Loyalty programs are nothing new, from simple punch cards to sliding magnetic stripe cards, most loyalty programs involve some kind of physical card you carry around all the time. Customer loyalty is a major component of any business especially when considering the fact that it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one.
Traditional Loyalty Program Benefits
For years, loyalty programs have been a proven way to increase repeat customers, increase customer spend, and ultimately increase sales. Businesses have seen consistent returns and continue to pursue some form of customer retention or loyalty initiative. Customers enrolled in loyalty programs become more engaged and build a stronger relationship with businesses that reward them for their loyalty, as they feel the business is giving back to them resulting in an increased perceived value from the customer. Traditional examples of loyalty program setups include “Buy 10, Get 1 FREE” and “Spend $50 and get $5 back.” These linear, standard, and non-dynamic rewards are a very simplistic and basic program. With today’s technology, businesses should look at rewards programs differently, and be more proactive vs. passive to leverage the power of their programs.
Modern Loyalty Programs
Modern loyalty programs include mobile and completely digital versions of the ‘traditional’ punch card and magnetic stripe card. Some are built into mobile smart phones and others are built into kiosk-type tablet technologies placed at the Point of Sale. These types of programs help you customize your rewards, make them more enticing to customers, adds a layer of gaming mechanics, and gives you a new platform to market, cross-promote, and up-sell to you r customers. Leave the generic, bland, one-flavored loyalty program behind. Customers are becoming desensitized to programs where businesses offer a generic Buy 10 and Get 1 FREE offer, they no longer feel special, as if they were a VIP members. New digital loyalty programs are the future where customers no longer have to carry dozens of physical rewards cards in their pocket and businesses can leverage the new suite of services to better engage with their customer, promote products, cross-sell, and up-sell.
Supercharging Your Loyalty Program
Supercharging your loyalty program means leveraging it beyond repeat customers. Experiment and try some of these following techniques and strategies to realize a higher return on loyalty program. Every month change your rewards offering to keep things interesting and fresh. Promote a new product in the form of a low point value reward to promote it to customers and offer them something they would never have tried otherwise. Use these new technologies as an added marketing channel to connect with your customer whether it be through advertising or key updates. Up-sell products right at the point of purchase through these new mediums. Cross promote a specific product that may not be your best seller, but you know people would love if they just tried it. There are a variety of ways to once again engage your customer and strategically utilize your loyalty programs with these new technologies. Understanding how your loyalty program can be so much more than a frequency card is the first step to leveraging repeat customers and increasing your bottom line.