Family or Friend Referral: The Retailer Ultimate Reward
Written by: Dan Slavin
The retailer ultimate reward is when a customer refers family and friends to a brand. The referral is testimony to both product value and the retailer-customer relationship. The retailer is considered a trusted source. So, what are some of the ways a retailer can embrace and nurture the customer relationship continuing the cycle of creating loyal customers from referred consumers? CodeBroker customers have found that offering additional digital services such as a coupon wallet, support for social media and relevancy (location services) are effective strategies to keep customers engaged.
Providing a coupon wallet can be very advantageous, especially for retailers that issue multiple offers simultaneously or want to encourage continuous check-ins to the retailer’s mobile app. A coupon wallet provides a convenient way for customers to track offers from a single location. Retailers focused on an optimal customer experience will let their customers determine which coupons are most relevant and provide the ability to load only the coupons the customer wants into their coupon wallet. To further enhance the customer experience, a retailer can implement a mark-as-redeemed feature. A quick glance will tell the customer which coupons are valid and which coupons have been redeemed. Following is an example of the same coupon that can be printed from a desktop or viewed from a mobile device, both managed from a coupon wallet.
Popular social channels such as Facebook are another way to engage your customers, letting them share their favorite products with friends and family. Retailers can leverage Facebook by providing coupons or enabling customers who have “liked” a retailer to gift items to their Facebook friends. Customers can claim bragging rights by sharing a really cool product and retailers receive free exposure. The gifting process is easy. A customer clicks on the posted offer and identifies the friend they want to receive the gift. The friend is notified of their gift via Facebook. To activate the mobile coupon, the friend either prints the offer from their desktop or loads the coupon to their mobile device from Facebook’s mobile app. The retailer knows who “gifted” the offer as well as who received it providing a complete picture of the purchase funnel.
Another option is to let visitors to a retailer’s Facebook page receive a one-time-use coupon when they click on the posted offer. The consumer has the option of printing the coupon or retrieving it from the Facebook mobile application and having it scanned from their smartphone at checkout. Using Facebook IDs, the mobile coupon can only be used by the person who clicked on it from the retailer’s wall. In addition, as soon as the mobile coupon is redeemed, it expires in all channels – whether the coupon was paper-based or mobile. Using Facebook IDs allow the retailer to maintain complete control over who receives the coupons and who redeems them while encouraging promotion of the brand by the retailer’s customers.
Providing value to keep customers engaged with a retailer is most compelling when the retailer is able to deliver relevant offers to their customers. Relevancy – the right offer at the right time – can be accomplished through the use of location services. There are two models retailers can implement: customer check-in and offers based on location. Via the retailer’s mobile app, customers check-in when they have entered a store. Often times a retailer will provide additional offers at the time of check-in designed to increase basket size. Another option is to provide geography-based notifications and offers through geo-fences, zip codes, or store locations alerting the customer when they are nearby a retail store. In this instance, a retailer can entice a customer to stop and shop. In either instance, using location services provides an opportunity for the retailer to connect with a customer and provide timely information and offers.
The processes of building brand awareness, creating customer affinity, and developing value are critical to building lasting relationships with customers. Each retailer has a different approach based on their unique perspective of the market and the relationship they want to build with their customers. Regardless of the retailer’s perspective, the set of activities should be designed to bring the customer into deeper engagement with the retailer. When executed well, retailers will attract and keep customers faithful to a brand by building strong, lasting relationships.