We all can say that customers are more demanding and possess higher expectations than at any time. As most corporations are working hard to better serve these smart customers, it’s no surprise that numerous are zeroing in on dedication programs as a way to create more robust associations, and change customer tendencies and habits in ways that benefit the brand.
Nevertheless they usually don’t work doing this. The thing is, loyalty programs have proliferated with such abandon that they rarely actually drive customer loyalty. When (according to Colloquy research) people, on average, each have 29 loyalty program subscriptions across multiple sectors, these programs become little more than a method for customers to get the occasional discount.
This is probably why most households use less than half of the people playing cards, and that the amount of loyalty programs being used continues to drop as a percentage of the programs a given household is part of. The reason is as easy as it is complex: customers don’t see the value in most programs.
What loyalty is, and isn’t.
Of course, the intention of most programs is to operate a vehicle “real” loyalty – that is, the sort of loyalty which means better share of wallet, lower costs to serve, better retention and a trend to talk about their passion for your brand with friends and family. This kind of customer loyalty is defined by both the emotional viewpoints and behavioral tendencies that cause us to prefer one brand over others.
This sort of real loyalty can be driven by an improved customer experience, as well as items like convenience, value or a that the brand actually likes you them. This is the true value of getting a customer signed to your loyalty program.
Unfortunately, alternatively than these varieties of loyalty, almost all of today’s programs do little more than encourage transactional behaviors, based upon superficial relationships with their customers.
The thing is, unless companies use these programs and the info collect through them knowledgeably, the can go from having succinct, pithy relationships like these to using no relationships at all. For anyone firms, “loyalty” will be a thing of the past.
So why loyalty programs don’t drive commitment
As we all know, the rise of smart customers is undermining traditional notions of devotion: we download comparison programs to find the most affordable price, which implies and permits regular switching and ever greater disloyalty. Persons price shop in-store to buy online, from another individual. They look for the biggest discounts no subject who they’re from.
And that, I’m sure you are going to agree, is not commitment.
So where do most loyalty programs fall short? Sadly, all over the place. A few years ago, I composed an article about my experience as a dedication customer of Marriot. Appropriately titled “When Loyalty Courses Annoy: Setting Expectations And Failing To Deliver, inch in it I discuss why any business spends in customer experience – to drive loyalty-like actions.
Nevertheless the reality is, most loyalty programs – including Marriot’s – don’t do anything of the type. Having asked many customer across dozens of sectors, we really know what customers desire in a loyalty program. Without surprise, points have not do with it. By so doing, it’s about the experience.
Treat me as if you actually treatment. (You do, don’t you? )
While most customers join for the savings, they overwhelmingly say that what they really want is special treatment and offers unavailable to the general public. They want to feel – and be treated like – they mean something for you. After all, by getting started with this “club” they’ve given you value; their data. And they this.
All their expectation? Pretty straightforward – give them value in exchange. Use the data they have already provided you with to make their lives easier, to give them personal perks and provide them an event that reinforces the special relationship the loyalty program implies you have with them. After all, smartly getting together with a customer is the best way to obtain more business from them.
Incredibly, the majority of companies don’t use customer or loyalty program data to provide better experiences, much less build better human relationships with their customers. It can all sell and no serve. Today, there is no excuse for any company not to use their loyalty programs to deeply hook up with and better serve their most valuable customers.
Use customer data to better provide them
This is why the ability to use customer and loyalty program data to anticipate customer needs and intelligently reply to what they want and need is what is going to independent the loyalty programs that thrive from those from businesses that contain no future at all.
After all, your clients might want their points. But that’s a basic expectation. To push real value, you must travel beyond the basics to excite and delight them. The great news?
If you’re concentrated on customer experience as a discipline, you will have the data and business court case you need to emphasis your resources on providing exactly that – supplying your loyalty program associates the activities they desire, in exchange for driving a vehicle measurable value and the long-term desirable behaviors that keep customers (and their friends and family) rebounding for more.