Loyalty and rewards programs can help businesses increase their customer lifetime value and customer retention. In order to, compete with high technology-driven consumer companies like Amazon, Apple, or PayPal, for repeated business and to build customer relationship by providing personalised content or discounts and value for money.
There are various types of loyalty programs but what are some of the key strategies for launching a successful rewards program?
First things first, you need to create a clear objective for your campaign, which will make your research more effective and make it much easier to identify what kind of loyalty and rewards strategies will help you accomplish your business goals.
Rewards programs have to keep up with constantly changing trends and consumer appetites. Businesses are struggling to capture and hold customer attention in the modern, digital age. One of the key techniques to engage customers is to gamify your loyalty points system. This system works best for reward programs that can be used or accessed via a mobile app. By creating an app design and loyalty points system that replicate a game or incentivised levels to make the rewards program addictively fun and interactive, you can keep customers hooked on the products and rewards you are offering. The program needs to be simple, with easy instructions that show customers how to ‘play’ and what the prizes are. With level-based rewards programs, the customers might be ‘playing’ to unlock the next level, therefore having access to bigger, better, more exclusive rewards. Giving customers the option to share their experience or ‘wins’ creates more of a community within the program, particularly if you introduce special events or activities.
Effectively collecting, analysing, and implementing data from your customers is crucial to your marketing campaigns and how you develop your rewards program. AI has become a key part in creating customer data profiles as they help analyse large volumes of data from numerous sources. By tracking customer purchases and behaviour trends, you can build a personalised service that offers your customers unique rewards and discounts that you know will be of interest to them, based on what they have purchased in the past and what they may spend their loyalty points on. This means that customers are more likely to pay attention to the rewards you are offerings and if they become inactive on your platforms, you can leverage the data collected by your system to re-engage and attract loyal customers back.
Another strategy that many businesses employ for their loyalty and rewards programs is to communicate the information, offers, events, and discounts to customers across multiple platforms. Promoting your rewards program across every customer touchpoint makes sense but incorporating seamless user experience is a must of this is a system you want to implement. Whether the customer is accessing their loyalty points or awarded discounts via your website, mobile app, social media, or in-store, every system needs to hold the same information, updating automatically when a change is made. This presents customers with accurate information every time they log in to view their customer profile.
If you aren’t a B2C focused business, why not establish a B2B rewards program for your clients? Your professional clients will always be on the look-out to get the best value for money and how to limit their overheads. To stay competitive with businesses, you need to offer something extra, on top of supreme customer service or high-quality products. Manufacturers in particular, are increasingly using rewards programs to identify key customers or business partners to trial new products and new promotions. One example of a successful B2B rewards program is the Prosper2 Business Club and Rewards Card: the company offers its clients rewards points in exchange for purchasing and using its services that are intended to provide SMEs with access to essential expertise.
Finally, an excellent strategy for building and growing your rewards program is to create dedicated brand advocates and work with industry influencers. Customer satisfaction is a standard goal for many businesses, especially because it can lead to customer recommendations. A person has a good experience with your business, and they are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. You can actively create these recommendation opportunities for your brand by offering your customers rewards and incentives for referring new customers. Brand advocates can generate new, organic leads for your business, and this is further supported by your rewards program.
Similarly, engaging with public figures and respected industry influencers can increase your market reach and create new market leads. Accessing positive reviews, recommendations, and endorsements from well-known industry experts or even celebrities can massively boost your business’ visibility. By having the benefits of your rewards program explained and promoted by an expert, the market can see how your business offers value for money and how your loyalty program serves your customers’ needs.
The best method to keep in mind is that simplicity is your friend. Make sure your rewards program is easy to find, easy to understand, and straightforward to sign up for. Your loyalty points system should be comprehensively explained, with customers clearly understanding how they can earn and spend their points. Try to personalise rewards to keep customers engaged and regularly asking for and acting on customer feedback will stop your rewards program from stagnating.