Customer Loyalty Challenges for RTO Dealers in Today’s Retail Environment

Written by Keven Dalke

August 5, 2022

rent-to-own customer loyalty

Growing up in the rent-to-own industry and specifically front-line operations, I learned very early on the value of a loyal customer. But in the rent-to-own industry, what makes that good customer a great or loyal one?

In retail, a loyal customer is defined by certain metrics such as order frequency, increased dollars spent and even their brand advocacy. But identifying loyalty in RTO is just a little different, and figuring out what drives your customer loyalty is very important to running a successful RTO business.

I recently read about four customer loyalty data points from a 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study by Clarus Commerce. I know what you are thinking, “This is data from a retail perspective and doesn’t apply to my RTO customers.” But that always makes me wonder, how can we take this and apply to the rent-to-own customer?

Let’s first look at the data:

  1. 36% of consumers rarely or never check their loyalty status/points.
  2. 58% of consumers rarely or never post about their favorite brands on social media.
  3. In the past year, only 17% of consumers have posted about their favorite brands using their hashtags/handles.
  4. Only 24% of consumers provide feedback/fill out surveys for their favorite brands.

To me, loyalty is status earned through points with an airline or hotel — and RTO dealers can learn a thing or two from how those types of businesses recognize their loyal customers.

One thing that my favorite hotel chain does consistently at check in is recognize my current loyalty status by simply saying, “Thank you for your loyalty.” Do you have a way to recognize those excellent or diamond customers when they stop by your store or call in to make a payment?  We all know that an app is a great way for these retail businesses to keep track of a customer’s loyalty status, but most rent-to-own companies don’t have access to this technology. A good solution for recognizing those star customers is to create a monthly email or text campaign that identifies and thanks the “diamond” customer for their business and reminds them of the discounts they receive for being an excellent customer. This is a simple but effective option and keeping those loyal customers happy is just as important as generating new business.

How engaged is your business with any or all social media? When your business engages on social media, it raises awareness and hopefully encourages customers to interact in a positive manor. I don’t know about you, but I use reviews when selecting a restaurant or retailer. Does your rent-to-own business have any “current” social media reviews on your website, Google, or Facebook page. And, in the event you received a review that isn’t favorable, have you responded quickly and professionally?

Whether you have one or fifty locations, a social media presence is important! Social media is where we all are today — including your customers, so it makes sense to engage and use social media solutions to drive new business!

Being a veteran of the rent-to-own industry, I know how important it is for a local RTO business to bring positive attention to their operation. For me it makes sense to always consider, “How can I take all the retail data that is available today and apply it to rent to own?”

This article was first published in the August 2022 issue of Retail Observer.


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