Audio Transcript

#199: Loyalty Ideas for Small Companies by Creating Customer Connections (Short Summary Show) (8m)
Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. This episode is brought to you by Epsilon on their award-winning PeopleCloud loyalty solution. Personalization should be integrated into the entire customer experience, including of course your loyalty program. With this in mind, Epsilon recently released a guide outlining six key components that will put you on the path to personalizing your entire loyalty experience.
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This guide challenges you to do some housekeeping and reconsider how you think about your current and future loyalty personalization efforts. So to download your copy of the report, visit epsilon.com/LetsTalkLoyalty. Hello, and welcome to this week’s short summary episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Today I’m looking back on an interview with Allie Cudby who is the best-selling author of a book called Keep Your Customers. And she’s also the managing director of a company called Aalignmint Growth Strategies in the United States.
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Ali specializes in working with small and medium-sized businesses to create a nurture loyalty with their customers. And she explained to me that the first step is creating a feeling of connection between you and your customers. She believes that when people feel seen and heard and valued by organizations, that’s when they stay engaged. And when, of course, they don’t choose to leave with larger companies. Sometimes the over-reliance on technology is expected to create this connection, but in fact, it’s more difficult to make that work. One great example we discussed was an online retailer that made returning a purchase extremely difficult and expensive for Allie, a process, which probably was very efficient for the retailer, but the effects that process had not only made her hub set even as a loyal customer, but also caused her to tell all her friends and family about it too, from originally being a truly loyal customer, Allie became someone who was no longer certainly feeling connected to what they offer or how they do business Ali also highlighted how important it is for companies to empower their staff, to take every care of their customerss especially the most loyal ones.
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She admitted, it’s often a greater short-term cost, but ultimately it’s a long-term investment. And of course, that’s essential if you want to keep those customers returning again and again, another idea she shared is what she calls random acts of celebration. The idea of doing something special and unexpected for your customers. She really believes it’s often these smaller actions that your customers remember for years to come. Of course, all of these ideas are included in Allie’s book, which she wrote to encourage small businesses to create an organizational culture that delivers on the company’s mission statement.
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When the team share the mission and it’s visible for customers, it also empowers employees to take actions that aspire to these high standards just as in larger companies, Allie really believes that smaller company teams really often do become siloed. And sometimes they start focusing exclusively on acquiring new customers sometimes at the expense of product quality and often at the expense of retaining the customers you already have. We then discussed subscription-based programs, which Allie refers to as renewal based businesses. As we all know in the past, these would have been traditionally offered by the likes of magazines and perhaps software companies.
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But now, as we all know, lots of new types of retailers are starting to offer these subscription ideas. It’s definitely an important model for businesses to consider. And as we discussed earlier, it requires plenty of patience, understanding and flexibility when customer issues or questions arise. Lastly, we talked about the importance of getting the basics, right? We acknowledged of course, loyalty programs can’t fix either the product or the overall consumer proposition. So of course they have to be working as well as possible before you layer on an investment in loyalty.
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As an example, Allie shared a company called Soapbox in US that had spent so much time and effort working on its social impact that had failed to pay attention to the core product on surprisingly, then it didn’t actually sell. It was only when the team pivoted away from building the marketing ideas and went back to basics to focus on the product that their sales increased exponentially. I came away from this conversation and from Ali’s book with some great reminders of how any organization of any can think about customer loyalty. So I hope you’ll go back and listen to the original interview.
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You can find it at let’s talk, loyalty.com forward slash 67. Now, of course we have three shows a week. So firstly, I want to invite you to join me tomorrow when we’re talking about the success of subscriptions for the world, famous convenience retailer circle, K then on Thursday, we’re back with Epsilon talking about the idea of using your loyalty program to help you acquire as well as retain your profitable customers. Thanks for listening guys. This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing use insights and research.
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The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries, a certified loyalty marketing professionals for more information, check out the wise market tier.com and loyaltyacademy.org. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. If you’d like us to send you the latest shows each week, simply sign up for the Let’s Talk Loyalty newsletter on LetsTalkLoyalty.com.
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