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A recent report from Bond Brand Loyalty indicates that only 11% of loyalty program members state they are “very satisfied” with the level of personalization offered by the programs they’re members of. In the same report, we also learn that 8 out of 10 members wish that the programs they’ve joined would make better use of their data to personalize communications even further.

In a commercial setting where client experience is key, it is high time we start narrowing the gap between the personalized experience clients expect and the one they actually receive.

Companies are collecting more and more data—whether it’s online, at POS, via mobile apps, or through social media. And yet consumers are clear: They want more personalization.

Brands must increase the relevance of their loyalty programs

Personalizing the loyalty experience may feel like a daunting task, and you may not even know where to begin. The first mistake companies often make is trying to address all the issues at the same time. The best thing to do is start small, and build on small victories that will enable you to add complexity over time.

Communicate the right message at the right time

Are you sending communications at the right frequency? Is the content of your communications relevant?

Start by sorting your customers by relevant criteria, such as purchase frequency, product preferences, status, gender, and age. Create segments and adapt your message and communication frequency accordingly. Conduct tests to figure out the ideal frequency rate per segment as well as which offers perform best.

Automate your communications

Marketing automation helps you stay constant and relevant in your communications with clients, all while optimizing the client experience and the efficiency of your marketing team.

Start by sending customers a welcome email when they join your loyalty program. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell them about the benefits of your loyalty program and obtain their consent. Take advantage of this opportunity to share a few tips on how to make the most of your loyalty program.

You can also thank clients for their behaviour as well as send out surveys. When a client completes a purchase, extend a thank-you message and ask them about their experience. You can personalize this communication by asking, for example, what they thought about the item or service they recently purchased. Your client will appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts, and you will collect feedback that can help improve the quality of your product or service. You can even reward them along the way.

Another way to stay in touch is through emails that mark a customer’s birthday or anniversary as a program member. Communicate any recent news and build up the excitement of offering a reward to mark the occasion.

Address any sensitive issues along the customer journey and build loyalty above and beyond transactions

To create a personalized loyalty experience, you need to provide more than just points or cashback. Experiential rewards are a great way to enhance your customers’ experience.

Think free delivery, personalized in-store consultations, an express line, tips for using products, and more. Ask yourself what would make a tangible difference in the lives of your members and how your loyalty strategy could improve that experience.

By identifying any sensitive issues along your customers’ journey, you can create rewards that will improve their experience and create a real point of differentiation. This doesn’t mean automatically offering free delivery, but rather taking the time to target rewards based on the journey of each of your customers in order to create opportunities to reward them.

Rewarding transactions is key to a loyalty strategy. But to offer a truly personalized experience, you should also consider rewarding engagement and interactions with your brand—whether it’s for referring new clients, completing a survey, following you on social media, or recommending your products and services online. Your customers will appreciate the recognition.

As we speak, customers are demanding more personalization from their loyalty programs. The current model being used isn’t enough, and you will need to personalize the experience based on customer data. Every successful interaction adds to your customers’ sense of loyalty, improves the brand experience, and increases your bottom line.