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Six Signs Your Loyalty Program Needs a Refresh

So you’ve bought into the idea of a loyalty program, crunched the numbers, got the buy off and launched the program. Then what? To remain fresh and relevant to your customers, your program needs to evolve and grow. Not sure if what you’re doing is enough? Here are six signs that you need to refresh your program.

1. Redemption Rates Are Low – To be financially viable you expect and plan that some customers won’t redeem points or reward certificates. But if your redemption rate is too low, it may actually be a sign that your value proposition is not compelling. Tap your members for insight into what make the most compelling mix of hard (discount) and soft (recognition) through focus groups or instant social media polls. What you discover could be eye-opening and significant in how you structure your loyalty program.

2. Enrollments Are Down – When a program launches, it starts with a bang—employees are excited to sign up customers for the shiny new program, the in-store push is exciting…then well, the program gets pushed aside—new campaigns, a new holiday season, whatever it is, your program should continue to be as exciting for new members as the first day you rolled it out. It may be time for an enrollment drive. An enrollment drive focuses on educating and building awareness of employees as well as customers. You can also add member testimonials to your Facebook page. Keep your momentum going in the right direction.

3. Your New Members Don’t Have Lofty Aspirations – Quite simply, there isn’t a significant portion of your members giving you a greater share of wallet and migrating up to a “best” customer tier. Now is the time to turn the customer behavior dial in the right direction. If it’s not happening, then it may be time to rethink your program strategy and tier qualification levels. Perhaps your top “best customer” tier is not attainable. The consumers new “norm” has reset and your program strategy is based on the way it used to be. Or maybe, it takes too long to earn a reward or benefit.

4. The Marketplace Has Changed – Whether it’s a slumping economy, new competition on the block, or a competitor’s new approach that commands a response, fine-tuning your loyalty program so that it acknowledges these market changes will keep it relevant in your customers’ eyes.

5. Your Look Is Tired – Freshening up the look and feel of your program with new creative can add life and renew interest, even if your overall program structure seems to be working well. You can also add a new benefit, invite members to a special event, send a thank you – if you’re not engaged, why should they be?

6. You’ve Been Too Quiet – A recent study found that 85% of loyalty program members hadn’t heard a single word from the program since they enrolled. If that sounds too familiar, then it’s time to revamp your communication plan and get the conversation going. Create a new member communications plan to create momentum and reinforce purchase habits.

Sallie Burnett
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