Customer loyalty programs are certainly great for helping you grow your consumer base, but how do the best loyalty programs achieve this? In this increasingly online-oriented age, digital loyalty programs are forging exciting new paths in this field. Let's take a look at how customer loyalty programs assist your brand and some examples of key loyalty trends for 2021.
A loyalty program is a framework that builds connections with your customers. Rather than making a single purchase, customers sign up for an ongoing program that provides them with special offers, content, and other services. We've all seen loyalty cards in stores, and we probably have a few of these cards already, but today's loyalty programs are going digital.
A digital loyalty program enables you to provide even more to your customers and get even more from them as you develop your understanding and hone your buyer profiles.
There's no excuse for not getting to know your customers these days. Tools like engage™ help you gather and manage data, gaining key insight from this. Research what your customers want to see and then build this into your loyalty program for maximum engagement.
Tasks that used to be highly labor-intensive, not to mention soul-destroying, can now be automated. Digital platforms connect your business with automated features that make deploying your loyalty program quick and easy. As your loyalty program gathers pace, the amount of data available to the platform's machine learning capabilities increases, making it even smarter and making automation even more effective.
Today's customers are found in many different channels, using different browsers, different devices, and different operating systems to connect with what you offer. With this in mind, your loyalty program needs to be fully agnostic in all of these senses and fully optimized for each and every one of your customers, regardless of how they are accessing your content. Over half of loyalty program members cite accessibility and convenience as key factors influencing their decision.
Your customers come to you because they love what you provide. Your products and services reflect this, and you wouldn't dream of offering anything to your customers that do not adhere to your high standards. The loyalty program you provide should be no exception, and you need to focus on how you can keep providing great value to your users. Think about why users would want to sign up for your loyalty program and what's in it for them. This will help you make sure you are targeting value every step of the way.
As well as asking "what's in it for them," you can think about what's in it for you, too. The world of business is becoming increasingly data-driven, and loyalty programs provide an excellent means for you to derive even more valuable data from your user base. When users sign up for and use your program, they are providing you with crucial data that you can utilize to hone your offerings.
With a digital loyalty scheme, you have the opportunity to really give your customers what they need. When you are relying on one-off purchases here and there, even over a long period, you are missing out on the opportunity to genuinely engage. Loyalty programs bring you closer to your audience, providing you with the data and insight you need to meet customer demand.
Let's say that you have a service that supports one of your key products and helps customers to leverage the greatest benefit from this. You can provide this service through a subscription as part of your loyalty program, or you could simply decide to nurture your customer toward further purchases by releasing high-value content via the program.
As your knowledge of your customers grows more intimate, you need to decide what you can do with this increased insight. One area in which this insight can help is marketing.
Of course, you want to make your marketing initiatives as effective as possible, boosting that all-important ROI. Targeting your marketing initiatives to specific customer profiles is critical in this regard. A loyalty program will help you understand more about who your customers are and what they want to see. This way, when you launch a new marketing campaign, you are not flailing wildly but connecting users with targeted content that will encourage them toward conversion.
Sales and marketing are often discussed in terms of hot, warm, and cold leads. A hot lead will convert with little to no input from you, while a lead in the latter two categories will need some encouragement. It stands to reason that it's much easier to heat up a warm lead than a cold one.
The users in your loyalty program are already warm leads. They have already purchased products from you, expressed an interest in your services, and shown themselves to be advocates of your company. By keeping these leads warm with a loyalty program, you are increasing the chances of converting them again and again moving forward — increasing the long-term value of each customer.
You still need to bring in new customers to fuel growth, but a loyalty program will help you reduce the number of existing customers you are losing to churn, shoring up both sides of the operation.
Running a business is all about managing client satisfaction levels. While this means crafting products that make your customers happy, it also means going beyond this and providing close support and communication whenever this is required. This is difficult to achieve on an ad hoc basis, and if your customers feel you are not there for them, they are likely to become severely disenchanted with what you provide.
When your customers are in a loyalty program, your connection to them is far stronger and far greater. You will be able to focus your efforts on delivering support in a highly effective, highly tailored manner, without delay. In turn, this leads to a highly satisfied customer base, filled with consumers who are not likely to look anywhere else for products and services.
Research from SalesForce suggests that 80% of customers value the support and experience they receive from a business just as highly as their products and services, so make sure the experience you deliver is a good one.
All of the above converge at one key point — the relationship you have with your customers. A loyalty program certainly locks your clients in for long-term delivery of products and services, but in fact, it does more than this. It enables you to build profound connections with these clients in the long term, growing customer loyalty and positioning you as a business that really cares about its customers.
This will be a critical element as you grow your business in the future.
The engage™ app and platform provide you with the tools you need to craft the perfect loyalty program for your business and your customers. Reach out today and request a free, no-obligation demo, so you can get to grips with what engage™ is all about.