Use technology to reinforce customer loyalty: Industry leaders
By Subhro Prakash Ghosh | Vjmedia Works | August 12, 2014
Effective use of social media and mobility can go a long way toward influencing consumer preferences, say experts
Speaking about "creating consumer stickiness and advocacyâ€ at Massmerize 2014, Bijou Kurien, Member, Strategic Advisory Board, L Capital Asia & Chairman, FICCI Retail Committee, said: "With ecommerce today driving the loyalty of customers, it becomes difficult to find out where to buy today. We are cutting each other's throat by deciding on the pricing. So I think loyalty needs to be understood - is it for my brand or is it for my storeâ€. He felt that it can clearly be seen today that the decision making process has actually stopped at television and newspaper stage. According to him, consumer loyalty is getting translated to retail and the drivers of decision making are things like quality and brand awareness.
According to Adarsh Gupta, Executive Director, Liberty Shoes, "As far as loyalty is concerned, over a period of time a lot of changes have taken place because awareness of the consumer is increasing day by day. There's more information available nowadays about products and features. The expectations have changed and today if you are able to bring in those expectations in your products, I think loyalty still existsâ€.
Other panellists for this discussion felt that customer expectations are changing at a fast pace. Most of them were of the opinion that it is of utmost important to monitor this. They felt that customer loyalty is all about touching their hearts because giving the service and the standard is there but if a brand is able to invoke the heart, there's nothing like it as loyalty is all about connecting with the customers.
"There are categories wherein loyalty is possible and have been created. It's not so difficult to get customer loyalty,â€ opined Utsav Seth, MD & CEO, Pavers England. He felt, "Loyalty is all about giving the service and customer satisfaction. Wherever you go, customers need to be served. Products are just the same everywhere. It's the service and the smile and the touch and the local connect that the brand is able to build with the customer; that will bring them back to the same store. It's all about connecting with your customer. That's the keyâ€.
Social media has not only created the awareness of brands but also engages the consumers. All the penal members strongly believed that social media has been a very crucial medium. It's the global way of finding a connect with the consumers. Mobility is also extremely important as more and more purchases are being done using smart phones.
So, it is time a brand creates and designs a product and creates a demand for it. Industry needs to play these roles together in order to ensure that they are able to capitalise on the consumer loyalty that this country offers.