Loyalty used to be expected from spouses and friends.
However, this concept has been trending among brands, too. As customers are now the sun of brands' universe, customer loyalty has increasingly been an objective much sought after.
In the old days, loyalty to brands used to appeal more to older audiences, probably because of the nature of the incentives provided, which were commonly limited to discounts. Now, loyalty schemes have been updated to appeal to millennials alike. Data suggest that membership in loyalty programs is growing across all sectors. Especially in verticals where frequent actions are required from customers, such as mobile payment solutions businesses, new technologies have contributed to the bonding of customers with brands.
It turns out that from such a relationship there can be mutual benefits for both sides. Obvious are the perks for customers, but businesses can also benefit in multiple ways, as they become more compelling to customers and investors (think of revenue growth and capitalization potential, respectively).
Key Elements of Loyalty
In the era of endless options and attention span shorter than a goldfish, customers don't just need incentives to remain loyal to a brand, but they also need the right ones. Their decision to "stick" is a combination of factors and total product quality is only one part of the mix. Creating a novel experience and sharing it in the right time, in the right place is what makes the recipe work. Smartphones and tablets can be your ally in the journey of building a relationship with your customers. It is everyone's most intimate device and the place to be seen, if you want some real attention.
Research has shown that customer satisfaction, trust and commitment are the essentials for long term customer loyalty. Here are some tips to make those work in your favour using mobile. And the best part? You know it's going to be effective, because you can focus on your customers like a laser.
Plan carefully your reward scheme and reward your most valuable group. There is no one-size-fits-all Loyalty scheme. Make your users feel special by targeting them when they are more likely to interact with your brand and provide more incentives to your already most valuable target group to establish an even deeper bond. Mobile will be your guide, as the most intimate device one can have yet.
Know thy users. First & second party data are like sneak-peaking through your customers' keyholes, only this is legal! It is the most trusted guide to target your audiences by knowing exactly what they need. Utilize what you already have! Even if your business is not in position technology-wise, you can always seek wisdom from loyalty providers and data-aggregators.
Make your loyalty programme different than what the competition offers and make it usable to stand on top of your users minds. When it comes to differentiation, new technologies can certainly help you stand out from the crowd, while a variety of cool tools and features can bridge the distance between you and your users. Target users on mobile and make the best use of Rich Ad formats to deliver interactive engaging experiences. Simplified processes and one-tap "call to action" buttons to take users directly where they want.
Now you have created a distinct loyalty proposition, make sure the perks and experiences offered are relevant to your brand's character. And make them valuable. Better yet, identify your pain points and let loyalty customer love and loyalty heal them, while providing added value to them, as well!
Use relevant metrics. The use of the right reward basis is often overlooked. Use the most appropriate metrics to create rewards directly connected with revenue growth to produce tangible results.
Build partnerships. Partner up with dynamic other brands and offer complementary benefits. This gives the incentive to customers to remain loyal to your "alliance" and the added benefit to your business to collect external data from coalition partners.