Are conversations on customer loyalty taking a wrong turn?
Recently in Shanghai and Mumbai I overheard conversations about loyalty. These conversations focused on data and other technical inside-out stuff. Not so much about the core of customer loyalty.
I’ve had the privilege of being a speaker and an expert panelist at leading loyalty events on four continents. And that’s been great. Over the years different “loyalty trends” have been the topic of conversation.
Lately I’ve noticed a shift in the focus of conversations about loyalty. Intense conversations taking place between accomplished professionals. All of who represents major global brands. Read the following as nothing more than some random thoughts.
These conversations now mostly focus on data, data, data. Big data (not small data), data analytics, mining data, acquiring data and so on. Not on the emotional connect with consumers or business buyers. And very little on winning and keeping customer share of heart. At the Loyalty Summit in Mumbai, for example, one speaker after another presented the case for data. But offered no solutions as to how to make data actionable.
And I think that is a mistake. Because data, analytics and such can do little for loyalty, if the emotional connect isn’t established to some degree. And even less if data and insight isn’t used to improve the communication with each individual customer. Because relevant offers delivered in a timely fashion helps create or retain loyalty. Irrelevant offers are nothing but an irritation to consumers or business buyers.
Before we continue, don’t get me wrong. I too am a lover of data. But I believe data must be actionable. Any data you collect should enable you to improve the conversation with any given customer. Preferably 1-to-1.