best rewards programs

According to a recent Wunderman study, 74% of customers believe the only way a brand will progress is by providing a higher level of customer service. If the customer believes this, then it is as good as verified. If your customer loyalty program offers little more than a discount on their next purchase, then your level of customer service is low.

The 77% statistic in our title refers to brands which only use a transactional based customer loyalty program. This means discounts, merchandise or cashback rewards. While these have their appeal, they are lost on the new paradigm of customer loyalty. A brand needs to ensure they represent the kind of brand which reflects the customer’s own lifestyle. A diverse and comprehensive customer loyalty program is the only effective way to do this. This is why we look at reasons your customer loyalty program software may not be up to scratch.

 

Sloppy Design

This is a basic for customer loyalty program software, but you might be surprised by how many don’t get it right. When you go on an app store, there is a reason why there are screen shots of any particular app and its features.

If your program looks good, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to work well. However, if the design is attractive it means the software designer has put thought into it. The assumption the customer makes is that they have put similar thought into their loyalty program. However, as good as the design might look, if it functions poorly and doesn’t provide an intuitive interface, users will turn off the app and turn away from your brand.

 

Doesn’t bring channels together

With so many different distribution channels, it can be difficult to build the right customer demographic studies and individual customer profiles you need to succeed. By using promotional codes and QR codes, you can help feed customer data directly back into your program.

By adding this information to your customer loyalty program, you can analyze these different channels and see where you need to put your investment. If your loyalty program software doesn’t allow multichannel information to be collected, you could be missing huge gaps in the market.

 

You have not been quick enough to react

When customers are unhappy, they are happy to let other people know. With 54% switching providers in the last year, they are also happy to leave. Part of making your customer loyalty program successful is making sure people know it is successful. This means providing as little ammunition as possible for unhappy customers.

As your loyalty program progresses, little hiccups are bound to happen. Loyalty software which reacts to these problems quickly will be able to limit damage and increase referral potential. This means having social media as a fundamental component of your loyalty software so it can track how customers are discussing you and make sure you can reply appropriately ASAP.

It also means having loyalty software which has automatic responses built in. If your brand is successful enough, you shouldn’t have enough staff to reply to every piece of correspondence. Your software should be able to follow up on transactions, promote through your mailing list and provide rewards automatically.

 

Customers are not engaged enough

As discounts are not enough to keep customers engaged, brands are feeling the need to provide a much more holistic approach to customer loyalty. This means engaging customers on the level at which they will best operate.

Gamified integraction with your customer loyalty program allows you to track customer loyalty in the same way they make decisions in meatspace (IRL, offline, etc.). If customers only have one reward, then it is like playing a computer game with only one level. It may be enjoyable enough, but it is not going to keep them engaged.

Finding multi-tier reward schemes means giving your customers the opportunity to progress. This can be a points based system or even having different levels of customer loyalty (e.g. bronze, silver, gold).

If your software isn’t able to track these different levels of customer loyalty and reward each progression, then it isn’t fulfilling your brand needs. Also, your customer loyalty program needs to be there to assist customers in how they can best get the rewards which suit them. This means responding quickly and providing the right information by knowing the customer’s own personal brand profile.

 

Customers don’t know about it

One of the strangest statistics in loyalty reports is that 49% of customers don’t even know whether or not there is an app associated with their loyalty program. You might have the best software in the world, but if your customer doesn’t know about it, it won’t be very useful.

Using automated responses, collecting data on multichannel distribution and promoting through social media means no customers will be left in the dark about your loyalty program. The better they are kept up to date, the more you will be on their mind and the increased chance of making referrals.

 

They are not providing innovative experiences

Customers see beyond immediate loyalty rewards. It is no longer sufficient to simply give product or a free element of your service. Experiential rewards are the future for customer loyalty. These can take many forms. You can provide events with differing levels of access depending on the loyalty level of each customer. Social occasions or even corporate seminars can help the customer feel valued while also providing them more reason to value your brand.

How you know what type of experiential reward your customers are looking for is done by having the right loyalty program software. Your software should have customer analysis features which search trends, analayze customer profiles and allow you to make projections for the future. Finding out customer preference is the best way to provide personalized customer rewards. This makes customers feel valued and maintain loyalty.

If you have invested in an inadequate customer loyalty program, it can be painful to move on to the next one. It will feel like a poor ROI and can trouble investors. However, cutting your losses and moving to a program which will reap 10X the dividends will be much less painful in the long run.

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