Why You Need Unified Customer Experiences To Grow Loyalty

The old rules of retail loyalty programs aren’t good enough in the post-pandemic retail landscape. Traditional restaurant loyalty programs were often focused on simple transactional incentives, such as coffee shop loyalty programs where customers could buy 10 coffees, get 1 free. But in a more competitive environment where retailers are struggling harder to get repeat customers to buy from them, and when repeat customers are more valuable than ever before, it’s not good enough to focus on these simple, old-fashioned loyalty programs. 

The new model for retail loyalty programs is more comprehensive, more engaging, and ultimately more profitable for your business. The new style of retail loyalty program is centered on creating unified customer experiences.

What are Unified Customer Experiences for Retail, Restaurants and Coffee Shops?

Unified customer experiences are all about putting customers at the center of your brand’s engagement.

Your company already owns a massive amount of data about your customers. Your customers are already telling you what they want to buy and which channels they prefer to use. By embracing the model of unified customer experiences, your company can get better visibility and insight into your customer relationships, making your customer communications and marketing more targeted, precise, and relevant to customers’ needs. 

Understanding the value of unified customer experiences

Too many restaurants, coffee shops, and other retailers are using loyalty programs that have gotten stale. Rigid, boring loyalty programs won’t cut it anymore. Customers are bombarded with too many irrelevant offers via email and app notifications. Retail loyalty programs need to do more to earn customers’ attention. 

Instead of a simple punch card like experience, $1 off of coffee, or a free coffee after 10 stars, retail loyalty programs need to offer a transformative experience that goes to the heart of why people want to buy from your business. Instead of a discount, show your customers that you understand their needs, are ready to anticipate their interests, and can recommend exciting new experiences based on their previous purchases and interactions with your business.  

Unified customer experiences ultimately create a deeper level of customer loyalty. Customers will want to keep buying from you not because you’re “buying” their business with simple incentives, but because they appreciate how relevant your offers are, how seamless the customer experience is, and how elegantly your business can fulfill their needs – in-store, online, and on every other channel.  

“Instead of a simple discount or punch card, show your customers that you understand their needs, are ready to anticipate their interests, and can recommend exciting new experiences.”

Catherine Newman, co-Owner and Restaurateur
Edley's Bar-B-Que Restaurant Group

Five Steps to Create Unified Customer Experiences

There are several steps you can take to help your retail business, coffee shop or restaurant create unified customer experiences:

Step 1: Centralize your customer data

You are already collecting customer data from every point of sale, your in-store WiFi system, your eCommerce systems of record and third-party apps. Anywhere customers buy from you or interact with your brand online, there is valuable data. 

How GoGoGuest Helps: Our platform automatically collects and organizes this customer data that you already own – and helps you learn from it.

“We help your business deliver the right offers in the right message format at the right time to engage with customers at the moment when they are ready to buy or receptive to learn more.”

See what is possible.

Talk to sales.

Step 2: Create a 360-degree customer profile

How well do you know your customers? By analyzing your customers’ purchasing patterns, you can uncover powerful insights about who your customers are and what they want to buy next. 

How GoGoGuest Helps: We’ll help you develop a deeper understanding of your customers, using our market basket analysis. By analyzing your customers’ purchasing patterns, GoGoGuest’s powerful AI and logic help generate customer insights and help you identify key market segments, customer groups, and customer personas.

blog header: unified customer experiences to grow customer loyalty

Step 3: Take the next best action

Once you know more about your customers, it’s time to take the next step: identify the next best action for how to reach and engage with your customers. Your options for next best action will be based on data and targeted at relevant customer profiles. 

For example, some customers might be more likely to respond to a certain offer or special discount, others might want a recommendation for a menu item they would enjoy based on their previous purchases, or a new Limited Time Offer. 

How GoGoGuest Helps: Our platform’s data-driven insights help remove the guesswork and improve the efficiency of your marketing, while increasing frequency of visits and average order size.

GoGoGuest helps you carry out the next best action by targeted communications to your customers, delivered through customer journeys, email campaigns, or SMS from the GoGoGuest platform. With the power of data-driven insights, we help your business deliver the right offers in the right message format at the right time to engage with customers at the moment when they are ready to buy or receptive to learn more.

Step 4: Make a plan to implement the right analytics technology at your business

Many retail businesses and restaurant chains might wonder if they are “ready” for the technology involved with predictive analytics and creating unified customer experiences. Companies often invest in 3-4 different technology stacks and development integrations. If not handled carefully, the process of implementing analytics technology can be tedious and costly. 

How GoGoGuest Helps: Our platform helps companies create unified customer experiences with a one-stop solution for the technology side. Our platform is adaptable and can collect data from multiple POS systems and third-party apps, without having to invest in additional systems or integrations. GoGoGuest’s technology can meet your organization wherever you are.

Step 5: Get your company culture ready – be a “data-literate” organization

  1. Beyond the question of technology, many companies need to think about their organization’s culture. Even if your technology is up to speed, your company’s leaders, stakeholders and front-line workers need to be “data literate” and ready to take action based on what the customer data can tell you.

When companies invest in creating unified customer experiences, it’s important to keep in mind these three key elements: 

  1. Make sure the goals and objectives of stakeholders are clear. Everyone needs to be on the same page with what the company is doing and why it matters. You don’t have to be data scientists or analytics experts; you do need to be in agreement about the strategic value of using customer data to create this new type of experience. 
  2. Customer communication pathways need to be well designed. Think about how your customers engage and interact with your business. Are you…
    • getting customers to opt-in for additional email and mobile phone communications? 
    • making connections between in-store purchases and future online offers? 
    • ready to keep learning and refining your processes over time, to build stronger customer relationships based on updated data and additional purchases and points of contact? 
  3. Every customer facing stakeholder needs to have access to the customer’s last engagement. If a customer likes to buy 2 glasses of wine with dinner, the in-store restaurant staff need to know that. If a “single” customer stops in to pick up takeout dinner for a big family at home, they need to receive personalized offers for family meal discounts. Know your customer, and keep learning more about what they want so you can recommend and suggest additional value-adding opportunities in the future.

How GoGoGuest Helps: our platform is easy to use and creates an easy, accessible, unified view of your business performance. Once you see the data arranged and organized in GoGoGuest, insights will jump out at you and you will understand your customers in profound new ways.

Next Steps

Don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to dive in and dig deeper. Have you read The Customer Engagement Playbook? Produced by the GoGoGuest team, it offers actionable next steps and best practices on how to implement data-driven full-cycle unified customer experience that build awareness, increase customer engagement to growing customer loyalty that drive value.

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