Do you have a customer loyalty program? If not, you’re missing out—because loyalty programs drive sales. Sixty-three percent of customers in the 2015 Loyalty Report say a loyalty program makes their relationships with a brand better, and 34 percent say they wouldn’t be loyal to a brand without a loyalty program. In addition, 64 percent modify the brands they buy, and 76 percent modify when and where they buy, in order to maximize their loyalty program benefits.
So what makes for a successful loyalty program? The top criteria for customer satisfaction include:
- How appealing the program rewards are
- How easy the rewards are to redeem
- The amount accumulated per $1 spent
- Being able to build up meaningful rewards in a timely manner
- Having different options for how rewards/benefits can be earned
Customers also want loyalty programs to be simple, easy to understand and fun to use.
What about mobility as part of loyalty programs? The data is inconclusive here—while about half the respondents say they would like to engage with loyalty programs through a mobile device, just 12 percent of them have actually downloaded a mobile loyalty program app to do so.
However, there are a few ways in which loyalty programs are falling short—not for customers, but for brands. For instance, only 49 percent of consumers report that joining a loyalty program leads them to spend more with the brand. That means you might be throwing away money on a loyalty program that isn’t bringing in enough financial returns.
In addition, almost half (44 percent) of consumers polled agree that “…it would be easy to replace the program with a competitor’s program.” In other words, loyalty programs aren’t differentiating themselves enough from the competition.
Interestingly, the survey notes that some of America’s most popular brands don’t have a formal loyalty program, but achieve many of the same goals without one. By focusing not solely on transactions, but also on treating customers as individuals, making them feel valued and providing personalized experiences, they build a relationship that makes customers willing to pay more for and be loyal to a brand.
In other words, whether you use technology or just plain old human interaction, loyalty is all about creating a human connection.