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What My Dog Has Taught Me About Loyalty

I left Chicago for a mundane, less colorful suburban town in order to have more space to grow a family. It wasn’t done without resistance. For I had never been sure if I was the sort of person that could be ‘suburban.’  The months that followed were challenging and I realized that I longed for something, but was unaware on how to find that elusive thing I sought.

Looking back, I realize that I was simply longing for another connection, and I soon gained one.

That connection came in form of a street dog. I picked up Elsie at the CACC and I credit her for teaching me almost everything I know about Loyalty.

The loyalty Elsie and I have for each another is something that brands wish they could bottle and market to consumers. This may sound  far fetched, but read on to learn how companies should be more like my Elsie in order to build their customer loyalty.

1 - Listen

Since the first day we locked eyes, Elsie has always had a great way of making me feel like I’m not just being heard, but am being listened to.

Customers expect the companies they interact with to listen to them. With all the white noise that digital has given way to, consumers are bombarded with a constant stream of commotion. But when they stop and interact with your brand through a purchase or opening an email, the most important thing you can do is let them know you are listening to them. You can do this by making sure their interaction with you seamless, is on the channel of their choice, and is easily accessed whether it be through social media or your site.

2 – Predict Needs

Elsie and I may not speak the same language, but many times words are unnecessary. It’s actions that we need.  Whether it’s extra time on the couch with her on Saturday mornings watching episodes of Law and Order, or her nudging me to take her for a stroll in the warm weather – she always knows what I need and what would make me feel better, often before I know it myself.

The act of being proactive and predicting needs came second nature to Elsie. It’s something that may not be intuitive to companies, but with tools such as AI and predictive analytics, companies are able to dive deep into insights to understand behaviors, in order to create the perfect experience for customers.  Simply put, AI will analyze information and sees patterns where one’s eyes may not.

3 – Personalize

Elsie has always been a social butterfly.  With her by my side, I wasn’t shy about getting to know neighbors and we soon found ourselves with a booked schedule filled with doggy playdates and walks about town. But she never forgot how to make me feel special. She greeted and interacted with many people, but I’ve always known I was her number one.

Consumers want to feel that when they need an item or service that you can not only fill that need – but also you can go beyond it. Hyper-personalization is key to driving impulse purchases, increasing revenue, and building on trust. This trust will lead to ample opportunities for your organization to gain repeat buyers and cross sell.

These are three simple reasons on how to build loyalty with consumers. I believe one thing that’s  important whether it’s a loyalty program or any connection at all is emotion. These three points I refer to; listening, predicting and personalizing, all built my emotional connection with Elsie.  This in turn built my loyalty for her and vice-versa. Ultimately, what you want as a consumer and as a company is the give and take of information that goes beyond the transactional to frame an engaging relationship based on emotion. That’s the start of ‘Loyalty.’

If you want to see more pictures of my dog, feel free to email me – but if you’d like to know more about customer loyalty, check us out on Oracle.com

If you happen to be attending Modern Customer Experience make sure you stop by Theater 7 on Wednesday, March 20th at 2:10 pm for our session on Oracle Loyalty Cloud Up Close

Download the eBook titled "Industry Experts Share Their Predictions for Customer Loyalty" which features 7 loyalty trends that are sure to shake up the traditional points-for-purchases scheme.







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