Increasing your customer loyalty is essential to the life or health of your business. By now, you probably know that it is quite expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain old customers. In this regard, you want to ensure that you have a loyalty program that is well optimized to keep your customers for the long-term.
Most businesses have loyalty marketing strategies that perform poorly. Instead of having your competitors win your customers over with their top-notch loyalty and reward programs, we’ve decided to help out by compiling 11 steps you can use to forge a well-optimized customer loyalty program.
Ensure your brand identity and values are clear
You see, when it comes to creating a strong loyalty marketing strategy, most companies fail to accentuate their unique value proposition. They also fail to communicate what they stand for. Creating a strong loyalty program demands that you resonate with your audience drive them to take action. And make them want to keep coming back to you.
Your brand identity and value proposition have a lot to play in this regard. You also want customers to think positively anytime they think of your brand. There are several ways you can show customers that you stand behind your values in every action or in everything you do. This includes the content you produce, your customer service, the way your company conducts itself, and the likes. You shouldn’t give anyone the opportunity to question how or whether you live out your values.
Invest in customer retention
While acquiring leads is important; most companies tend to forget just how important customer retention is. Ensure that you are not one of these companies. You should stay loyal to your loyal customers. In this regard, you want to always treat your loyal customers to exclusive loyalty marketing programs. One way to do this is to act pre-emptively and proactively.
You shouldn’t wait for customers to reach out to you with questions or concerns before you produce content that will help them solve their problems. Plus, you can also choose to create loyalty programs that provide solutions to the problems your customers may have. In addition, keep in touch to ensure they are doing fine.
Be different from the competition
While most companies see loyalty programs as a way to make more sales and harvest data, you should have a different perception and perspective as regards how you work out your loyalty program.
You can start by creating a product or service so unique that it has no competition. When you put your customers before any profit you are looking to make; you will realize that you’ll be rewarded with massive customer loyalty.
Know your customers and offer personalized the product or services
Building relationships with your customers is crucial to gaining their loyalty. Customers don’t want you to see them as just another number. One way to know your customers up close is by offering individualistic advice and services to your customers. Plus, the simplest way to offer personalized touches is knowing and calling your customers by their names. When a customer sees that you care enough to use his/her name, they’ll know they are quite important to you.
You can choose to take it a step further by knowing what sports team they follow, their hobbies, if they have any kids, when their birthdays are, and anniversaries.
Keep the lines of communication open
One common error when it comes to adhering to loyalty programs is that most companies fail to collect feedback from their customers. In a situation like this, you want to listen to what your customers have to say and know if they are doing well. And look at areas that can be improved on.
Endeavor to learn their likes and dislikes and use this information to forge a very strong loyalty marketing program. This has a long-term reward. A good way to collect feedback is by running surveys, asking them for comments on your digital content, and checking social media for comment.
Plus, always make sure that customers can reach out to you easily if they have any concerns, questions, or problems. You can do this by making sure your phone number or email address is easy to find. Or you can set up and maintain a live chat if this works well for your business. Moreover, you also want to always monitor your social media platforms for comments. And, of course, be quick to respond to questions personally and quickly.
Build a brand community
Do you know the brand community makes your customers feel like they’re part of something more exclusive and bigger? This step is commonly forgotten when businesses create loyalty and reward programs. In this regard, you want to create compelling social media content that allows your customers to converge and engage.
You can tell your story an entertaining story that seeks to inform and inspire. You can also encourage your members to create and share their own experiences, telling you about themselves and challenges through their contents.
Nothing is as good as having a loyalty program that is quite transparent. This is a subtle way to build customer loyalty. In this regard, you want to always keep your customers in the know at a personal and network-wide level. If any problems arise with your product or service, you shouldn’t go silent on your customers. Instead, you can hold yourself accountable and apologize for any inconsistency or issue whatsoever. Customers appreciate updates and feedback at every given time.
Social responsibility is quite crucial to building an optimized loyalty program. As long as you’re truly invested in the causes, your social responsibility would help you to build a reputation that allows customers to stay loyal to your brand. Some of the things you can do or adopt are –
- Sustainable practices such as green packaging waste reduction and tree planting.
- Inform your customers about safety and health or social issues why taking your own socially responsible actions related to that issue.
- Make donations to an NGO or charity organization.
- Create products with a charity tie-in.
Make loyal customers feel like VIPs
Endeavor to understand that the customers who stick with you should be treated like VIPs. You can make your customers feel like the VIPs by sending them free products, exclusive discount coupons or credits on their anniversaries or birthdays, or any remarkable time of the year, giving them exclusive access to any special events or sales, sending a shout out to them in your newsletters on social media or on your website, and informing them about new product launches or updates before anyone else.
Surprise your customers by going above and beyond
You should show your customers that you can do all for them. This factor should be shown in your loyalty marketing program. Going the extra mile for your customers allows them to stick with your brand for the long-term. You can use strategies like speeding up the shipping time on specific products, offering free in-store refreshments, and sending them handwritten complimentary or thank you cards upgrading services for free.
Start a customer loyalty program
As you well know, customer loyalty programs are ways to reward your faithful customers with valuable incentives such as discounts, free products or services, cashback, or exclusive items and experiences. This way, you get to reward your customers for making repeat purchases. The good side about having a well-structured loyalty program is that customers get to return the favor by performing actions that help your brand.
Some of these actions could be reading branded content, leaving you a positive review, and visiting your physical stores.
Final thoughtsThese 11 steps can be used to solidify your loyalty and reward program. You can also use the steps mentioned in this article to forge a loyalty marketing strategy that makes your brand thrive amidst the competition.