The benefits of a loyalty program are generally known, and we're all familiar with the old idea of how “it is 6–7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one".
You won't achieve true customer loyalty just by launching a loyalty program. Hard competition, picky and conscious customers combined with a constant feed of information makes it difficult to win the game.
Increase your chance to beat the competitors by putting the right team players in the right positions. The first and most important factor you need in place is a strategy, supported by the all-important data, insights, and relevance. And remember the importance of technology, automation, and personalization. With all these pieces working together, you'll provide your customers with great experiences to make them love your brand.
The general definition
A loyalty program is a program or system made to give additional benefits to loyal customers. A loyalty program is a tool or strategy adopted to retain good customers by giving them additional benefits like freebies, cashback, vouchers etc. The objective is to appreciate a returning customer and encourage further purchases.
Building the loyalty program
If you have decided to start showing repeat customers appreciation and want to reward them in some way you need to start by asking the questions WHY and WHAT, and finally consider HOW you're going to do it. Once you have a clear definition, you're ready to start building your winning team.
Plan the work—and work the plan. Define what you want to achieve with the program and why. Decide how to attract, reward, and retain your customers. Get inspired and learn more about different reward models.
You need to understand how involved systems shall interact to provide you with the required customer data. You also need a solid loyalty platform for accessing, processing, and utilizing the customer profiles = Engage.
Relevance and personalization
All interactions with your customers must be personal. You must earn their attention and likes by providing them with relevant information, service, recommendations, and guidance. And remember, by building smart marketing automations you score extra points—less manual work and real-time communication = a win-win-situation!
Customers leave traces everywhere—both online and offline. You know what products they have clicked on, what they have left in their abandoned carts, what they bought at their last visit and so on. There will be a lot of data to process if you do things right from the start: combine the strategy with technology to access relevant and useful customer data.
The loyalty program must be established throughout the whole organization. From top to bottom. Decide who is the loyalty program owner and please avoid silos. You need to build a customer-oriented organization where departments work together to create a great customer experience.