Big Data Drives New Loyalty Program, Customer Insight

The Client

This large Fortune 500 retail establishment enjoys positive customer sentiment and has captured a large share of its market. Enhancing customer service, increasing efficiency, and returning value to shareholders are longstanding goals.

The Challenge

Anticipating customer needs is an ever-present challenge in sales and marketing. And yet today, knowing what customers want has never been more important. Having customer insight can be the difference between enjoying continued success or missing the next wave of innovation. The client’s existing customer feedback system was an expensive-to-run program with little utility. Customers used receipts to go online, fill out a survey questionnaire, and receive a coupon upon response submission. The client needed a more targeted customer survey mechanism to provide more meaningful feedback that the company could use in its service and product decision-making near and long term.

The Solution

Strong-Bridge assessed the current customer feedback program, identifying what needed to be included in an improved system. One of the first things we noticed was that the client’s most valuable feedback came from its most loyal customers.

Using that insight, we developed a new customer feedback system that was tied to the existing loyalty program. Now when customers make a purchase and use their loyalty cards, their anonymous customer identifier, store, and purchase information goes into an algorithm to decide if the customer should be surveyed. What this does is invite a little less bias into the calculation.

If a customer is a good survey candidate, they receive an email message with a very limited number of questions, which was also a change from the previous process. For answering the questions, the customer earns transaction points, or what amounts to loyalty points.

The new customer feedback system allows the client to survey a broad segment of its customers while also gathering feedback on a transaction-by-transaction, as well as a store-by-store, basis. Also, while the surveys are anonymous from an individual perspective, the feedback system allows the client to see each respondent’s purchase. With insight into what individual customers buy, the client can evaluate the strength of its offerings.

The Impact

The new customer feedback system exceeded expectations. Customers loved it, and corporate leadership did too. The most loyal customers enjoy the new earning system, while they in turn provide the company with valuable insights for improving the brand experience. Armed with data, executives can see revenues associated with customers, products, and stores.