When the coronavirus outbreak started in December 2019, we were all forced to reconstruct our lives – the way we work, communicate, relax, and care for one another. Today, every company in the world is doing its best to maintain business continuity, but it has become extremely difficult because of the restrictions we had had to introduce temporarily. Our safety and well-being come first – there’s no doubt about that. But security also means economic stability, thus preserving it should also be one of our priorities.
This pandemic, being such an immense threat, is also the reason why many are now willing to address other global issues, such as climate change. The question they ask is - How can companies and regular citizens play a more active role and help find solutions to these challenges? Actually, we reckon that there are many ways of how they can provide support.
Communication with clients
First, how do companies communicate with their clients these days? Via marketing activities, promotions, as well as all of the after-sales services. Brands drive certain behaviors offering their clients benefits for their engagement. For example, when the coronavirus outbreak began, a lot of grocery shops in Belgium stopped running their promotions. Was it to sell more at a higher price? - No. It was to avoid situations where people buy products that are not key to their survival while others need them desperately. Did it work? Yes. Thus, knowing that people follow offers and promotions proves that companies and brands have a real impact on customer’s decision-making processes and that they can use this power to promote change.
By running loyalty programs, companies from all industries collect large volumes of client data, using it – with the help of AI-driven technologies - to understand their clients’ shopping habits better and offer more relevant and personalized content, driving particular customer behaviors at the same time. It goes without saying that loyalty programs make for a perfect communication channel for addressing today’s challenges. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Green lifestyle choices
Loyalty programs can be used for rewarding green lifestyle choices, no matter if they are related to transportation, food, clothing choices, etc. How about if there were special points added whenever customers buy fruits and vegetables? What if loyalty programs encouraged participants to perform “save the planet” actions that would incentivize low-impact living? Activities such as using public transport, or buying palm oil-free products, renting electric scooters, investing in solar energy panels – and more - can all be incentivized with discounts, promotions, extra points, and badges.
During the last few weeks, we have been reminded many a time that our actions DO matter, and they have a real impact on others. There is a collective benefit in making more careful, smart, and sustainable living choices. What is required, however, is a mass behavioral change. Using loyalty programs is a small step, but the one made in the right direction.
Thus, companies should pay more attention to their communication with consumers and employees. And today, when one-to-one contact is not recommended (or even possible), they can build customer stronger relationships with the use of newly available technologies and encourage their clients to buy online and stay at home!