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HOW DO YOU CREATE A LOYALTY PROGRAM THAT LASTS?

Creating a loyalty program is not a difficult task. However, knowing what gives your customers maximum satisfaction and what motivates them to keep coming back to your business. When you get those basics right, you can create a loyalty program that addresses your customers’ ultimate needs and your business at the same time. 

Brand loyalty is the primary aim of most different types of loyalty programs. Let this fact remain at the center of your planning while creating your program. Meanwhile, businesses and consumers have different goals and objectives. While buyers want to patronize a company that offers them products or services at a lower price and makes them feel esteemed, sellers also seek to build a large customer base that will keep patronizing.  

So, how do you create a program that will achieve this balance? Here’s a step-by-step guide on creating a loyalty program that lasts with a strong following of loyal customers. 

1. Choose a unique name

If you want to launch a successful loyalty program, you must get everything right, and it starts from the name you call it. 

Indeed, your program’s name sets the tone for your customers, who are the potential members. It can be the reason a buyer chooses to join the program or sign up for another brand. Hence, you need to sit down and think deeply of a unique name that will sell your brand to buyers. 

Your program’s name will communicate what your members stand to gain for joining the program. Also, emotion is one thing that can motivate customers to join your program. Hence, it’s good to find a name that can inspire a feeling that aligns your brand with your products or services.  

Besides, what you call your loyalty and rewards program dramatically impacts the overall effectiveness of the scheme. Although most businesses undervalue what they call their loyalty program, it is crucial in establishing a strong relationship with the members.  

2. Know your customers’ ultimate needs.

Typically, every loyalty marketing program’s goal is to gain customer loyalty, as the name implies. At the same time, customers cannot be loyal to a brand that cannot satisfy their needs. The same thing applies to your loyalty program. 

One of the easiest ways to encourage customers to join your loyalty program is to design it to fit your customers’ needs. When you achieve this goal, you don’t need to persuade your customers before they sign up. Everybody wants to be in a place where he is valued. So are your customers too. 

Now, how do you know your customers’ ultimate needs? It’s simple. Implement the following strategies to get the best result:

  • Build robust customer contact information.

When you have decided to create a loyalty and reward program, thank you for coming is not the only thing you do when customers buy from your store. As your customers patronize, make sure you compile a contact list to have your existing customers’ details. 

This step will help you create greater insight into how many customers frequently interact with your brand and why. It will also facilitate an easy launch of your loyalty marketing campaigns. 

  • Track your customer behaviors.

You have to study your customers’ behaviors to know what they want and when they want it. That will help you build a program that will satisfy them to the fullest. 

  • Take a multifaceted approach.

It is crucial to categorize your customers’ traits and preferences. It will help you have a multifaceted perspective of your diversified customers. When you get this right, you can be sure of having a program that will satisfy your customers with their uniqueness and diversities. 

3. Choose your preferred loyalty program.

This step is one of the most crucial in the entire creating process. After you have known your customers’ ultimate needs, the next step is to choose the best type of loyalty and rewards programs that will motivate your customers to be loyal to you. 

Here’s a list of the most common loyalty and rewards programs you can choose for your business.

  • Points-based program: This type of program is the most common out there. In this point system, customers earn points for every purchase, which they can either use for future purchases or redeeming the points in other forms of reward. 
  • The tier-based program: in this type of program, customers will have to continue making more purchases to earn the required points to get to the next level—the higher the tier, the better the rewards. 
  • The paid program.

This program requires loyal customers to pay an annual fee to join the company’s VIP list. Customers on this list have access to several opportunities and outstanding rewards.

Other programs are the charity program, the partner program, the community program, the subscription program, etc. https://media.istockphoto.com/photos/happy-mature-businesswoman-handshaking-partner-client-trust-and-picture-id1135346338?b=1&k=6&m=1135346338&s=170667a&w=0&h=ozFMshQ7goqZ7Gz_Y_fbr6oAqLfNNZ12eom5FwfINWE=

4. Reward a variety of customer actions.

While creating your loyalty program, you must be bear in mind that loyalty marketing is not all about rewarding your customers only when they purchase. Many successful loyalty programs reward every action of their customers in favor of the business. 

Your loyal customers should get rewards for sharing your posts, following your brand’s page, liking your posts, signing up for your emails, and more. 

5. Offer a variety of rewards.

We’ve earlier discussed that customers have different needs and taste. So, you wouldn’t want to offer the same reward for all and expect all-around customers’ satisfaction. Ensure that you provide a wide variety of rewards to satisfy your esteemed customers’ various needs. 

While some customers like to go on a trip, some may value a members-only event that separates them from other customers. However, this step will only be more straightforward if you understand your customers’ behaviors better.

6. Provide multiple opportunities for customers to enroll.

No matter how rewarding your loyalty program is, it is not complete if your customers find it difficult to join. You can create a mobile app that works on every mobile device to make it easy for your customers to access the program anywhere, anytime. You can also use loyalty cards, coupons, discounts, freebies, and more to keep it simple for your customers.

Loyalty and rewards programs are useful tools to build a large customer base that will keep coming back time after time. However, many loyalty programs failed because the organizers are ignorant of some of the abovementioned facts. Every successful loyalty program needs to focus on its customers’ needs and preferences.  

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Which Brands have Great Customer Loyalty?

When we discuss customer loyalty programs, it is essential to note that top brands, such as Incremental marketing have continually made unforgettable footprints. Some of these brands have enjoyed significant profits from running loyalty and rewards programs to meet their customers’ expectations for respective categories as needed. Also, they spend a great deal, ranging into billions of dollars, to improve their brands in a way that resonates more with consumers.

Statistics also show that loyal customers return to these brands irrespective of the product or service prices. They also become strong advocates and ambassadors for the brand, telling friends, families, and contacts about what they enjoy about your brand product or service. 

Brands that have become successful today with a big fan base are not spending the bulk of their marketing budget on acquiring new customers. However, they can boast of a large percentage of loyal customers who prioritize such a brand. 

This article examines the top brands with the most remarkable and most successful customer loyalty program

Top Companies with Great Customer Loyalty

  1. Amazon

According to Brand Key’s latest statistics, based on 2020 research, Amazon remains the biggest company in brand loyalty in the US, especially in multiple qualities of the world’s brands. The brand ranks highest for customer engagement and loyalty to up to 1121 brands in over 109 categories. 

In this latest ranking, Amazon appears twice as Number 1 and Number 3 in the overall ranking. Amazon started giving lower shipping rates to returning customers while Amazon Prime grows by more than 20% every year and over 5 million users.

Moreover, the most popular item in the brand category in this latest research is the Smartphones category, while tablets dropped in relevance. The fall in the tablets category rating does not deter Amazon from remaining atop the list and for the fourth time in a row. Amazon impresses customers through products/services. It also serves tremendous benefits through Kindle ranks for top eBook readers and other businesses.

  1. Netflix

Due to the lockdown resulting from the COVID19 pandemic, customers have found solace in streaming videos that comes with several boosted brand loyalty for top products. For instance, Netflix ranks as number 2 on the list, while four different videos made it among the top 20 selected videos from 2020. 

In the initial rating, Netflix was at position 6 while making way into many subscribers’ lives. Staying at home more forces many people to watch more TV, and Netflix provided better chances at new movies. Otherwise, many of the subscribers would not have had time to watch these movies.

Also, Netflix provided several benefits to new subscribers as competitions tensed up during the lockdown. The company even provided multiuser accounts that are shareable among multiple users with premium subscription services. Consequently, Netflix became one of the companies with the highest gain from retaining customer loyalty through extra benefits and gains.

  1. Apple

For Apple, there is no doubt about the increasing love for their products all around the world. The company boasts of one of the most loyal sets of brands through viable, highly profiting programs. Up to 59% of iPhone users admit to loving the same blind loyalty products and not because of any other quality. The mobile phone sector seems to be highly saturated, yet, Apple gadgets stand tall in that market. 

One of the outstanding advantages of the Apple brand comes from a well-defined vision and mission statement. Steve Jobs, the inventor, had a robust and undeniable commitment to innovation and a high sense of product quality through cutting-edge technology. Such magnificent benefits always resonate with the customers who still value these qualities today through an emotional connection that earns customer loyalty forever.

  1. Domino’s

Domino’s pizza represents the food sector’s pizza category, where many of their digitized services have also enjoyed tremendous customer loyalty. Perhaps the restrictions on movement also compelled many people to prefer to order food items to their homes. And as one right turn deserves another, the business relationship most likely does not end with just one deal. Instead, the customer-client relationship ranks high in a continuously profitable relationship.

In the initial ranking, dominos is ten levels lower in ranking based on the acquired points in customer loyalty. And the ability of this brand to meet up with its consumers’ needs is one of the most important benefits it has. The brand also spends a reasonable time giving out special offers, bonuses, and other complementary offers to loyal customers. As a result, the marketing promotions become much more productive than the conventional marketing strategy to get new customers.

  1. American Express

The OPEN forum of the American Express brand changed the company’s game since 2007 as many now think more of the brand for big commerce rather than a mere business brand. The company’s marketing journey and growth is a great tool that has served as a driver of customer loyalty marketing programs. Instead of competing with other businesses, the brand is committed to helping other small businesses grow by providing the right environment and resources.

Why Every Business Needs a Customer Loyalty Program

The strategy also involved new insights and the provision of resources such as small business cards and services. It gradually gave room not just to be a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) company but a Business-to-Business (B2B) company. This position immediately inspired customers to view this brand with a different perception and thereby drew their loyalty. As a result, there is less need for billboards and cold calls through emails and more focus on adding real value to real customers who are more than willing to let it. 

Some other impressive brands in the customer loyalty programs include Google, Disney, Home Depot, WhatsApp, and Samsung. Despite Google and Samsung losing some rankings compared to the previous rating, the two brands remained among the top 10 brands. Remember, all these highly-rated brands are also built a very thriving customer base, from which their customer loyalty programs gain success. These results indicate that a strong customer loyalty marketing program can rake in tremendous profits and relevance to a company brand. 

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Why you should invest in loyalty programs.

Are you looking to have more returning customers? You probably want the kind of customers who spend more and tend to visit your store often. If yes, you need a loyalty program as it is the perfect tool to add to your customer retention arsenal. 

If you are wondering why you need a customer loyalty program, you may want to know that it has the tendency to make you more money. However, making more money with a customer loyalty program is dependent on whether you do it the right way. 

Plus, you should know that keeping a current customer costs you 3 to 10 times less than acquiring a new one. This is also dependent on the industry you are functioning in. Research on WordStream affirmed that small businesses tend to spend between $9,000 to $10,000 trying to attract new leads or customers on Google paid search campaigns in just within a month. 

Dare to imagine how efficient you could be if you could switch that expenses to reactivating customers and getting repeat businesses and sales. So now we know that reactivating customers is, quite important but how should you justify investing in customer loyalty programs or in a loyalty marketing strategy. 

Well, this is the core reason for this article. In this article, we will be discussing several reasons why you need a loyalty program in your business. 

Strengthen a positive customer experience

Based on research by Forbes, 79% of online shoppers will quickly turn to a competitor if they experience poor customer service in the first week of their shopping. This is a fast way to lose a customer. At this stage, it doesn’t just deal with customer support, but you need to have the means to show your customers that you value them for purchasing from you. 

A loyalty and reward program offers the perfect vehicle to achieve this aim, but how can you do this. When customers observe that they can collect incentives or points in exchange for purchases made, their first thoughts would be that they are getting something for their money besides the products they purchased. 

This positive experience evokes a desire in your customers, allowing them to return the favor by purchasing from you again. In a loyalty marketing program, this is known as reciprocity. 

Let customers know that it is worth it to come back to your store

The point we are trying to make here is that customers are loyal because they want to save money. This is the traditional loyalty and reward program approach that appeals to a vast range of customer groups. However, this strategy isn’t enough nowadays as 76% of shoppers expect some sort of recognition aside from monetary benefits. This recognition can come as a special treatment perk that gives them a faster, smoother, and more customized and personalized shopping experience. 

Encourage customer referrals

If you didn’t know the power of word-of-mouth advertising, then you should understand that loyalty programs can give you that. When a customer is satisfied, they are very likely to refer their friends to your business or company. 

The most common strategy to use here is a double-sided reward mechanism where both the referrer and his referral real earn or benefit from the process. The power of customer referrals or word-of-mouth advertising can beat even the most optimized Facebook ads or AdWords ads. This is because friends only refer friends who are genuinely interested in your products. 

Build social proof

Forbes ascertained that 81% of shoppers research products, read reviews, compare prices before making their purchases. You probably do the same thing before buying anything. While a loyalty program would do well to improve your customer satisfaction, it also goes further to remind you to reward customers for leaving positive reviews or using certain Instagram hashtags while posting pictures or making content around your products. 

This is what is referred to as user-generated content, and it increases trust and confidence towards your online store and even assists other customers in making buying decisions faster. 

Maximize brand advocacy

While you may be quick to point the benefits of discounts, you should understand that 77% of transaction-based programs often fail in the first two years. The reason behind this circumstance is that you can’t always win a customer’s heart with special perks and discounts forever. 

This is because your competitors can offer the same monetary benefits, and offering discounts is a sure way to let money leak out of your business. However, you can avoid this failure by leveraging loyalty programs. But you should understand that loyalty marketing programs should be reserved for the top 20% of all your customers who generate more than 80% of your total Revenue. 

Also, understand that these customers who do the most spending are not staying with you because of the exclusive discounts; they are staying with you because they love your brand. And a loyalty and rewards program is a perfect opportunity to strengthen that engagement. 

The more they engage with your brand, they also help you promote it. As compared to other customers, these loyal customers are more effective in persuading others to buy from you. 

Garner valuable data

Loyalty programs are a seamless and legitimate way to gather valuable data. When your loyal customers sign up for your loyalty and reward programs, it gives you an opportunity to offer a personalized experience based on the data you’ve gathered. 

This can help you come up with targeted marketing campaigns that aim to increase your bond with your customers and even help you implement a referral program. 

Having actionable data is one of the best ways to boost sales as you will know exactly how to solve and treat your customers. 

Now, you should be able to see the reasons why you should have a loyalty marketing program in your business. Not only will this drive your business forward, but it will keep customers glued to your company. Plus, customers will come to love your brand naturally, and this comes with other exclusive benefits.

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