Digitalise your customer connections

Digitalise for ultimate customer connections


It’s the 21st century; the ‘age of digital’. It’s time for your business to get online – and bring your customers with you. 

Realistically, most companies now have an online presence, but does that following rely on your physical store/branch on the high street? Your brand is probably well-loved, but in the digital world, you’re suddenly competing with thousands of other companies who all want a slice of the action. 

Whether it’s for revenue-based targets or a commitment to decreasing your carbon footprint, you probably have a business objective to digitalise your offering. And the good news is that Blackhawk Network are here to help with a behaviour change strategy to suit you! 

What is behaviour change? 

It’s a simple concept really but requires a lot of consideration. It’s the practise of encouraging your customers to change the way in which they interact with your brand. It’s asking these customers to form new habits and follow you into the digital world; where you move them away from traditional communication methods and towards a fully immersive version of your service, online. 

In order to execute successful behaviour change, your customers need to pass through the following three steps: 

  • Awareness: getting customers to recognise that there are multiple ways to engage with you 
  • Registration: encouraging customers to complete the sign-up process 
  • Engagement: convincing customers to maintain their usage levels 

Covid-based conversions 

Converting customers over to your digital platforms has been an on-going task. Perhaps customers were showing a little resistance, either towards the act of actually using your app/website etc, or maybe more in line with wanting to support their local physical branch/store staying open.  

Then Covid-19 took the decision out of consumers hands. The pandemic, although extremely serious and saddening, has actually resulted in lots of positive change – aside from anything else, we as a country have adapted to a truly unprecedented situation, with an overwhelming sense of together-ness. 

Consumers of every industry have turned to technology to stay connected with friends/family, keep up with work and manage household schedules. Your customers have been pushed to unexpectedly engage on digital platforms in order to stay in the loop and avoid missing out. In essence, there has never been a better time to engage with these customers. 

Why incentivise or reward? 

Chances are that budgets are tight and you’re wondering why we’re suggesting you should incentivise behaviour that Covid-19 has begun to naturally encourage... 

Behaviour change is historically difficult. Breaking a habit takes, on average, 66 days. So yes, whilst the pandemic and accompanying lockdown period have exceeded that, the chances are that your customers are not engaging with you every single day. Which means that they haven’t broken their old habits yet. 

Incentivising and then consequently rewarding behaviour is proven to work. 

Your challenge: you need to grow your customer database. 
Your answer: by incentivising your customers, they are more likely to get on board and give you the result you need. 

But you’re not home and dry just because your customer appeared in your database once. You need to keep them there and keep them coming back for more. Rewarding good behaviour - I.e. usage – will maintain that database and help it to grow. 

As a bonus, those customers who enjoyed your incentive and loved your reward are far more likely to become brand advocates. These are the people who take out new products, renew their contracts annually and tell other potential customers how great you are! 

Industry spotlight: Financial Services 

The financial industry is a prime example of how behaviour change in the digital age is important. For business streamlining purposes, the number of physical branches, across every banking brand has declined drastically over the past few years. As a result, customers have needed to ‘go digital’ in order to keep control of their finances. 

Development of online banking and mobile banking has allowed customers to manage accounts, mortgages, loans and credit applications remotely, without needing to visit a physical branch. Further releases have now brought us the age of open banking, cheque deposits and loyalty programmes. The addition of disrupter banks, offering zero physical touchpoints, but lower repayment percentages and more attractive reward programmes has required traditional banks to step up their game. 

In the insurance space, the competitiveness of appearing on a comparison site changed the landscape of customer renewals. Combined with the launch of online-only providers who can offer lower premiums, customers have needed to become digitally savvy in order to get the best deal. 

Offering customers an incentive that links to the product they are paying for helps to encourage the desired behaviour. We have a range of content available, with options for single and multi-retailer eGifts and gift cards. So, if you’re selling mortgages, why not send a DIY related eGift, or if you’re a life insurance broker, then perhaps offering a Kid’s Choice gift card is appropriate. 

Industry spotlight: Utilities 

Moving into the digital age for the utilities industry is a game changer. The introduction of smart meters, smart heating and smart lighting has greatly impacted the way that customers consume their energy. 

With customers opting into digital communications, using energy apps and allowing smart meters to be installed; the data available to collect is vast. It’s now possible to truly forecast future consumption, allowing you to make bills more accurate and keep customers happy. 

Customer service satisfaction is also easier to execute, as online access to instant messaging and chatbots allow your customers to report leaks and power outages more effectively. 

Offering a reward platform such as Select allows your customers to choose their reward from a catalogue of well-known brands. With multi-retailer cards such as One4all available, alongside single retailer cards such as Amazon, John Lewis and Argos, your customers are able to redeem a reward they truly want. 

Reverse psychology: The Retail industry 

With one particular industry, an increased online engagement will need to work in reverse. Whilst times are hard, the retail sector will need prolonged customer support, with a reliance on e-commerce and brand advocation. 

Unless the prospect of converting to a solely online presence is viable, retailers will need to increase footfall (when the time comes), by leveraging their digital platforms. Whether that is via email, app, e-commerce website or social media; brands will need to entice customers back through the door. 

Thanks to the impact of the virus, it’s likely that customers will be wary of shopping in-store for many months to come. Brands will need to prove they have taken social distancing measures seriously, some of which will mean restricting the number of staff and customers inside at any one time.  

Retailers that do this well, or who stock ‘essentials’ will naturally attract custom. Others will need temptation deals and ‘in-store exclusives’ to bring the shoppers back in.  

Incentivising customers with personalised offers, communicated digitally will begin to turn the tide. Once a customer has taken the incentive and displayed the desired behaviour (I.e. shopping in-store) it’s time to reward them. Cue brand awareness, brand advocacy and a continued increased footfall. 

Our One4all Digital gift card is the perfect use-case of personalisation. Allowing you to send video messages, with a card that can be spent online or in-store at over 130+ retailers, what is not to love? 

The new normal 

In reality, we are facing some kind of new normal – we aren’t sure what that looks like yet, but it’s likely that consumer interaction will be affected long term. The good news is that those brands forming a strong digital presence and providing end-to-end online services, without compromising on values or quality will withstand the paradigm shift. 

We’d love to assist your business in forming the right plan for you, no matter where you are on your journey to digitalisation. Use the form on your right to download our handy one pager that highlights how we can help and why we’d be a good fit for your business. 

Alternatively, speak to us about your behaviour change strategy today by emailing or giving us a call on 0207 419 8191