I love a compelling story. So much so, I majored in English as an undergraduate…and I’m also a member of two book clubs.
When I went back to school for my master’s in business, I realized that these professors cared about stories just as much as my English professors did – they just called it by another name: the customer journey. Traditionally, marketing experts depicted the customer journey in a linear framework, from awareness to advocacy.
In the early 2000s, McKinsey & Co. revolutionized the notion of customer journeys, unveiling a new non-linear shape. Customers, they said, inhabit a journey “loop,” with four discrete stages:
- “The customer considers an initial set of brands, based on brand perceptions and exposure to recent touch points.
- Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want.
- Ultimately, the consumer selects a brand at the moment of purchase.
- After purchasing a product or service, the consumer builds expectations based on experience to inform the next decision journey.”
McKinsey shed light on a marketing epiphany: If everything in the customer journey goes well, the customer skips the active evaluation stage next time around, and orbits around a loyalty loop. Think about your favorite consumer products – do you find yourself looking at a wide set of possible brands each time you buy toothpaste? If not, you’re probably in a loyalty loop of your own.
Marketers are empowered to push levers within the customer journey to pull them in to that loyalty loop. At PXUX, I highlighted a few clients who have been able to do just that. For example:
Uncle Julio’s Spices Up Frontline Engagement
This southern brand leverages not only an exciting loyalty program to keep guests engaged, but also harnesses the power of its frontline staff. Customer engagement and positive memories are built on the frontline. Uncle Julio’s upped the stakes by offering a fun competition with juicy prizes—including Apple Watches and big screen televisions. Frontline staff was incentivized to learn the program and bring it up to customers early and often. The result? A 50% boost in registrations.
World of Beer Predicts the Future
World of Beer has more than 550 beers on its extensive menu. How do they keep customers intrigued to come in for that next visit? They combine customer surveys, loyalty purchase behavior, and a special collaboration with the Paytronix Data Insights team to come up with a predictive ALEgorithm. The ALEgorithm gives customers a dose of recommended beers to try during their visit. This list is kept up-to-date after each beer purchase, making the customer’s choice to frequent WOB a no-brainer.
What can you do to pull guests into your loyalty loop?