Within the Costumer Experience cycle or customer journey, associated with the purchase cycle (e.g. awareness, consideration, intention, purchase, loyalty/reward/re-purchase/advocacy/up-sell), I would like to focus on the Loyalty phase of the cycle, which is what has recently started taking shape in the region, and specifically UAE.
The loyalty phase, being where the initial journey ends and the cycle actually starts again, is not considered to be the so-called going back to basics, however it is where companies consider it an advanced stage of delivering top-line and complete customer experience. Within the loyalty cycle comes the points/rewards system, customer care, and added privileges.
Proving its importance and need early within airlines and banks, the loyalty cycle have confirmed its necessity to extend to Retail; and even some FMCG brands that still need to prove its worthiness and proximity to their customers or consumers using a concrete metric like a points-system, or data collection which is a key element of a successful loyalty program.
At this stage also, and recently with the help of social networking sites, the voice of the customer (VOC) promoting their experiences and ideas have become a key aspect to monitor. Brands, especially within the service and retail industry, have took note of it and are collecting inputs from customers over their experience before it gets posted online, and rewarding them through advocacy by sharing it on their own websites or communications.
In UAE, there are some good and bad examples of applying loyalty and reward. The good example which most of us would know is Emirates Airlines, that delivers added-value through their purchase cycle with options to stay loyal through their Skywards program and the benefits it gives; but also we can look at how well the program is positioned in their strategy and applied within the customer cycle phases from marketing it, integrating it with purchase options and upgrades, and delivering status value to customers benefiting from it.
I will leave the bad application of loyalty to your imagination, as there are plenty.
Overall, categories related to overall customer experience (Cx), return business (repurchase), and referrals to friends, and sharing opinion (advocacy) will have a positive return effect based on above loyalty measures, regardless of the industry…in which Automotive industry can now have an opportunity to build on.
Picture by Mattes via Wikimedia Commons.