All businesses strive for customer loyalty, but very few achieve it. Increased competition and changes in consumer behaviour make it challenging for businesses to keep customers coming back.
Research suggests that by 2023, over 60% of consumers will expect companies to be able to anticipate their needs and make relevant recommendations. New technologies are emerging that can help manufacturing businesses meet these demands. This article will help you understand how to use technology to become your customer brand of choice.
Manufacturers must get the right tools to integrate and optimise their customer data
In 2023, customer data will be more valuable than ever. Data can be used to gain insights into your customers' buying habits and preferences. It’s important for manufacturers to have the right tools in place to collect and utilise this data.
For example, if you want to increase sales in a specific location, you’ll need accurate data about where your customers are making purchases. Plus, to incentivise location-based sales, you’ll want to have enough insightful data about your customers to offer them personalised promotions.
Why? Because competition is high and customers are more demanding. Manufacturers can’t just rely on good products; they must find ways to use data to their advantage, and send the right messages, to the right people, at the right time.
What kind of data would be useful for your brand? The first thing you might think of is transactional data. But if you want to stand out in 2023, you’re going to need a lot more than that. How often do customers use your product? What projects do they specialise in? What merchants do they buy from most often? What products are they buying alongside yours? What kind of activities do they participate in? These are all insightful questions that will help you create a better experience for customers.
For example, if you're a manufacturer that sells into third-party merchants, you might want to consider creating your own loyalty programme. That way, you can connect directly with your end customers, collecting data and delivering personalised communications and promotions.
Wavin, a leading pipe manufacturer, launched a loyalty programme to reward loyal customers for buying Wavin-branded products. Thanks to the Wavin Rewards app, end customers are not limited to buying from a particular store - no matter where they purchase, customers get rewarded for choosing Wavin products.
Furthermore, loyalty programmes can provide predictive analytics, helping you to better forecast future product demand. AI technology can also predict the likelihood that a customer will churn, giving you the chance to act before it’s too late.
Offer valuable promotions at the right time
Another way technology can help manufacturers grow? By tracking purchase history and delivering rewards! If a customer has been buying your product for years, but has recently switched to an alternative brand, you need to act fast. Offer them a special discount, or even give them a free product as an incentive. To increase engagement, you can even use loyalty programmes to gamify the customer experience. For example, give your customers “challenges” and “tasks”, such as making purchases within a specific timeframe to receive a bespoke reward.
Use technology to personalise your marketing
Nobody wants to see the same generic marketing communications. With data from a loyalty programme, you can segment your audience. Customer segmentation allows manufacturers to target specific groups of customers with tailored products and marketing campaigns. This makes sure that money spent on advertising goes towards reaching the right audience - people that are already interested in your product!
Manufacturers must give their customers a voice
We're seeing a shift in the way consumers want to interact with brands. Rather than being passive consumers, they're looking for ways to provide feedback and spread the word about their favourite products. Manufacturers can encourage this by providing a way for customers to make referrals, leave product reviews, and share their experiences with other potential buyers.
Loyalty programmes help manufacturers get product reviews and referrals to grow their business. Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they know that they will be rewarded for doing so, which makes it easier for you to collect data on what people like about your products and tailor future development accordingly.
Seamlessly integrate technology into your processes
Many manufacturing brands struggle with fragmented data. When data systems don’t talk to each other, it’s very difficult to gain a 360 view of your customers. For example, many businesses don’t know if a customer prefers email or sms communications, whether they prefer to shop online or in-store, or what products they need the most.
That’s why manufacturers need a digital relationship with their customers. By connecting your CRM software with a loyalty programme, you can keep track of customer needs, preferences, purchases, and other relevant information.
You can then utilise the power of AI to analyse customer behaviour patterns and predict future needs. The result? You deliver personalised products, services and rewards that keep your customers coming back for more.
Create rewarding experiences for customer loyalty
Many manufacturers don’t have the technology stack in place to collect insightful customer data, deliver the right messages at the right time and create rewarding experiences for end-users.
To succeed as a manufacturing company in 2023, you need to invest in the right technology tools. Loyalty programs are an effective solution to understanding customers and creating experiences that keep them choosing your brand over the competition.