Let’s face it, 2020 was a complete mess in terms of customer retention and customer activity. But what did we learn?
We Found Ways to Survive
If you’re reading this article, that probably means you survived through COVID lockdowns, re-lockdowns, and the transition to home delivery. Well done. Not many businesses made it.
The important thing now is to take stock, breath, and figure out what got you through an awful year.
When we talk to our customers, we like to ask the question “how did you find ways to survive through COVID?”. The answers will range from “we hibernated” to “we found new ways to keep the lights on”. These are the lucky few. But there is a common thread – the survivors all had a strong customer base.
The Importance of Your Customer Base
Many small businesses survived by playing a very strong “local game”. What I mean by “local game” is doing an effective job reaching out to the local community and finding ways to do business. This involved contacting their customers through local ads, Facebook groups, telephone and email.
One thing became clear – having the contact information of all your customers is a priceless asset.
So, how does all this learning play out in a post-COVID world in 2021?
Expect Small Businesses to Wake Up to Data
We can expect small businesses around the world to pay much more attention to the need to collect customer data and engage directly with their customer base digitally.
Traditionally, the 3 must haves for small businesses are:
1. Payment Services
2. Digital Advertising
3. Online Sales Channels
In 2021, we’ll see the addition of:
4. Customer Data
And this is where loyalty systems will play a huge role this year. Loyalty systems like Flex Rewards are specifically targeted towards small businesses and do one thing well – collect customer data. Something as simple as a digital loyalty card can literally be “weaponized” as a front-line tool in the battle to collect customer data and engage with customers digitally.
Expect exciting things this year as the race to dominate small business loyalty heats up in 2021!