Loyalty 101: The Good and the Bad


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I’m a fan of my local regional yogurt shop. And when I say fan, I mean I am there all the time. I’m not certain if it’s the ability to add my own toppings or that it’s a healthier alternative to Paciugo, but when they recently offered me the opportunity to join their Yogurt Club, I was all over it.

What started off with the best intentions left me a bit underwhelmed. (I was going to say that I was a bit “soured” by the experience, but thought the pun was too obvious.)

The associate at the cash register asked if I was a member of their Club. (Good!). When I said no, she handed me a card and offered me 500 points if I wanted to join today. (Good!) She then swiped my card and told me to go online to finish the registration process. (Not so good.)

While the associate did her job, the chain seemed to fail on several levels. There was no conversation about the program or its benefits. (Bad.) There was no collateral or information on the program given to me, so I had to rely on the plastic membership card (Bad). I remembered that I had to go online to finish the process, but without supporting marketing collateral, I turned to the membership card. The card contained only legalese and a membership number. It failed to provide a URL or web address (Very Bad).

Now, as I said, I’m a big fan of this chain, so I took the time to do a web search for their brand name. Unfortunately, I found no mention of their program. I did however get a link to a PDF of the FAQs. The FAQs sadly failed to include mention on how to complete my registration or give me a URL to go to. (Really bad.)

After ten minutes or so of digging, I found what I needed and I completed my registration. Ten minutes digging online may be a bit much to expect of the average consumer, but as I said, I am a fan.

Immediately after finishing my online registration, I received an email (Good) confirming that I had successfully completed the process. However, the email failed to reinforce the benefits, offer me any reason to change my weekly behavior, or ask for me to refer a friend (Bad. Bad. Bad.)

It’s been two weeks since completing my registration and becoming a member. I haven’t heard from the retailer since.

When enrolling a new member in your loyalty program, don’t forget the basics:

  • Make it simple to sign up—don’t expect the customer to do too much.
  • Provide them ample information to fulfill any activity you give them.
  • Reinforce the benefits of your program and clearly articulate the behaviors you expect of them to earn rewards.
  • Communicate with your customer base on a regular basis.

Has this experience left a bad taste in my mouth? Well, I’m still a big fan, but I’d be a bigger fan of their loyalty program had they leveraged their good start by giving the program a generous dose of extra toppings.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Dilger
As a LoyaltyOne consultant, Guy advises on best practices in all areas of loyalty marketing, including program development and implementation, relationship marketing strategy and tactical planning and execution. He draws on a wealth of experience in creating loyalty solutions for high-profile brands, with a particular expertise in supporting strategic marketing goals with innovative tactics designed to drive revenue and market share.


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