The most coveted customer is a loyal brand advocate. They stick with your business and have a strong relationship with your brand. They shop frequently, have a higher average purchase size, and regularly refer new customers to your business. But these customers don’t appear out of thin air. They are the result of your efforts to provide the best possible customer experience.
Although starting a loyalty program doesn’t guarantee you’ll have happy customers, when executed properly, it can be a great complement to your existing customer engagement strategies.
Here are a few ways a rewards program boosts customer experience:
1. Loyalty programs help you give your customers more of what they want.
Digital loyalty programs are loved by business owners and customers alike. Since all of the customer’s purchase history is tied to their loyalty account, you’ll be able to use this information to create more personalized and effective promotions.
For example, instead of sending out generic promotions, you can use your customer data to send out relevant and timely product recommendations and offers. Determining which promotions have a better return on investment is also easier with a loyalty program.
You’ll be able to compare which promos your loyalty members responded to better and optimize future offers and communications accordingly.
Aside from personalizing your loyalty member communications, you’ll also be able to use the data captured by your loyalty program to inform your inventory management and product buying decisions, ultimately giving your customers more of what they want.
2. Encouraging social media engagement will build stronger customer relationships.
Customers don’t necessarily need to make purchases to earn loyalty rewards. Some loyalty programs allow customers to earn points by leaving reviews, liking and following social media accounts, or even sharing branded user-generated content.
These types of loyalty rewards improve brand awareness, increase your business’ reach, and encourage your customers to be more engaged with your brand, helping to strengthen your customer relationships.
Depending on the type of business you run, this customer engagement strategy can be particularly effective. For example, the beauty brand, Vanity Plant, shared some of their customers’ user-generated content on their e-commerce site and it increased their check-out rate by 24%.
Essentially, encouraging social media engagement will solidify your relationships with existing loyalty members, while creating brand trust for new customers — sounds like a win-win to us.
3. Tiered loyalty programs with VIP perks elevate your customers’ experiences.
Finally, if you really want to bring your customers’ experiences to the next level, consider a tiered loyalty rewards structure. From airlines to retail stores, brands have found success by creating an exclusive club with VIP perks for their top-spending loyalty members.
For example, VIP loyalty members could benefit from preferred rates, gifts, exclusive events, and access to comfy lounges. Due to the exclusive and elite nature of VIP memberships, it incentivizes lower-tiered members to spend more and VIP members to maintain their spending levels and status.
Additionally, since many of the VIP perks involve experiential rewards, like preferred treatment and exclusive event invitations, these rewards will help strengthen your customers’ emotional bond with your brand.
To sum it up, an effective loyalty program should focus on more than just discounts. If you really want to stand out in a sea of rewards programs, find ways to leverage your program and create a memorable customer experience.
Guest Contributor: Adèle Richardson, Paystone
Adèle Richardson is a content marketing strategist at Paystone. Paystone is a leading customer engagement software company, providing loyalty, gift card, and payment solutions to over 25,000 businesses across North America.