One of the first things people do at the start of the new year is make New Year’s resolutions, and that’s definitely a good practice when it comes to your business as well. It’s a great time to, first, review the past year’s successes and evaluate all aspects of your company, and then follow up by formulating plans and considering changes. One component to consider is your Customer Loyalty Program and its success rate. Is it time to refresh it?
Customer Loyalty 101
Loyal consumers are crucial to the success of your business. They buy your products regularly and they spend more than first- or one-time customers. They are excited to try your latest product launches and give you their opinions. They freely promote your brand to friends and family. These are customers you want to protect and they are worth rewarding.
So how do you accomplish that? It is commonly known that Customer Loyalty Programs are one of the most proven marketing methods in maintaining and growing a business. Case in point, 75% of U.S. companies that have Loyalty Programs have found they generate a positive return on investment.
Having a strong Customer Loyalty Program will not only help you retain customers, but it can also assist you in improving your brand awareness and profitability. This effective marketing tool makes the consumer feel special and valued, and as a result, they are appreciative of the benefits they’ve received and motivated to keep coming back for more. Some of the most successful programs share the following characteristics:
- The program is easy to understand.
- Joining the program is simple and requires minimal personal information.
- Rewards are easy to collect and use.
- The benefits are valuable rather than throw away promotions.
- Mystery offers or bonuses are available sporadically.
Review, Refresh, Repeat
While many businesses recognize the importance of having a Customer Loyalty Program, there’s a problem: few follow up and refresh it. Businesses tend to only adjust their Program slightly, sticking close to the original design created years ago when needs and customers were different.
It’s key to stay current with the times and update your Program regularly, especially in this digital age. Updating it will not only re-energize your customers, but it is cost effective to do so as well. Here are a few examples of what to look at when considering a refresh to your Loyalty Program:
- Is there a value to being a member versus not?
- What percentage of your sales come from members?
- Is your Loyalty Program driving incremental sales?
- How long are members staying in the Program?
- Can your customers use the Program easily from all digital platforms?
Today’s customers have everything at their fingertips. They can discover the best price before making a purchase. They can easily look up differences in service between competitors. Because everything is becoming more and more transparent to today’s consumer, there is nowhere to hide, and if you don’t keep up with the times and stay on top of your customers’ current needs, you’ll be left behind. For assistance with evaluating your current Customer Loyalty Program, contact Direct Opinions today.