Gone are the days when having good customer relationships meant chatting over the counter with Jade and Steve from the neighborhood. The digital transformation we are now experiencing opened endless new possibilities and created enormous challenges.
You can now get to your customers on a significant number of devices and channels, but on the other hand, you know that it affects their attention and makes them lose focus. How will you help customers find relevant information about your brand and deliver digital access to your offerings, improving your results in the process?
It might be easier than you think. In this article, we will show you how to use PassKit to create a new channel of communication with your customers, engage them with your business, and create customer loyalty.
What is the connected customer?
Can you imagine that the average UK adult devotes more time browsing online than sleeping? That’s what research shows. Undoubtedly the accessibility of mobile devices is shaping our lives.
We receive the newest information in minutes. We quickly find people from around the globe who share the rarest interests or hobbies with us. We can constantly impress our friends with places we visit, the food we eat, and the people we meet.
We are now more connected than ever before.
Many organizations take advantage of this digital transformation and develop new strategies to reach out to consumers and engage them in strong, healthy relationships. It is a great way to build customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.
On the other side, there are customers. They are connected to companies with applications, social networks, and sharing tools in the form of buttons and widgets on their websites. They value seamless access to products or services. They are happy to get information in real-time, appreciate personalized and quick service, and are eager to share their opinions and feedback.
But the customers are also aware that brands must win their loyalty – not only in a one-time action but in a process. They know that brands achieve this by placing the customer in the center of attention and optimizing their experience, so this is what they expect. They also want to feel valued and respected.
Speaking of customer expectations, they are very specific. Let’s go through some of them.
What exactly do customers in the connected world expect?
Fair pricing and quality service are no longer enough to satisfy the expectations of modern customers. They anticipate personalized interactions and proactive service while being connected across various digital channels.
A survey conducted among 15,600 consumers around the world revealed that 80% of customers consider the experience provided by the company to be of equal importance to the products and services.
The world we live in is constantly changing with new technologies emerging in the social, mobile, cloud, and artificial intelligence areas. According to the survey mentioned above, customers express four crucial expectations.
- 76% of customers want to consistently interact with sales, service, and marketing teams, while 54% of the customers claim they don’t get enough information from these departments.
- 52% of customers expect offers to be tailored to their personal needs.
- 66% of customers think that companies should understand customers’ expectations and unique needs, while the same number of customers feel that they are regarded only as numbers.
- According to 88% of customers, companies should expand digital initiatives.
- As a result of the pandemic, 69% think that companies should deliver new ways of acquiring existing products and services, while 54% believe they should entirely change their offer and develop new products and services.
- 27% of consumers feel well informed about how companies utilize their personal information, and 86% need more transparency in this area.
- 61% of consumers claim they no longer control how their personal information is utilized.
Are companies ready to provide a connected customer experience?
To win customers for life – that’s a desire of every business owner. However, creating truly connected customer experiences requires a lot of change. The 2022 Connectivity Benchmark Report by MuleSoft found that 70% of organizations are not ready to provide a truly connected customer experience across all channels.
The goal of creating a connected customer experience is to serve the customers’ individual needs through all steps of the customer journey, across all channels and touchpoints like apps, email, web, voice, video, social, and IVR. And how do organizations achieve that? There are two essential steps:
- They gather and connect data from different touchpoints and customer repositories to create a single view of customer behavior in real-time.
- They properly use the single view data to make the customer experience relevant and context-based. It needs to happen across all touchpoints in real-time.
And this is where many companies fail. We are all a subject of disconnected experiences, and we know the frustration they create.
For instance, let’s say you buy a new laptop from an online store. A few days later, you get an email message encouraging you to purchase the same laptop. And when you return to the site to track your order, you are bombed with content promoting the laptop. Annoying, right?
But look at it from a different perspective. If you are a business owner, providing valuable and relevant experiences is a way for you to outsmart the competition. To do so, you need to become a customer-centric player and leverage technology to increase your knowledge about each customer.
Referring to the example above, let’s say you are a vendor selling laptops. After a customer buys a laptop from your online store, you send them a thank-you email with a 10% discount code for their next purchase. And when they revisit your website to track their order, they see content promoting gadgets that suit their laptop, like a docking station, soundbars, or a wireless mouse.
So what should companies focus on above all if they want to provide an excellent connected customer experience?
How to create a connected customer experience
Many companies have first and third-party customer data, but it is siloed in different parts of their organization. As a result, they send inconsistent messages to customers and cannot take impactful actions. Here’s what companies should do to create a connected customer experience.
- Be available at any time on mobile
- Be quick and flexible in adjusting to customers’ expectations
- Integrate information and services in real-time, and share them internally and externally. Relay on systems to generate insights based on intuition and prediction while data is in the process
- Never stop learning. Apply data analytics, AI, customer feedback, and research to improve continuously
- Empower customers to exploit products and services in their way and find their solutions to problems
- Personalize services to answer different customer expectations in various service channels.
Brands use various devices to connect with their customers. However, if you want to develop a successful customer engagement strategy, you should aim to use the smartphone. Here’s why.
Going mobile will be a major business trend in 2022
In the post-Covid-19 world, the role of the smartphone has undoubtedly grown. Improved security systems, technological growth, new automatization solutions, and the mindset shift opened several new possibilities.
Each day, we hold a little gateway to entertainment zones, banks, and shopping malls, and only one tap on the screen separates us from serious purchases, booking travel, or talking to the doctor. And this is not the end. The importance of mobile phones is going to grow. It will open an even broader array of possibilities in front of us.
Here’s a list of some of the mobile trends that are going to develop in 2022, according to experts.
Mobile spending will grow
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, mobile commerce grew tremendously. Mobile spending increased by 55% in 2020 compared to the year before in the US. Americans spent more than $53.2 billion on mobile shopping.
And the habit of mobile shopping is not going anywhere. According to App Annie, by 2025, people will spend 40% more time on mobile shopping apps.
Digitalization in hospitality will increase
In 2022 we can see the increased implementation of hospitality trends like innovative predictive systems, cybersecurity, intelligent recognition technology, optimization of check-in automation, or smart rooms.
Small businesses will develop mobile apps
Creating a mobile app is not reserved only for big companies anymore. The mobile app has become a necessity for businesses, no matter their size.
50% of small business owners already have mobile app development in their plans. They are motivated by the opportunity to increase sales, improve customer experience, and stay competitive in their market. A mobile app can provide them with all these advantages.
The digital finance market will grow
In 2021 we saw a 155% growth in Fintech, which is predicted to increase even more.
All generations will use digital tools to manage their finances. They will use the expanding possibilities like operation automation or the opportunity to allocate money through their mobile devices.
With modern financial apps, investing has become available to ordinary people. They don’t need to be experts to allocate their money in a profitable, low-risk way. Thanks to these financial apps, they can pick the right assets and make profits even without diving into trading secrets. That’s why cryptocurrencies will be one of the main factors in the digital financial market growth.
Businesses can use mobile wallets to motivate consistent interaction with their customers and achieve higher retention rates. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve it.
How to provide a connected customer experience with PassKit
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple Wallet and Google Pay usage has grown tremendously, with in-store mobile payments increasing by 29% in the U.S alone. To reduce the risk of virus spreading, people started using contactless payment methods more often. As a result, they saw that the services were highly convenient, safe, and trustworthy.
As we explained before, the mobile finance market will surely grow in 2022 and beyond, so it’s a great idea to use the trend to expand your business. You can increase the interest in your product or service by rewarding your customers and offering them a seamless connection between online experiences and offline interactions.
How can you do that? By using innovative services such as PassKit.
Instead of giving customers vouchers and physical store cards, provide them with digital coupons, digital loyalty cards, or digital membership cards they can keep in their mobile wallet and comfortably use when they are browsing online or visiting your store, gym, salon, hotel, cafe or restaurant.
The cool part? You don’t have to encourage them to download another app. You create a digital pass they can add to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay. You are just adding new possibilities to the service they are already familiar with.
PassKit provides innovative possibilities
Customers don’t have to carry a physical card or cash around, and with a few types on their phones, they can use the digital pass in your store, salon, gym, hotel, or restaurant. The system would collect all their rewards in one place – no matter if they got them online or offline. When they are in proximity to your store, they will get a location-based message that reminds them to redeem their points or collect more.
And how does the reminder look? It’s a lock screen message, and in case they want to use it, all they have to do is tap on the message. There is no need to unlock the phone or search for an app. Just one tap and the card is ready to use.
Want to reward your customers in an even more creative way? Send them behavior-driven or time-sensitive messages. For example, customers can get a reminder to redeem their loyalty points on their birthday.
PassKit and omnichannel distribution for connected customer experience
When asked what omnichannel distribution is, InTek provides an excellent definition: Omnichannel distribution is a multichannel approach taken by companies to give customers a way to purchase and receive orders from several sales channels with one-touch seamless integration.
With PassKit, you can distribute your digital passes through multiple channels such as:
- Social media referral campaigns
- Email marketing
- App development
- Company website
- Search marketing
- Custom trading for Facebook and Google
- Near-store visual merchandising
- In-store visual merchandising
- NFC payment terminals
- SMS marketing
- Receipt marketing
- Collaborating with your partners
You don’t need any coding skills, complicated development, or advanced setup to implement your contactless loyalty rewards programs.
Grow your business with PassKit
Now let’s take a look at it from the perspective of a business owner. Integration of the PassKit loyalty platform with your business allows you to distribute passes and track their performance immediately.
You can avoid the fuss of replacing existing software by integrating PassKit with POS and CRM and plugin PassKit into your current business processes. Here’s how:
- Create your free account on the PassKit platform
- Choose what kind of card you want to create – digital loyalty, membership, or coupon card
- Decide what you want the card to look like using our pre-designed templates.
- Choose a barcode type if you wish your loyalty card to be scannable.
- Decide where you want to put images – your logo or hero image.
- Choose a color palette for your card.
- Fill in the template with basic information.
- Add useful sections.
- Sprinkle some additional information.
- Top it off with links to social media profiles, official websites, and other useful cross-references
- Save the design
It’s that simple. If you encounter any difficulties, head to help.PassKit.com, where you will find many easy-to-follow, valuable tutorials.
How to promote loyalty programs with PassKit
Alright, so you have your first loyalty card. But now, how are you going to inform your customers about it? This part is also easy. Here are a few examples.
- Do you already have a list of your customers’ emails? You can easily upload them to PassKit. The customer will receive their brand new personalized loyalty card in an email attachment.
- You can promote the loyalty program by adding the PassKit enrollment link to your website or social media page.
- If you want the visitors to come to your physical store and learn about the loyalty program, PassKit provides you with a printable QR Code. Display it in your store at the checkout counter, on the shop window, or at the door, so the clients can seamlessly join the loyalty program.
PassKit equips you with everything you need to let the world know about your digital loyalty cards and makes distributing them a breeze.
Why choose PassKit?
Businesses need to find creative ways to provide a connected customer experience and increase customer engagement in this distracted world. It’s easy to achieve with PassKit, which already offers omnichannel distribution. All you have to do to create a connected customer experience is start using the system.
Here’s a list of more PassKit advantages:
- Increased safety. Since it’s a contactless method of collecting points, it’s safer to use in times when COVID-19 is still around.
- Environmentally friendly. You don’t have to use tons of paper to print out codes.
- No need to design anything. You fill in our templates according to your wish.
- It saves your time. Thanks to the fast and easy setup, you will create your passes in an eye’s blink.
- Provides all-in-one tracking. Thanks to integrations with CRM and POS, you will see all the loyalty data in one place.
Connected customer experience examples from famous brands
Leaders know how to create a fantastic connected customer experience, and they are using the knowledge to differentiate their brand. Here are some exciting examples.
1. The FordPass
The FordPass app has reached over 600,000 downloads, and one-sixth of the users don’t even own a Ford.
Image source: ford.com
What makes the app so successful? It comes in handy in many different situations, whether the drivers are behind the wheel. With it, users can pay FordCredit bills or call FordGuides when they need local recommendations.
The app also helps to schedule service appointments or send for roadside assistance. And it can find the nearest parking spot.
Swiggy is another interesting example. It is the fastest-growing food delivery market in India. On their route to success, they used conversational AI to help immediately resolve any customer queries.
Image source: swiggy.com
Let’s say you want to cancel an order. The AI-based chat provides you with several options, and you keep the conversation going by choosing the best alternative to complete your cancellation.
In addition to that, Swiggy uses subscription-based services called Swiggy Super to retain more consumers and secure the continuous flow of money. The membership offers customers unlimited free deliveries during the whole month.
The year after Disney released their Magic Band, the attendance to their parks increased to 19.3 million compared to 18.6 million the year before. Two years later, Magic Kingdom was visited by 20.4 million people a year.
Image source: disneyworld.eu
The all-in-one device in the form of a waterproof wristband uses RFID technology and can be used as a ticket to enter the park, a wallet for making purchases during the visit to the park, and a key to the hotel room.
Using it will also charge purchases and food delivery to your hotel room. What’s interesting, the device can display personalized promotions to the customers.
Image source: Hilton.com
Hilton’s loyalty program Hilton Honors, passed 60 million members. The program uses a mobile app to streamline several processes. Guests can use the app to choose the room they want, check-in and out, use a digital key to open rooms and elevators, and order meals in advance.
New updates to the program allow guests to combine loyalty points and money when they book travel and enable them to share points with other guests.
Image source: mobile-app.mariott.com
Mariott’s mobile app has allowed guests to check in on mobile and get room-ready alerts since 2014. The company constantly improves the Mariott Bonvoy App, adding several new features.
The app’s one-button design displays options according to the point of a trip the guest has moved to. For instance, a few days before the trip, the app presents propositions of things to do.
Using the Mobile Requests feature, guests can ask for extra toiletries or towels or use a chat box to send direct requests to staff. They can customize their stay before arrival at the hotel, and up to 54% of loyalty members use this option.
Start creating a connected customer experience with PassKit
Modern companies face a challenge to create an excellent connected customer experience. It’s a challenging task requiring changes in organizational strategy, making investments, and strong commitment. It will take years for brands that are not customer-centric yet to adjust.
But there are shortcuts. With PassKit, you can connect with your customers right away. They won’t have to carry a physical card around, and you will reward them for their offline and online activities. You will be able to seamlessly inform them about sales or promotions or remind them about possibilities to redeem points.
To take advantage of it, they won’t have to add another app to the maze on their phone. You can expand the possibilities of their digital wallets, such as Google Pay or Apple Wallet, the services they already know and trust.
Without spending tons of money and wasting time, you will create a fantastic connected customer experience.
You can start delivering a connected customer experience without investing a dime. Start PassKit a 45-day free trial to test it far and wide and see how it positively influences the relationship with your customers.