This guest post is written by Richard Conn, Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8×8 – a leading Communications as a Service platform with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. This blog shares tips on how to build engagement and trust with your loyalty program members.
Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customers to become repeat buyers – and repeat buyers mean more sales. And that’s not the only benefit. Loyalty programs provide unique insights into your customer base and allow you to personalize your communication accordingly.
But how do you engage customers with your loyalty scheme? With 65% of consumers sharing that they engage with under 50% of their loyalty programs, keeping them hooked can often be a challenge.
Let’s take a look at eight ways to build rapport with your loyalty program members.
1. Keep rewards fresh
At the heart of all good loyalty programs are incentives that drive people to join in the first place.
Review and adjust your incentives regularly. Would customers prefer discounts on products, or vouchers for goods or services outside of the business?
Make sure to review customers’ desires via feedback and workshops. Feedback can be requested via email, or on the phone. Workshops could involve inviting selected customers to attend, for example, a focus group in person. There they can be asked questions about what they really think of the loyalty program and how could it be improved?
2. Give them privileges
Encourage loyalty program members to enroll and use the program by providing perks that they wouldn’t otherwise get, for instance:
- Early access to new products
- Free delivery
- Exclusive events
- Point-based rewards
These privileges should all be easy to access, whether through an app or an integrated loyalty page. Remember: the better the rewards, the more information you tend to be able to get from your customers in return. As you can see below, over half of the consumers are happy to exchange their personal data for cash rewards.
3. Send them updates
Customers like to know what’s going on. By keeping them in the loop, you can build the customer-brand relationship.
Many retailers worry about bothering customers with constant updates. However, regular (but not too frequent!) updates can show that you’re working on improvements and that you’re there for them. For example, send an email to your loyalty program members to let them know about the latest rewards. LoyaltyLion, a data-driven and engagement platform, allows you to do this directly from your loyalty dashboard to save time on creating and sending these updates.
4. Celebrate occasions
Many brands will reach out to loyal customers to celebrate occasions. These include their birthday or their loyalty program anniversary.
The easiest way to do this is using a card, email, or small gift. By using a remote customer service team, you can communicate with your customers about this on a one-to-one basis.
Birthdays and other celebrations are highly memorable. They come round only once a year. By sending something on an occasion you can have a lasting impact – and might even get you some excellent user-generated content posted on your social channels!
5. Reach out to them personally
If you have the resources available, install a customer outreach program. Check-ins now and then with customers will ensure that their needs are being met. It’s also a great opportunity to ask for feedback on your loyalty scheme. Using a cloud contact center provider can help to organize these systems.
Customers value a great customer experience, and the better it is, the more likely they are to remain loyal. By reminding them you see them as people, not just numbers on a list, you’ll help win their hearts (and their wallets).
6. Make them feel part of a club
Creating a place for members to bond can be a great way to encourage a community feel. While a loyalty email campaign is a great place to start, it won’t build long-lasting engagement the way an exclusive club will.
Customers forming friendships via your loyalty club can only be a good thing. They will connect on their shared interest in your products, building buzz around your brand. These loyal customers start to do your work for you – sharing news about the friendships they made, or the rewards they got. This user-generated content is basically free marketing, and a great way to encourage more people to join the club.
You don’t need a special forum for this (though it can help). The same feeling can be created with social media by running online competitions and creating hashtags.
7. Remember them and their needs
Training customer service reps to remember and focus on loyal customers will improve customer relations. Customers are being loyal to the brand. So, it’s only right that the business remembers key details about them.
Using a CRM solution will ensure that staff have access to the most accurate and up-to-date customer information. Train your team in certain specialist areas, and then ensure customers are put through to someone who really knows their stuff.
LoyaltyLion has a number of integrations with helpdesk providers. Using these platforms together allows you to integrate loyalty data into your helpdesk and enhance your customer service experience. You can see your customers’ loyalty profiles, award points and encourage referrals straight from your helpdesk.
8. Remind them of their importance
Finally, don’t forget that loyal customers are key to a successful business. They ensure that companies survive fluctuating demand.
Take a moment to remind your loyal shoppers how much you appreciate their custom. This can take place during a one-to-one interaction using a voice-over internet protocol service, an email conversation, or even in-store.
By building rapport with your customers, you’ll keep them engaged, happy, and loyal. With the tips above, you can take this one step further and create a program that these customers will champion to others – bringing more sign ups to you.
Once you’ve got this rapport in place, it’s time to start looking at increasing your presence even more. It might be time to consider a loyalty referral scheme, granting privileges and rewards to those who recommend the program to others.
Customers want to be loyal to a brand they can trust, so why not make it easy for them?