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Are Loyalty Programs a Thing of the Past? Sarah Hedayati

When you men­tion loy­alty pro­grams to some­one, most of the time they roll their eyes and tell you a story about the worst loy­alty pro­gram ever. After hear­ing mul­ti­ple sto­ries like this, I am forced to ask, are loy­alty pro­grams a thing of the past?

If you have a loy­alty pro­gram or are think­ing about devel­op­ing a loy­alty pro­gram, this is the blog post for you. You need to keep the fol­low­ing in mind to keep or develop a reward­ing loy­alty program.

Cus­tomers Want to See Results

If you offer a loy­alty pro­gram, cus­tomers want to see they are sav­ing money or earn­ing points to receive some kind of perk. If it takes too long or they never receive a reward, you will lose their loy­alty. Peo­ple leave loy­alty pro­grams when they no longer feel the reward is within their reach.

Loy­alty Rewards Shouldn’t Be Complicated

If your cus­tomers have to jump through hoops to get their reward, they won’t find your loy­alty pro­gram reward­ing. You want your cus­tomer to prove they are loyal to your com­pany, but once it comes time to get their reward it needs to be sim­ple. If you make it too com­pli­cated, you will gain annoyed cus­tomers instead of loyal customers.

Con­sis­tency is the Key

While it may take time to develop a loy­alty pro­gram that works, you need to stick with one idea. If you con­stantly change the way your loy­alty pro­gram works, you will frus­trate your cus­tomers. Most peo­ple like to know if they buy ten cof­fees, they will get one free. If they come in one day and find out your loy­alty pro­gram has changed, they will feel like you no longer value their loy­alty. If you decide to change your loy­alty pro­gram, remem­ber to give cus­tomers time to adjust and always honor the orig­i­nal offer for a rea­son­able period of time.

Focus on Rela­tion­ship Building

Loy­alty pro­grams are built to fos­ter rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers. Michael Hem­sey, pres­i­dent of Kobie Mar­ket­ing, says in an arti­cle from Inc. Mag­a­zine, "You should fig­ure out which rela­tion­ships are most impor­tant for your busi­ness and design a rewards pro­gram that cul­ti­vates those cus­tomers." If your loy­alty pro­gram won't reward the cus­tomers you want com­ing back, you need to fig­ure out what will moti­vate your key customers.

Loy­alty pro­grams can be extremely ben­e­fi­cial to busi­nesses. One of the most impor­tant things to keep in mind is loy­alty pro­grams should sup­ple­ment your loy­alty strat­egy not act as your loy­alty strat­egy. If you’re inter­ested in learn­ing more about loy­alty pro­grams, check out another blog post on valu­ing loyal cus­tomers.

We are advo­cates for pro­vid­ing cus­tomers the best expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems is the leader in cus­tomer ser­vice skills train­ing and con­sult­ing. Cus­tomer ser­vice is all about the pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence you provide.
Sarah Hedayati
View all posts by Sarah Heday­ati
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