Companies need to stop thinking about the future of retail shopping as if it were written out of a science fiction novel. Customers have high expectations when it comes to shopping, and only the innovative companies are meeting that demand. The retailers and brands that are falling behind are the ones that think mobile integration, apps, and effective customer relationship management of the 21st century are futuristic delusions of grandeur. The reason why customers have these expectations for most, if not, all retailers and brands is because they are realities they’ve already seen.
People aren’t flying around on hover boards or cars from “The Jetsons,” but they do expect to be have services that they know are possible with the technology we have today — to shop from their phones, and receive personalized messages and notifications of discounts and offers sent to their phones. The reason why companies have added on to their customer relationship management strategy to include customer loyalty management is because they know the value of a return customer. The world is more social and open than it has ever been before, so word of mouth in this day and age will only take a company so far.
Today, companies need customers to be brand advocates on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but in order for that to happen, the retailer is going to have to offer services through these new platforms as well. From the customer’s perspective, being able to shop on the Internet or on a phone is not a crazy thought. If they can do it with one company, they want to be able to do it from all companies. As a result, customers will become the most loyal to those that provide the best services. Competitors not keeping up with new technologies will be left in the Stone Age still trying to figure out how to build a fan base.
The Future is Now
This is the essence of Turning Customers Into Fans and why customer relationship management is so important — companies that treat people like customers are the ones that still think the future of shopping is still a few years out. The innovative retailers know that the future is already here and they are doing something about it. Implementing new methods to retain customers as fans and loyal members is not something retailers should want to put off — they’ve already lost the game if they continue to delay what is already a reality.
TIBCO Loyalty Lab is helping to turn customers into fans and it’s also one of the sponsors for the 2013 Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC) in Chicago. Leading retailers in different industries will come together from June 17 to June 19 to discuss marketing strategies and new CRM ideas.
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