Whilst the new approach appears to be empowering its employees to commit random acts of kindness and put a smile on the face of the lucky ‘chosen one’ Adam Goran, Divisional Director for Customer Engagement at Grass Roots Group says that this strategy alone won’t work to secure loyal customers for the long term.
As Pret has stated 28 per cent of its customers have already received a freebie to date based on this model, meaning that around three quarters of its potentially already loyal daily customers haven’t.
This will make (and clearly already has from social noise) existing customers, and not to mention the potentially new ones, feel alienated and personally unrewarded now they know they’re not one of the special chosen group.
To examplify this, Group Managing Director of Business Matters publishers Capital Business Media, Richard Alvin received such a reward last week.
— Richard Alvin (@ralvin) April 24, 2015
However Simon Devonshire, director of Wayra Europe and one of the government’s Entrepreneurs in Residence felt upset that he hadn’t been rewarded to date.
— Simon Devonshire (@simondevonshire) April 22, 2015
Successful customer engagement is built on insight into what makes each individual customer tick. This can only be gained from the analysis of both transactional and emotional data, achieved through insight into the daily habits of a consumer and any potential external factors like weather and festivities such as Christmas or Easter. This enables brands to reward customers individually based on their personal preferences making them feel valued and appreciated.
Card based loyalty is not the only customer engagement strategy out there, as Pret CEO Clive Schlee considered. The analysis of the transactional and attitudinal data of your customers must at the heart of building long lasting, loyal advocates for your business, whilst an occasional random act of kindness to surprise and delight, should be the cherry on top.