6 Ways to Improve Your Customer Loyalty Program

Chances are your brand already has a loyalty program. There’s less of a chance that your brand’s program has reached its full potential or that your program is nailing all of its goals (hopefully it has goals). A loyalty program, when executed well, can be a driving force for increased customer lifetime value, recency, frequency and more. In this blog post, we’ve outlined six key ways your brand can improve their customer loyalty program. Keep reading to get the low-down!

 

1.Activate your customer data

Your data isn’t worth much if you’re not doing anything with it. What’s the point of collecting it if you’re just going to store it? Rather, brands have the opportunity to put data to use in service of their business goals, namely improving the effectiveness of their loyalty program.

 

There are three great ways to maximize your customer data:

  1. Build your environment for the results you desire and require
  2. Create a comprehensive structure and steps to operationalize historical data
  3. Design the processes to operationalize data as it’s created in present time

2. Personalize rewards

Many brands are just going through the motions when it comes to loyalty. Customers won’t become loyal advocates for your brand with generic, one-size-fits-all loyalty tactics. Rather than the traditional expectation that customers show their loyalty to brands in order to receive rewards, brands need to think about how they can demonstrate their loyalty and appreciation for their customers.

This requires brands to leverage data-driven recommendations, rewards and offers. Most brands have the data needed to deliver on this mandate; however, few are activating it (or have the ability to activate it) in a way to enable a tailored loyalty program based on individual behaviors that drives incremental high-value behaviors, frequency and spend.

3. Communicate with customers at the right time

Customer communications are an important part of your brand’s loyalty program. It’s not just how and what you say but also when you say it. Marketers need the ability to capitalize on the moments that matter while they’re happening, not hours or days later.

For example: when a customer enters a restaurant or store, send a tailored push notification to the loyalty program member’s phone. Maybe the message is a reminder they’re eligible to redeem a reward if they make a purchase of $30 or more. The member then completes the desired action.

For businesses like quick service and fast casual restaurants, delivering a delayed reward is a huge issue because in order to motivate a recent guest to return, the person needs to be rewarded immediately so that he associates the reward with the previous visit.

4. Reward non-transactional behaviors too

Another way that brands can improve their loyalty program is by expanding the number of ways that customers can earn rewards. Many loyalty programs only reward based on how much money someone spends. Brands whose programs are purely spend-based are missing out on the chance to not only stand out from their competition, but also increase the frequency and recency of their customer base.

Some examples of non-transactional behaviors include visiting the storefront again, exploring a new product offering, referring a friend or anything else that might indicate a high likelihood of sales down the road.

5. Surprise and delight

Brands can improve their loyalty program by incorporating more below the line or ‘surprise and delight’ structure. In doing so, they have the opportunity to make customers feel as though they’re anticipating their needs and know them really well.

Enabling this style of loyalty requires a real-time 360° view of each customer. This view allows brands to drive different customer journeys and unlock offers/experiences without having to enroll in a loyalty program. Chick-Fil-A, for example, has a secret menu that customers can only access when they complete specific actions. However, those actions aren’t known to the public, so in order to be eligible to gain access to that menu, you have to prove your loyalty in multiple ways.

6.Make your staff champions

The associates, servers, etc. are on the front lines to advocate for and accelerate your loyalty program. They are a critical interaction with your customers. Your employees should be trained to ask customers if they are members of your loyalty program. In-store conversations also give staff the chance to explain the benefits of the program and invite customers to join. Many organizations struggle with this because their associates are not measured on loyalty attachment.

Employees are motivated by what they’re measured on, so if a goal is to get as many transactions attached to a loyalty profile as possible, then brands need to measure them on that metric.You can significantly increase your loyalty attachment rate by following following a few easy steps:

  • Measure the percentage of your transactions that have a loyalty account attached to them, and then break this down by associate.
  • Communicate clearly to your staff that this is important to the company.
  • Gamify it with a leaderboard in the breakroom or prizes for the associate with the highest loyalty attachment rate each month.

The six tips outlined above are some of the best ways that forward-thinking brands can implement in order to improve their loyalty program, and in turn, build stronger, more profitable relationships with customers. We hope you are inspired by the possibilities in store to revamp your brand’s approach to loyalty.

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