“Customer loyalty is no longer just about points, discount, miles and rewards; it is about the way processes, technologies, ideas and interactions engage individuals with the brand. The only way to achieve loyalty is through deeper engagement.” – Mark Johnson, co-founder and partner of innovation consulting firm Innosight.
Quotes by marketers, researchers and analyst only suggest that engagement refers to repeat interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological and physical bond between the customers and the company, and/or between customers and a brand, both online and offline. Building a following for brands requires marketers to keep experimenting with new aged technology which helps to keep in touch with the customers. Here are some of the techniques that the marketers can follow to keep the customers engaged.
Listen to your customers
Knowing what your customers want and supplying them with the same, can make your customers believe in your brand. It reassures them that a brand pays attention to their needs, which then in turn makes them connect with brands at a higher level. Customers have time and time expressed their desires for personalized goods, but yet somehow brands have continued to miss the mark.
According to statistics, only 34% consumers purchase the things that have been recommended by the brands. In order to amplify personalization, brands must start listening to their customers. Conor Mason, Senior Brand Manager at Anheuser Busch in a recent webinar said that, “Consumers love to tell you what they want.” It’s up to brands to listen and then to take action to create relevant programs that speak to their customer base.
Reward your customers for every engagement
Loyalty programs need to be engaging in order for them to achieve the desired results for any brand. When points take too long to earn, rewards can seem unattainable and the customers end up losing interest and motivation to continue using the program. Awarding points for simple activities like visiting the store, connecting on social media platforms, getting them to register their email ids, making engaging videos and getting the customers to watch those, keeping the customers engaged throughout their lifecycle. Offering a range of rewards, right from low point value easily attainable prices, to aspirational high point value rewards that keep the customers satisfied and motivated to get to the next level.
Give customers new ways to earn points
Marketers should make a note that customers are not always looking for earning points fast, but the ways in which they earn them plays a vital role as well. Giving your customers a variety of ways to keep them earning rewards for longer, keeps them from switching to one of your competitors. There are a number of valuable actions that the marketers can reward their customers for completing. Few of which can be:
Following your brand’s social media pages
Discounts and rebates for loyal customers
An average customer’s loyalty is the result of both emotion and logic; they need to feel a special bond with your brand, almost like the bond that they would share with a friend, which comes when they know that their loyalty is worth it. On the emotional front, discounts can be a display of appreciation and that your brand values customers, also making it obvious that you want to provide better services to your customers. At the logical front, the low prices of your products will seem more appealing persuading more customers to keep returning to your brand, rather than finding a substitute for the same products.
Improve your average loyalty redemption rate
Redemption rate is the best leading indicator of whether your loyalty program is getting the desired results or not. It measures exactly how many points are actually being redeemed by your customers. Another way of looking at it is, redemption rate also helps you understand whether your program is engaging enough to encourage and motivate members to return and shop more often. Here is how the marketers can find the redemption rate for their loyalty program:
Redemption Rate = # of points spent on rewards/ Total # of points issued.
If your customers are actively participating in your loyalty program and find it valuable, they will spend more points on rewards for experiencing that value and will stay engaged. If your customers are not redeeming points, it reflects that they are not really engaged.
A loyalty program is not a set & forget tool, which means you’ll get from it what you put into it. Your loyalty program’s redemption rate is the direct result of the work you put into it; it cannot improve itself over time all by itself. Marketers have to keep an eye on their redemption rate and be prepared and open to make changes to their points system or reward earning rules. These small yet powerful changes will make all the difference to any redemption rate and set your loyalty program on the way to the results that have been anticipated by the marketers!
Our take on it
So lastly it all boils down to having a good understanding of your customers, about what they want and then providing them with the same. Tools like Open Loyalty, which is loyalty software for developing dedicated loyalty applications, prepared for large-scale projects, proven by partners can be used to set up a loyalty program that suits best for your brand. Keeping your reward program personalized, so that customers feels special, making sure that it is easy to join and simple to use and lastly try not to just reward the money that is spent by your customers. Want to put in a better and fruitful loyalty system for your brand? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org