Increasing customer retention amid the cost of living crisis

After lockdown finished just over a year ago, most of us were both happy and relieved to see our customers again. After so long spent trying to navigate our way through the increasingly complex system of rules and regulations surrounding social distancing, we were all very keen to get back to some semblance of normality as quickly as possible.

However, we can still feel some of the effects of the pandemic in the way we run our businesses. Social distancing, hand sanitiser stations, hybrid working… these are all terms that we had no idea about in 2019 but are now incredibly familiar with! Something else that has become something of a buzzword is the phrase ‘customer retention.’ Since getting our customers back, nobody wants to lose them again. Hence, businesses all over the country are envisaging and implementing inventive ways to capture customers’ attention again. Now that the pandemic has passed, the cost of living crisis has reared its head. Some businesses have been concerned that their customer base will disappear along with their disposable income. This is not necessarily the case, however; all that’s necessary is to make proper use of something that you may be currently treating as an inconvenient by-product of your booking system.

Data – this is what allows you to get to know your customers on a deeper level than you ever thought possible. By getting to know key characteristics of your customer base, you can personalise the service and products you provide. In doing so, you improve your customer service, and keep your audience coming back for more. Collecting data is easy with Lane Engine. We have created multiple ways to simplify and automate the process of data collection, to make it as simple as possible for both yourself and your staff. There are three main ways to collect data with minimal effort on your part. These are:

  1. Through your booking system – When your customers use our booking system, data will be collected regarding their age, gender, and how often they have booked through our system before. This makes it simple for you to gain a more intimate understanding of your company’s demographic, and can therefore more easily make decisions about products and services to offer them.
  2. Through your EPOS system – when customers order either at the cashier or through our app, data will be collected about the products they’re purchasing and the amount they’re buying at one time. This makes it simple to market certain products to specific customers. By personalising your loyalty scheme and marketing material to their specific habits, you will be able to increase profits and customer retention.
  3. Through a loyalty scheme – loyalty schemes allow you to increase sales and dwell time whilst customers are in your venue. If you know that a customer often spends a large amount of money at your venue, you can use loyalty schemes to identify what products or specific services they purchase more often, and tailor the offers and reward points you offer accordingly. Equally, for those customers who don’t spend so much at your venue, a loyalty scheme is the perfect way to encourage them to increase their spend-per-head.

These three methods of data collection can be used individually, but our software works best when using a combination of these three methods. Our software and hardware tools make it far easier to extrapolate data from a large customer pool with minimum fuss. This data will then be visible on our dashboard. On our dashboard, you can access visual charts and graphs that help you to understand your customers.

Our dashboard will segment your customers automatically based on details they give when they sign up to your mailing list or mobile ordering service. Our dashboard can help to visualise their spending habits, frequency of their visits, or their favourites products and/or services you provide in real-time. This makes it simpler for you to understand what keeps your customers coming back, so that you can ensure you keep providing them with the service they’ve come to expect from you. Segmenting your data allows you to personalise it according to how each customer interacts with your business. It is this that will help you to make the most of your customers – understanding their needs and taking them into consideration will lead to greater brand engagement, and increased customer retention.

Most people are aware that data is a useful tool for businesses – putting that into practice is a whole other story. Often, the day-to-day stressors of running a business get in the way of properly utilising data. After all, it can be a time consuming and complex process. Lane Engine software makes it easy to use data to increase customer retention, even amid financial hardship.

Words by Rebecca Clayton