with the driver.

But even more exciting than this was an email I received after a purchase at Witchery. This email came a couple of days after my purchase – it thanked me for visiting the Chapel St store, acknowledged that I had bought the Rib Sweater Dress and most impressively, showed me different ways to style my new outfit. Just like the Webjet example, this value add was intended to cross-sell their other products but I didn’t care because the boots I went on to buy match my Sweater Dress perfectly!

It is clear from these examples that brands are now focusing on customer engagement that facilitates an ongoing relationship and leverages the lifetime value of customers. So is customer engagement the new loyalty and what does that mean for your brand?

Selma Mehmedovic
Insights & Strategy Director, Brandhook

Brandhook
With offices in Melbourne and London, Brandhook believe that in today’s multichannel world, brands and their customers are so intimately fused that the only way to grow is to understand what truly makes those consumers tick. Their passion is to find that insight anchored in commercial reality that will drive brand success.
Find-put more about Brandhook here: www.brandhook.com

Pic courtesy of Brandhook.

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