Loyalty is rooted in relevant customer experiences. Successful loyalty programs integrate customer data to provide offers, benefits and communications that are meaningful to the program member. Marketers should consider the following to increase membership and keep their current members engaged:
- Test and learn—Once a program is developed, it shouldn’t ‘sit on a shelf.’ Conduct ongoing evaluations to determine what’s working and what isn’t. As your customer shifts and evolves, so should the program. Smart marketers are agile and can respond to changing consumer demands and industry trends.
- Integrate the program—A loyalty program shouldn’t be a stand-alone program. It should be integrated into the organization’s overall brand and value proposition in a seamless way.
- Use your data—If customers aren’t receiving offers that are relevant to their lifestyle and needs, odds are they’ll stop using the program. Leverage loyalty program data to identify key customer experience elements, and revise your offer and strategy based on what your most valuable customers want.
- Personalize communications—Consumers respond best to personalized offers that focus on products or services relevant to their needs.
- Consider Surprise and Delight—Loyalty programs that offer ‘surprise and delight’ experiences have the opportunity to connect with a customer at a deeper level, creating long-term customer loyalty with the organization or brand. However, it’s important to offer relevant experiences based on the data collected. The rewards should be tailored to your best customers.
- Gather Customer Feedback—According to a recent study between LoyaltyOne and Verde Group, shoppers who have a poor customer experience are putting a significant amount of revenue at risk. Of the consumers polled who had a poor customer experience, 81% decided not to contact the retailer about the issue. Among these silent shoppers, 32% said they were unlikely to recommend the retailer to friends and family. By comparison, shoppers who did notify retailers of their poor experience and had their problem completely resolved were 84% less likely than silent shoppers to be at risk of decreasing their spend. Use the loyalty program as a customer touch point to gather valuable customer feedback.
Jeff Berry is a research director at Colloquy.