There are few things more valuable to a business than loyal customers. But how do you attract those customers and keep them loyal to your brand? Naturally, delivering great service and products is one thing, but a loyalty program is even better.
Why are Loyalty Programs So Important?
People in today’s world want to make a connection with brands. It’s why so many brands are being more open and honest in their customer interactions. They tell their story, in the hopes that customers will identify with them and support them accordingly. Loyalty programs are all about providing a platform for that long-lasting connection.
It’s not just about offering freebies, discounts and rewards. it’s also about communicating and connecting with customers in a positive way.
The digital age has opened up a whole new way to create customer loyalty programs. Traditionally, a loyalty program may have been confined to email communication, or even snail-mail before that. Now, businesses can provide a multi-channel experience for their customers. When setting up a loyalty program, these are some of the ever-expanding points of interaction you can provide for customers.
Apps: you can send alerts, discounts, offers or even just fun ways to interact straight to their phone through mobile apps.
Social Media: People spend so much time on social media now that all loyalty programs should be using it. It’s not just convenient, but also gives customers a chance to share and promote your brand.
Email: We all hate spam, but when your customers are engaged enough to willingly seek email offers and communication, go for it!
SMS: Text messaging is relatively new in terms of advertising, but it’s very effective. Let your loyalty program customers know about special offers and limited-time opportunities, but be careful not to come across like spam.
This multi-channel approach lets you show customers they’re valued, and they’re part of something.
Understand and Deliver What Your Customers Want
Delivering value is one of the key components of any loyalty program. People don’t want to be spammed with ‘special deals’ every few days. They just want to be rewarded for their loyalty. So, when creating your loyalty program, do some research into what customers actually want. Then, deliver it.
Either in-store or online, you can also reward customers with a special gift at the point of purchase. This shows genuine appreciation and asks nothing of the customer in return, and it’s sure to leave them feeling valued.
Don’t Use Loyalty Programs to ‘Sell’
Loyalty programs are of course, in theory, designed to increase customer loyalty and keep people shopping with you. The end goal is obviously to generate more sales and profits. But a loyalty program should never appear that way.
Building customer loyalty is about making genuine connections and showing appreciation for continued business. You should absolutely offer special deals and benefits to loyalty program customers, but only if it delivers real value to them.
Creating Meaningful Customer Interactions
Encouraging customer to be loyal to your brand is a long and ever-changing process. All customers value different things, so don’t be afraid to interact openly and honestly with them. Ask what they want. Give them a say in new products or ideas. Make your interactions meaningful, and people will take a genuine interest in what you’re doing. The rewards of a loyalty program are simply a bonus and a nice way for you to say thanks.
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