According to Forrester Research, we’ve entered “the age of the customer” — an era defined by customers and not companies driving business decisions.
“For this reason,” writes Mike Dickey for WIRED, “it is more important than ever for companies to get to know their customers on a deeper level.”
To get to that deeper level, obtaining and leveraging data is vital.
“Don’t always assume you know what your customer wants or needs,” Dickey continues. “Embrace your customers for what they do, rather than what you think they’re doing. Stay objective and allow the data to provide insight.
Today, we’re bearing witness to the enormous marketing power of insights and how they can be used in business for brands and locations to get to know their customers more intimately.
Without question, of course, some businesses are doing better than others in this increasingly important practice. And it’s easy to spot those ahead of the pack.
In the realm of restaurants, for example, the latest research into the space reveals that the businesses that expertly harness customer data are best positioned to drive customer loyalty to heights the competition can only dream of.
Illustrating this argument is the newest report from inMarket, a trusted company that uses machine learning to analyze billions of data points per month to “paint a picture of consumer behavior.” The 7-year-old bootstrapped company has just released its Spring 2017 Loyalty Report for Restaurants as part of its inMarket inSights program.
The findings have been used to rank full-service restaurants (FSRs) and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) based on customer loyalty as determined by repeat mobile device visitation.
Each business is assigned a Loyalty Score, which is determined by total visits divided by unique device visitation, inMarket says (For example, a restaurant with 1,000,000 visits from 500,000 devices would have a Loyalty Score of 2).
“The average Loyalty Score for all FSRs in Spring 2017 was 1.4, while the average for QSRs was 1.55,” the official report announcement reads.
According to inMarket location data, Cincinnati-based Skyline Chili has the most loyal patrons in the U.S. in 2017 — attracting repeat customers 27 percent more frequently than average.
What does it all mean? Time and again, customer loyalty leads to growth. Three out of the top five QSRs for customer loyalty are expanding in 2017, the report confirms.
Not surprisingly, the importance of customer loyalty is by no means limited to the restaurant vertical. This latest report from inMarket is the second report in a series covering loyalty at various brick and mortar verticals. The first report, covering retail, similarly identified what inMarket calls a “clear correlation between low customer loyalty and store closures so far in 2017.”
“In our retail rankings, 80% of the bottom 10 businesses for customer loyalty were either closing stores, laying off employees or freezing growth,” the report reads. “That trend seems to extend to full service restaurants as well — with Joe’s Crab Shack having filed for bankruptcy in June 2017 after performing at 19% below the loyalty average this year. ”
Want to know more? The complete inMarket report with rankings and analysis can be downloaded here.