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Loyalty Programs – the ingredients to success!

It’s a well-known fact that three quarters of Britons are a member of at least one loyalty program, with lots being members of many, but what makes a good Loyalty Program?

Here at Intercard we work with a number of Loyalty Programs around the country and from working so closely with them have a unique insight in to what has worked and not worked for them.

Read on to discover what we believe are the four key ingredients to a successful Loyalty Program…

1. Relevant rewards with a perceived high value
Customers are savvy, they know by joining a Loyalty Program you will find out a lot about them and this information is priceless so be careful when choosing your rewards. Don’t just think about what’s easy to offer, get in to the mind of your customer. What is it about your brand that they value? What’s unique about your brand? Is the reward attainable? Your Loyalty Program will put people off if you are offering them a very slim chance of achieving a reward that they aren’t interested in. A leisure club offering complimentary day passes…a spa offering product exclusives…a cinema offering an exclusive screening….a restaurant knowing your favourite wine and tying that in to a deal…a venue able to host a bespoke event…the list is endless! However, endless doesn’t mean good. You know your business and your customers so explore what will inspire and excite your customers.

2. Engage with your customers
Managing and running a Loyalty Program gives you a wonderful opportunity to engage with your customers but we are not just talking about on a purely transactional basis. Yes, the transaction will get you money there and then but an emotional connection will keep the revenue flowing in for years to come with the added benefits of them spreading the word about your brand and potentially purchasing more. An emotional connection shows you understand your customer, shows you know who they are and what they want. How many of you shop somewhere or bank somewhere that may not actually be the cheapest but you go there because they ‘get you’, they ‘don’t let you down’?

3. Use all of your channels to support your engagement
Gone are the days where engagement is measured solely in sales, in today’s world sales could actually be seen as a by-product of engaged customers! And, it’s fair to say, in this modern market, with aggressive competition and technological advances, the ways to engage are ten-fold. Recognise and reward customers who engage with your social channels, who recommend their friends and family and leave a review on your website. You could also reach out to those engaged to make them truly part of your brand as Ambassadors who review products or services or provide testimonials for you to use. Examine all the aspects of your business and identify the customer touchpoints…how can you make each experience a delight and recognise and reward loyalty.

4. Ensure smooth interaction irrelevant of channel
No matter when and where your customer engages with you, ensure that their experience is not poorer on one channel than other. This covers everything from face-to-face service to accessing account details online. You must invest time in systems and processes that ensure this smooth interaction. Without this will you have a single view of your customer and their engagement with you, will you know why they choose your brand, will you be able to identify easily pain points in their journey? This doesn’t have to cost the earth but you will need to invest your time and the time of your teams if you really want to live and breathe your Loyalty Program and it’s promises throughout your organisation.

And remember, if you can get all of this right, a strong Loyalty Program can propel your business to the next level. Get it wrong, and it can be hard to recover from!

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