Customer Loyalty, One and Done Programs and the Joy of Detox


Share on LinkedIn

It was a week long and I was dedicated, motivated and excited the whole time. [Ok, fine. It was a long week that kicked off with me hallucinating from starvation and included moments where I was ready to tear the door off my fridge – but it ended on a high note with a 5lb weight loss, a hard earned sense of accomplishment and a tear jerking reunion with a bottle of red zin.] Goal met, I’ve moved right along with no real intention of enduring said detox again. But the process has me thinking about the ‘one hit’ relationships we have with certain brands. How can they bring us back after we’ve reached a goal – after we think we’re done?

Using my own experience and preferences as a starting point, I’ve thought of a couple ways that a brand who sells ‘one and done’ products or services could secure my loyalty, re-engage me and make me want to ‘do it all again’:

alt text
1) Connect with me during my journey: In the aforementioned example – I wasn’t enrolled in any type of formal program… it was merely a week long eating plan I read about on a blog. Had I enrolled in something formal and relinquished contact information, (ie, email address or phone number) I would have welcomed encouragement during the journey. I had to buy all kinds of exotic ingredients (easier said than done around here – dried bonito flakes? Really?) I also had to organize my meals by preparing them the night before. I was totally immersed in the process each day and would have welcomed an email or text message with tips on how to save time preparing. I would have been delighted if my foursquare check-in at the natural foods store had generated a discount on the incredibly expensive ingredients I had to buy, or even if a consolidated shopping list had magically appeared via text. These types of interactions would have just made the big price tag that much easier to swallow and it would have kept me engaged and encouraged.

2) Know what my results are: Most programs (like this detox) focus on the end game – pure results. So it would make sense if the brand a) knew my actual results b) helped me benchmark the results (I LOVE feeling at least better than average) and c) sent me personalized encouragement. If I had reported my progress in real time (for example on a mobile app) and received feedback and encouragement that was personalized to me “way to go Jenn, just 2 more days until you can reward yourself with a glass of wine.” I would have loved it. No one likes to feel like they are doing it alone. Even some sort of encouragement from others like me would have been really well received too: “You and 10 others are on day 3, see what they have to say, click here…” I would have clicked – if for nothing more to reaffirm that misery loves company.

3) Remind me of my success: So after it’s all said and done, and I’m enjoying my normal diet again – you can bet a timely reminder via email or text: “Those jeans still loose, or is it time for us to break out the juicer again?” would get noticed. Because no, my jeans aren’t loose anymore. (bummer) Point is – remind me of my results and re-engage me.

4) Give me incentive to try again: A split second after remembering how elated I was to fit into my jeans my mind would snap back to how difficult the program was to stick to and how expensive it was. If a brand were serious about customer loyalty and getting me to try the program again, the next logical step would be to incent me with a personalized invitation to come back. That could come in any format – a discount card for my favorite place to buy jeans? (creative!), a coupon to my local whole foods? (not as subtle, but maybe more effective) or most obvious – a discount to re-enroll if there was a fee to start with.

Bottom line: single use products and one hit programs have a huge challenge in creating customer loyalty or repeat business. The very nature of an end goal (like a weight loss program) sort of sets them up for that. Obviously, everyone wants to ‘maintain’ when they reach a personal goal like weight loss or better fitness in general – but very few people are ready to part with money for maintenance if they don’t have to.

My advice: Use the right combination of technology and customer insight to keep customers like me engaged. Be in it with me, remind me of my success and lure me back with incentives. Seems logical, right? The technology to pull this off exists today (insert self serving sentence at end of blog post here.) The question becomes, do brands know how to use the technology that exists to execute on this type of customer loyalty/retention strategy? Hint: it requires multi channel interaction management, adaptive decision support and the ability to pull customer data from anywhere at any time. We will continue this thought on a later post. Right now I have to go juice some beets and chard…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jenn VonHagen
Jenn is the CMO for Swyft Technology. She directs all things marketing at Swyft, aggressively building the brand as the leader in multichannel interaction management. With nearly a decade of SaaS technology experience as a product marketing and online campaign manager, Jenn helped grow the brand and customer base at both Vurv Technology and Taleo Corporation. When she's not hopped up on coffee - amplifying the virtues of Swyft, she's running (in no particular direction) and keeping up with two kids and a husband.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here