Over 70 per cent of Australians are members of a loyalty program, according to data by Roy Morgan Research. This is a valuable insight since it’s more profitable to retain than attract new customers.
The popularity of loyalty is a double-edged sword, though. Local companies must now work harder than ever to woo their customers away from competitors, and dusty old rewards cards from 2003 may not have the oomph needed to achieve this.
Here, we discuss three steps to improving customer loyalty programs.
The customer experience, which is essentially how clients interact with your business, should be at the centre of attention. When you make your program easy for customers to use, you also make it easier to earn rewards.
Simple is better, so have one form for enrolment instead of five and explain clearly how customers can receive the rewards. For example, when they spend $20, does this equate to 20 points towards a reward or one point? Clarity and simplicity is the key.
If you aren’t utilising social media, know that statistics show your competitors likely are. Sensis reports that, in Australia, 48 per cent of SMEs and 79 per cent of large businesses use social media to have two-way conversations with customers.
But which channels to use? The same Sensis report suggests those under 30 stray towards visual mediums such as Facebook and Snapchat, while those over 40 are more commonly on LinkedIn and Google+.
When you understand which platform to target you can begin sharing honest company information, like excitement over new products or apologies over delays. You should also respond to comments and messages – be they compliments, complaints or something in between. Nearly 100 per cent of people surveyed by Label Insight last year said they would return to a brand that offers transparency. Thus, open communication plays a key role in improving your loyalty program.
Business Insider reported that Australian consumers are willing to pay more when they think the product and service is of high quality. If you want to improve customer loyalty, engage your customers in a way that makes them feel valued as a person, not a number. So use their name, tailor your messages and show empathy towards the things that matter to them as individuals.
Customer service is critical here as it’s the direct connection between you and the client. Seeking customer feedback is therefore linked with social engagement.