Creating a Loyalty Program That Meets Customers’ Evolving Needs
It’s one thing to encourage new people to support your brand and buy your products. Achieving this will allow you to gain more customers who can help grow your revenue and keep your business thriving.
But it’s also another thing to get these customers to keep coming back to your business and support it for a long time. Doing this helps you have a constant income stream that will get your business closer to success.
However, convincing customers to come back to your business and buy more of your products is not an easy task. This is because gaining customers’ loyalty is not as easy as it was before.
As customers’ needs evolve, they now expect a lot more from brands. Aside from high-quality products, consumers now expect businesses to show their concern and how much they care about their customers, among other things.
Although this might seem easy, this change in customer expectation means that the common retention strategies, such as loyalty programs, might not be as effective today. Yes, you can still use customer loyalty programs to convince people to continue supporting your brand, but you’ll have to think of a different approach that will show customers how much you care about what they think of your brand.
Here are some things you can do to achieve this:
Know Your Target Audience
The best way to encourage customers to continue supporting your brand is to talk to them the way they want to be communicated with. You can accomplish this by learning more about your target audience, including their background, specific needs, and demographics.
Understanding how your target audience wants to be communicated with can guide you on which platforms to use, how often to contact them, and in what manner. Getting these right can make your customers perceive your brand in a positive light, as a company that listens to their needs and preferences and accordingly makes changes based on these.
Knowing more about your target audience also allows you to create a loyalty program that works for them. Through the information you gather, you can determine the kinds of rewards they might prefer or how they are likely to earn points while interacting with your brand.
Show a Little Bit of Creativity
Once you’ve learned about the characteristics of your target audience, you can continue building a customer loyalty program. And one of the more exciting tasks to accomplish is creating a name for it.
Of course, you can always call it a loyalty or rewards program, but where’s the fun in that? To make your point-based rewarding system more appealing to customers, it’s best to add a bit of fun, exclusiveness, or luxury to it, whichever works for your target audience.
For example, Sephora calls its loyalty program Beauty Insider. This gives customers a feeling of exclusivity and makes them feel good about being part of a secret club that has access to special perks.
On the other hand, The North Face has the XPLR Pass Program, which perfectly references the brand’s target audience. Since they specialize in outdoor and camping gear, The North Face has completely encompassed their target audience with the name of their loyalty program.
Make an Impression With Points
Another way to channel your creativity when creating a loyalty program for your brand is to use terms other than “points” or “miles.” When referring to the currency your customers earn and spend in your loyalty program, it’s best to use something that relates to your brand. Doing this is an easy way to make an impression on your customers because they’ll be able to see how much effort you’ve exerted in creating your rewards platform.
If you’re in the pet supplies industry, for example, you might use the term “treats” or “kibbles” to refer to the points your customers earn whenever they interact with your brand. You might also use “beans” as a reward program currency if you’re running a café or selling coffee beans.
Reward Actions Other Than Purchases
Most customer loyalty programs only reward customers’ purchases. Although this might encourage people to continue buying from your store, it can also make customers feel like you’re only after their hard-earned money. And as we discussed above, customers nowadays want to feel that you care about them and not solely about what comes out of their pockets.
To prevent your rewards program from failing, you should change your approach and provide your customers with a better user experience. Instead of only rewarding customers for spending in your store, you should also offer points whenever they complete other engagements and actions.
You can give customers points for reading your latest blog post or watching a video you just posted on your social media account. You should also reward them for sharing your social media pages or referring a friend.
Although these actions don’t equal revenue, they can keep your customers engaged with your loyalty program and help your brand stay on the top of their minds. These actions also help increase your brand awareness without spending too much money compared to actively advertising your company.
Use Data to Offer Personalized Rewards
Take your loyalty program to the next level by providing your customers with personalized rewards once they earn enough points. You can achieve this with the help of data.
After learning more about your target audience, you already have your customers’ basic data. You can then use this information to provide them with relevant rewards, offers, and communications that will benefit them.
By personalizing the rewards you offer based on a customer’s data, they can be more encouraged to collect more points. This means more engagement, referrals, and sales for your brand.
Create a Community
Loyalty programs are effective for improving your company’s sales, but they can also be used to help you build a lasting relationship with your customers. Aside from offering rewards, you can use your loyalty program to create a community where you can share your initiatives with your target audience.
By building a community, you can easily tell your customers whenever you’re doing something important to your brand and them. For example, you can talk about any social causes or volunteer programs you’re organizing and encourage them to join. Doing this shows that your brand cares about other things than sales, making it more appealing to the modern consumer.
Engage With Your Audience
Lastly, the best way to maximize your loyalty program is to continue engaging with your audience. Use the community you created to encourage customers to tell you more about their preferences and needs. Doing so will allow you to make necessary changes to your rewards program and make it more appealing to your target audience.
You can also learn how to better engage with your audience by looking at their customer profiles, which contain their interests. So, make sure to reward customers who complete their profiles.
Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage your customers to keep supporting your brand. However, as customer needs and behaviors evolve, you should change your approach to rewards programs.
Exert more effort in building your loyalty program, and your customers will notice and appreciate what you’re doing. This will allow for better and lasting relationships with your target audience. In turn, you will find more customers who are willing to support your brand for years to come.