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Customer Loyalty Programs: 20 Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty

Businesses appreciate every sale but a sale made to a repeat customer is a virtual seal of approval. Customer loyalty keeps businesses running and is very sought after. What is it, however, that gains and maintains customer loyalty? Basically it is making and keeping the customer happy, (customer satisfaction). There are many ways you can achieve this and the more ways you incorporate into your business practices, the more likely you are to get and keep customer loyalty. Here are 20 tips to improve customer loyalty:

We’re building the list of 100 tips, this includes the first 10 tips published on July 10, 2009 and an additional 10 tips to further refine your program strategy and execution.

#1 How is your earning rates for loyalty program rewards? Analyze earning rates by segments to understand engagement of target segments.

#2 Have you analyzed your reward program redemption rates. Who redeems? What do they buy? What’s the average sale at redemption?

#3 For your loyalty rewards program, which customer earn the rewards and are not redeeming. Do you have a plan to engage them?

#4 Hard benefits, like rewards, are just one part of the value proposition. What are your soft benefits that build the emotional connection?

#5 Enhance your loyalty program value proposition by tailoring soft benefits to resonate with key growth and retention customer segments.

#6 Tiering your loyalty program gives your customers a reason to give you a greater share of wallet and creates upward migration in spend.

#7 Loyalty benefits should be a mix of hard and soft benefits. Hard benefits reinforce value and soft benefits build emotional connection.

#8 Create an Internal Communications plan for your loyalty program to educate everyone on the value to the organization and to the customer.

#9 Internal communication plan should educate, motivate and engage employees in supporting the loyalty program and company goals.

#10 Internal communication plan for your loyalty program need to include a dashboard of results at the program, customer and employee level.

#11 When creating the internal dashboard, interview key stakeholders to identify customer metrics stakeholders can use to optimize results.

#12 Loyalty program metrics need to include a dashboard of customer, campaign, program across channels, and employee performance.

#13 For a new loyalty program, do qualitative and quantitative research to validate that the value proposition resonates with customers.

#14 Conjoint customer research can be used to create the optimal mix of hard and soft benefits for your loyalty program.

#15 Customers will carry your loyalty card if your customers see value in the program and if they are engaged in your brand.

#16 Include social networks in your customer communications plan. Loyal customers are your best advocates.

#17 Give your loyal customers a better value than you do a prospect. There is nothing worse than being an avid customer and not appreciated.

#18 In B2B employee turnover can significantly impact your customer relationship. Do you have a strategy in place to address this issue?

#19 Always give the customer more than they were expecting. Customers like to be pleasantly surprised and when they are, they shop again.

#20 Follow up on a sale. Acknowledge the customer and they will likely shop with you again. Customers want to be appreciated.