[branded content] A strong loyalty program is essential to keep your customers on board

A Salesforce survey of more than 12,000 consumers shows that customers in all industries buy more services from providers that offer a loyalty program.

While marketers used to focus on product positioning and advertising, they are now increasingly focusing on the customer journey and connecting experiences – from the first customer contact to sales and support. It is not surprising that loyalty programs are very popular. On average, it costs companies six times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain existing customers.

Not only do loyalty programs keep customers coming back more often, they also make it easier to cross- and up-sell. In addition, through these types of programs, customers share more data, so you can make relevant and personalized offers based on their purchase history and thus continue to improve the customer experience. Satisfied customers will also automatically bring in new customers by recommending your brand to family and friends. Reasons enough to focus on customer loyalty.

What is a good loyalty program?

A loyalty program rewards customers who regularly buy from your business or otherwise demonstrate their commitment. There are several ways you can reward customers, from offering free products or personalized discounts to early access to new products. Every cent you invest in a loyalty program, you get back. Research shows that participants spend up to 18% more than other customers. And in the best case, a customer can even become a real ambassador for your brand through such a program.

Yet many loyalty programs today are not that successful. This is because customers often participate in several programs at once, and not all programs are distinctive or interesting enough. Moreover, customers will not hesitate if the competition gives them a better advantage.

Therefore, before rolling out a loyalty program, it is best to first focus on building a true customer-centric culture. You do this by improving contact with your customers through various channels – from social media to store service. Use the available data and give people the feeling that you understand their wants and preferences. For example, by presenting a personalized offer when they plan to buy something.

Tips for improving your loyalty programs

If the foundation is right, you can further strengthen the relationship with the customer thanks to a loyalty program. In any case, make sure that customers take advantage of your program on a regular basis. Below we provide some tips for creating a good loyalty program:

  • Send customers a personalized message when they reach a new milestone
  • Increase the value of a reward the longer a customer remains loyal
  • Work with partners to offer customers special benefits
  • Focus not only on discounts on future purchases, but also think about other original rewards, such as tickets to an event
  • Come up with a unique and recognizable name for your program

Insights from your customers’ data form the basis for building a loyalty program. As a marketing employee, you therefore need good CRM software so that you can collect all data in one central place. Customer loyalty platforms show how your loyalty program is performing and what people think of your brand. Useful data is, for example, the customer retention rate (how long a customer stays with your company on average), negative customer churn (how many customers your company loses), Net Promoter Score (how satisfied customers are) and Customer Effort Score (how much effort, the require your customers to pay to solve a problem with your company).

Working

Are you ready to create effective loyalty programs and keep customers longer in your business? Learn from eight experts here how companies are taking customer loyalty to the next level, and be inspired by examples of successful loyalty programs.

This article was published at the initiative of Salesforce
Image: Salesforce / Pexels

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