A Customised Approach to Loyalty Software in 2022
Written By Dakalo Nemasetoni
Loyalty software is so much more than just the reward value received by valued customers, it is about establishing a customised approach that will add value to the consumer experience. Loyalty software has been widely misunderstood and to a certain extent, incorrectly applied.
Loyalty software is much more than just about rewards, it is about establishing a customised approach that will add value to the consumer experience. Loyalty software has been widely misunderstood and to a certain extent, incorrectly applied. When it comes to the design and implementation, brands perceive rewards as a short-term giveaway or special of the month. When approached that way, rewards can only create value by motivating new or existing customers to try a product or service. When they are designed to build loyalty, they are prone to return even more value. Customising your brands loyalty approach can help you achieve sustainable loyalty and accelerate the loyalty life cycle.
The importance of the brand and consumer relationship
Rewarding consumers through a loyalty programme is a foundational way to show appreciation, this is a great way for brands to develop a relationship with their consumers. Integrating additional appreciative gestures goes a long way in fortifying a consumer-brand relationship that has a human element to it. It helps build an emotional commitment through repeat behaviour thus creating a community and lifestyle perception that will help emotionally connect customers.
Forming emotional connections with surprises and convenience
With the economic and physical challenges that resulted from COVID-19, elements like surprises and convenience are still an impactful way of enhancing the consumer experience. We’ve learnt what works for some, may not work for others. But what has always been clear is that whatever the journey looks like, whatever the platform is that’s offered, what customers want is relevant rewards. Things they can use week on week, month on month.
Loyalty helps you reach new customers
Loyal, satisfied customers are one of your most powerful marketing tools. In the age of eCommerce and online review websites, positive customer word-of-mouth is essential to attracting new customers. In fact, 83% of consumers place more trust in personal recommendations than any other form of marketing.
With a well-designed loyalty programme, you can gamify and incentivise referrals, rewarding customers who invite new shoppers. There’s strong evidence to suggest that referred customers are more loyal, more profitable and have lower churn rates than non-referred customers. Ultimately, although customer acquisition has historically been expensive, if you have the right loyalty programme and advocacy system in place, expanding your customer base has never been cheaper.
Of course, your loyalty programme can also be a unique selling point in and of itself, especially in a saturated marketplace. If you are unable to budge on price or other differentiating factors, you can gain a competitive advantage with your loyalty offerings. Remember, people actually pay to use credit cards. These are products that beat-out free competition more or less solely based on loyalty programmes tied to lifestyle or emotionally triggering messaging.
Loyalty comes in all shapes & sizes
When approaching loyalty, it’s easy to think of the obvious; A shiny new website, a platform of offers, or maybe even an app. What do these options give you in return? Yes, potentially your customers will be more inclined to shop with you more often, but initially it’s costing you money rather than generating additional revenue.
Well, what if we told you there are ways you can offer your customers an engaging, bespoke loyalty programme but at the same time create a new revenue stream?
Building a relevant and engaging programme
Building a relevant, engaging reward programme means you can designate fewer resources to traditional advertising efforts and spend more time building valuable, long-term relationships with existing customers. It can also help you get new customers in the first place, which brings us to
Loyalty = higher profits and more growth
A relevant customer loyalty programme can be a solid foundation for a successful customer engagement strategy. Customers enjoy fantastic discounts and offerings tailored to their needs and preferences, and your brand enjoys lower churn rates, more organic acquisitions and higher profitability.
Normalise rewarding customers with things they actually want
As a consumer, to be offered content around these topics is going to spark interest because it’s relevant and relatable. However, then comes the question of how can you achieve that in your loyalty strategy?
Nowadays it’s not uncommon to offer short term, surprise and delight savings because yes, they work. But why not find a way to also offer continued, long term value. We have created a range of products that provide both the limited time style discounts to attract and then the ‘always on’ type of savings that can be used all year to retain engagement.
Many of the rewards and loyalty programs in the marketplace today reveal a limited understanding of customer needs and desires. From a customer’s perspective, five elements determine a program’s value. They are cash value, choice of redemption options, aspirational value, relevance, and convenience. Few programs today offer all five, but companies that want to play the rewards game should be sure their value measures up to customers’ alternatives. Consumers will always prefer rewards programs that have cash value, relevance, choice, aspirational value and convenience. Loyalty does pay, however, brands must therefore be unrelenting about focusing all their measures that will develop a loyal customer base.
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