Is Your Customer Loyalty Program Following the Trend?


Share on LinkedIn

Customer Loyalty CardAmer­i­can Express per­formed a sur­vey, where results dis­cov­ered “seven in ten Amer­i­cans (70%) are will­ing to spend an aver­age of 13% more with com­pa­nies they believe pro­vide excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice.” Many com­pa­nies use Cus­tomer Loy­alty Pro­grams as a way to cater to their best cus­tomers, and to offer new cus­tomers a rea­son to come back.

Cus­tomer Loy­alty Pro­grams have become a pop­u­lar way to fre­quently, instantly and con­ve­niently reward your cus­tomers. Pro­grams in all types of for­mats exist—we are all a mem­ber of one or another—from cof­fee house punch cards to fre­quent flyer miles. Increas­ing your cus­tomers’ loy­alty will yield your com­pany profit over time, will cre­ate a fol­low­ing of fans who turn into brand advo­cates, and will be less expen­sive than start­ing a new cus­tomer acqui­si­tion program.

…what can you do to boost per­for­mance? Here are a few pro­gres­sive ideas:

  • Have you heard of “arti­fi­cial advance­ment?” Two con­sumer researchers con­ducted a cus­tomer loy­alty exper­i­ment at a local car wash, giv­ing half of the 300 loy­alty card-holders an 8-punch card, and the other half a 10-punch card with 2 head-start punches (same con­cept with an arti­fi­cial advance­ment: 8 washes = free wash). The head-start card-holders had a 34% suc­cess rate! Long story short? Offer your cus­tomers endowed progress when they join, or dur­ing spe­cial times of the week or month.
  • What other options can you pro­vide a cus­tomer, other than dis­counts, points, or free prod­ucts after pur­chases? Patag­o­nia, an environmentally-friendly out­door cloth­ing com­pany, started the Com­mon Threads Ini­tia­tive, where their cur­rent cus­tomers can resell their gen­tly used Patag­o­nia gear online through the com­pany web­site (pow­ered by an eBay engine). Not only do cus­tomers have an easy way to resell their unused apparel, but they are assist­ing in the company’s ini­tia­tive to decrease their car­bon foot­print. This type of loy­alty pro­gram is deeply engaged into the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence ver­sus just giv­ing your cus­tomer rewards for stay­ing loyal.
  • Punchh, a Cal­i­for­nia based soft­ware com­pany, invented a vir­tual punch card that brings that ‘old school’ notion into the tech­nol­ogy age, where cus­tomers who down­load a Punchh app from par­tic­i­pat­ing ven­dors receive vir­tual card punches for bring­ing refer­rals in to the ven­dor, and for post­ing reviews on social media net­works. And of course cus­tomers receive “punch­hes” for repeat business.

In short, that there are many ways to dream up inno­v­a­tive Cus­tomer Loy­alty Pro­grams. In sim­ple terms, focus on the fol­low­ing while cre­at­ing and imple­ment­ing your Cus­tomer Loy­alty Program:

  • Con­sider the customer’s expe­ri­ence, not just their purchase
  • Offer dif­fer­ent ways for your cus­tomers to be loyal – punch cards may be still be in use, but so are mobile apps, for example
  • Remem­ber the KISS method: Keep it Short & Sim­ple (sure, there may be another acronym for this but for today’s blog we’ll use this one)… Loy­alty pro­grams that are easy to fol­low and use are bet­ter for consumers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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