Top Customer Loyalty Programs: Better and Best

by: Luke Kreitner September 12, 2016

Although you understand the importance of top customer loyalty programs, the program in and of itself doesn't assure business success. Simply having a program isn't enough in today's world; it has to stand out from your competitors' programs and target the needs of your clients. Additionally, two sides of the same coin often contribute to a lack of success with loyalty programs. If the program is too complicated, it can be hard to understand, and if it is too simple or not properly promoted, your customers may not even realize its availability. Of course, the main reason your program doesn't always work is it has to compliment rather than provide a service. The program is a nice bonus for your customers, but first and foremost they expect great customer service which fills their needs as they aren't hiring you simply for the chance to receive a reward.

How to Develop Top Customer Loyalty Programs That Work

The first consideration toward successful top customer loyalty programs is to think about the service you provide and what rewards the types of people who use such a service would appreciate. As an example, if you provide a home delivery grocery service, a restaurant gift card reward program likely isn't the best idea, or in reverse, if you conduct marketing consultations for restaurant franchises, grocery store credits is probably not a viable candidate for your rewards program. Just like every other aspect of your business, a little bit of thought will go a long way towards a successful loyalty program.

New Customers Are a Good Thing

No matter how many clients you currently serve, new customers are always welcome. Although new customers haven't defined themselves yet as loyal customers, a small discount or other attractive offer for first time customers will help draw them in, at which point you can describe the available customer loyalty programs to help assure repeat business.

Retaining Customers Provide Repeat Business

Your marketing can't focus only on new customers; you also need to provide great service along with top customer loyalty programs in order to retain customers. Although it's outside of your control, when the economy is down you need your loyal clients to stay with you. To return to the above examples, people who have their groceries delivered will continue during a sluggish economy, but people aren't likely to take it on as a new service, and when people eat out less, they tend to go to their favorite restaurants rather than trying new ones. Staying afloat with repeat business is crucial during such times. As a matter of fact, it may be the perfect time to add a reference program to your regular rewards so when the economy recovers you'll be ready to hit the ground running with a bundle of new clients.

Ways to Reward Customer Loyalty

The most basic of top customer loyalty programs is to reward customer loyalty and repeat business with discounts or special offers. Essentially, you're giving them cash under the concept of, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Such a program works well, but there are more creative approaches to the process if you work with a specialty rewards program provider and utilize the resources available. To continue the example provided, it can provide multiple benefits for a grocery delivery company to provide credits toward a merchandise catalog specializing in kitchen equipment. First, you can negotiate prices so your customers get more than you have to pay for. Secondly, you may be able to work a deal in which the catalog references your company so people see your name who wouldn't otherwise know about your services. The most immediate benefit is someone who gets a new kitchen gadget is going to buy more groceries to try out new recipes.

Balancing Rewards Between New and Consistent Customers

The use of tiered levels of top customer loyalty programs provides the means to draw new customers, recognize casual users of your service, and reward regular repeat clients. An original discount towards the first purchase attracts new customers, repeat credits with purchases proves your worthiness of the client's extended loyalty, and higher level rewards programs give the client reason to continue using your service rather than trying out a competitor as they save up toward a larger gift. A very basic business concept is to show your customers how much you value them, and they will in turn show how much they appreciate the service you provide. Top customer loyalty programs along with providing great service is how you attain such a goal.