Top 10 Loyalty Reward Program Best-Practices

Loyalty reward programs, which have existed since 1700, have changed dramatically in recent years thanks to technological innovations and the growth of e-commerce. But not all of these developments have increased customer loyalty.

Best practices for the top ten loyalty programs

Here are the ten best practices for getting results. (Spoiler alert: big data and branded apps are nowhere to be found.)

  1. Facilitate adherence and use

The best loyalty programs are quick and easy for customers and employees who sign up. If a program takes too long or requires too much information, in the beginning, customers give up.

If you set a low level and can imagine the lazy person in the world using your loyalty program, you are creating a successful program, not necessarily because your customers are lazy, but because they are incredibly busy and already overwhelmed by a lot of information and responsibility.

  1. Consider text platforms to connect

According to the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report survey on brand loyalty programs, 57% of consumers prefer to communicate with a customer loyalty program via a mobile device.

The loyalty text programs to participate in, in which customers simply send a text message with your name to a number, are the most efficient and effective. With these programs, customers can easily provide their phone numbers to the clerk when making a purchase and only send text messages to customers when they earn or redeem points. They also allow customers to cancel at any time, simply by sending a “STOP” SMS to cancel.

  1. Avoid maps and apps

Customers do not want to download another map or app, the survey found. According to the same Bond Loyalty Report, 49% don’t even know if there is an application available for the rewards programs they belong to, which means they didn’t bother to research.

  1. Offer smaller, more frequent rewards to get started and increase rewards later

If you reward your customers regularly, they are more likely to use the loyalty program you offer, even if it offers fewer rewards.

Consider the ongoing rewards that save customers money; Research shows that 57% of customers sign up for a money-saving program. In the future, if you seek rewards from loyal customers, your customers will be in front of you with forks and torches. Or worse, they post stubborn reviews on Yelp and Google.

  1. Use a clear structure with few rules and no expired tricks or rewards

Customers prefer loyal reward programs with a clear structure that is easy to understand and without expired rewards or other complicated qualifications, hidden limitations, or exceptions.

They just want to shop at their favorite companies and receive rewards without having to think more than two seconds about how it all works. They also want to earn points and spend the rewards without finding a reason (hidden somewhere in an 8-point resource) why it is not working as they expected or assumed.

  1. Skip the dollar reward adjustment

Loyalty programs that use cash rewards avoid having to guess what customers want in return. The use of cash rewards also eliminates the “drag factor” that comes with using data to predict a customer’s wishes based on their buying habits, thereby providing a frighteningly personal or completely wrong reward. Just because a man buys his wife’s feminine products every month doesn’t mean he wants a free perfume or mascara as a reward.

  1. Protect (or don’t collect) customer data

Technology is generally not your friend, and tracking your customers’ spending habits does not necessarily improve their opinion of your brand. Most customers don’t even appreciate the emails they didn’t expect to receive, let alone the data-based reward offers that make them feel spied on.

Since improper data processing and poorly performed personalization have made consumers skeptical of Big Data-based loyalty programs, you should use all personal data collected from consumers to make great personalized offers.

Do this (along with anything that can help protect customers from a data breach) or protect your brand and consumers by not collecting data in the first place.

  1. Don’t be overwhelmed by unnecessary program management

Marketers start with the best of intentions, but simply don’t have time to manage their loyalty programs or analyze reporting data. Do you really have time to “extract” all the personal data you collect? Ensure that your loyalty program delivers results without creating unnecessary management overhead.

  1. Doesn’t require a lot of employee training

If a loyalty program requires special technology, equipment, or employee training, it is likely to be very complicated or expensive. In addition to a larger initial investment, your brand becomes more vulnerable to technology and user errors.

  1. Building partnerships

Consider partnering with major employers, colleges, clubs, and local media to increase the effectiveness of your loyalty program.

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Loyalty programs are a great way to engage customers while promoting your brand. Following the 10 best practices outlined here will ensure that your loyalty rewards program really creates customer loyalty.