Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been searching for meaningful ways to stay in touch with customers. Customer engagement and loyalty programs are taking top priority as many merchants struggle to stay open. But it’s not just during a pandemic that maintaining customer relationships becomes important. Critical to strong business performance in general, customer engagement is important at all times. One study found that up to two-thirds of a brand’s profits may rely on effective customer engagement.
Great customer engagement also leads to higher customer satisfaction, retention, and brand loyalty. Brands that have high customer retention see higher profit: Bain & Co found that just a 5% increase in customer retention results in at least a 25% increase in profit. Keeping customer relationships is also less expensive than building new ones. Bottom line: merchants that build strong relationships with their customers boost their bottom line over time.
The first step to connecting with your community is to identify who your customers are and what they care about. In this first segment of a two-part series on customer engagement, we introduce two powerful and free tools that build customer engagement and improve your bottom line: Clover Customers and Clover Promos.
The secret to a great customer relationship: knowing your customer. It may sound obvious, but the data proves it: customers are more loyal to brands that care about them. One researcher found that 79% of consumers will consider purchasing from a brand only when that brand has demonstrated they understand and care about their customers.
As a small business owner, you are no doubt already building close relationships with customers who visit your establishment. But, as you expand your team, how can you maintain the same level of personalized treatment customers have come to expect?
Clover helps you get to know your customers with Clover Customers. This tool lets you build a database of customer information automatically from credit card sales and digital receipts. Customers works like a CRM (customer relationship management) tool that files basic contact information as well as details like birthdays, recent orders, workplaces, and any other notes you want to include. Customer information records are created whenever someone swipes a credit card or elects to receive a digital receipt via SMS or email.
Your staff can automatically pull up the customer’s name and transaction history. This allows them to give a personalized level of service to each and every customer. They can see information such as allergies, birthday, favorite products, past purchase history, and even highly specific things like pets’ names (in the case of pet stores and services), all of which helps them offer tailored recommendations, personalized promos, and other forms of VIP treatment. Best of all, it’s simple and comes free with your Clover system.
But what if you want to use Clover Customers tool for marketing purposes? Asking people to provide their information for a sales database can be challenging. Customers are understandably wary about giving their personal information to businesses that might distribute it or use it for aggressive marketing. This is where another Clover tool can come in handy: Clover Promos.
Once you start to collect contact information from your customers, Clover Promos can help you boost repeat business with digital offers, real-time promos, timely announcements and in-store coupons.
Start with the Audience Builder feature, a tool that helps you create and maintain customer contact lists for promotions and announcements. Run an offer for recent purchasers, or offer incentives for coming at off-peak hours. Promos can help you build audience lists by rewarding sign-ups. For instance, you can let people take 10% off when they enter their email/phone number. Encourage customers to sign up to receive outreach from your business by offering exclusive access to new products, a weekly newsletter, or an invite to a loyalty club.
Promos helps you with two important jobs: running special offers that help you increase sales, and sharing key announcements with your customers. Let’s explore each of these functions.
This tool provides a way to set up special promotions, such as 10% off with the purchase of a larger item. It’s an easy way to incentivize a specific subset of customers to stay engaged. For instance, you could set up a promotion for “customers who have visited within the last 30 days,” or “customers who have visited but haven’t returned within the last 60 days.” Promo offers can be sent out to customers via text, email, or through the Clover mobile app. With the click of a button, promotions can also be posted on your Twitter and Facebook pages. Clover Promos also lets you print a code on receipts customers can use to enter their contact information to receive special deals.
Promos goes beyond just providing sales and discounts. Our new Announcements feature is a great way to communicate store policies, product updates, or changes in hours and availability. As the marketplace continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, use Promos to notify your patrons about online ordering, delivery options, curbside pickup, and other important topics. If there are in-demand items you haven’t been able to keep in stock, you can let people know as soon as they are available again. Best of all, you can send announcements without redeeming one of your promos.
Access to customer information is a privilege, and the Clover Customer Engagement Suite treats it as such. Offer your customers full control of their subscription preferences: Promos lets your customers subscribe/unsubscribe or follow/unfollow at will.
We’re here to help you as well as your customers. Our products and services help merchants stay compliant with consumer privacy concerns and guard against spam. The Promos, Rewards, and Feedback tools provide an avenue for you to collect customer information without seeing all the details explicitly. This helps protect the customer and still allows you to communicate. You may want to highlight this protection in your outreach to customers: let them know their information is safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be more challenging than expected; the reality is that we’re not through with it yet. By working together and staying connected with customers, Clover can help you adapt to the changing environment. Staying in touch with your customers starts with building a good distribution list through Clover’s Customer Engagement Suite. Customers and Promos are just two essential tools that help you keep your customers safe, conduct business online, and respond quickly to new developments. Stay tuned for Part II, where we’ll walk you through how to use Feedback and Rewards to enrich customer relationships.