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CUSTOMER LOYALTY

Pandemic brings new trends to customer loyalty programmes

By our News Team | 2022

Organisations have had to rethink their relationships with customers, meaning traditional tactics are no longer being sufficient.

Globally, 75% of consumers surveyed have admitted to favouring brands that offer rewards. And with the same research highlighting that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, the need to embrace loyalty as an enabler for growth cannot be ignored. 

According to LoyaltyPlus, a company specialising in customer loyalty strategies, the pandemic has forced organisations to rethink their relationships with customers, meaning traditional tactics are no longer sufficient. This has resulted in several interesting trends to watch over the coming months.

“If ever there was a time for loyalty to prove its worth, then it is now. More than ever, brands must remain engaged with their customers to cultivate deeper relationships that reflect the uncertainties of the current environment,” says Nic Roets, International Consultant at the company.

Customer Loyalty

Photo by RF Studio from Pexels

“A cornerstone of this is for loyalty to evolve and bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds more effectively. With this comes the need to relate to a brand on an emotional level instead of a purely commerce-driven one.” 

Shifting customer expectations

Catering for the notions of customer demands and expectations has always been challenging; this has become more pronounced over the past two years. Customers expect brands to provide value while still being affordable, Roets explains.

He believes a careful balancing act is required between delivering benefits relatable to the new normal, while still providing the brand opportunity to reach its revenue targets.

“Of course, this does not mean that the loyalty programme should throw out the tactical interventions that were successful in the past. It is about enhancing them with tweaked offerings that better cater for a world that sees social distancing, online shopping and a more value-conscious consumer dominating,” Roets notes.

Being authentic is vital

One of the biggest mistakes any brand can make is to lose its authenticity in the pursuit to drive growth. Consumers want to interact with companies who share similar values. Products must reinforce the lifestyle of the target audience while continually maintaining the relationship between brand and customer.

“This is where two-way communication becomes critical. Brands must ask their customers what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Being authentic is all about listening to the consumer market and responding to that with relevant products, as opposed to forcing something that simply does not fit into the belief system of the customer,” adds Roets.

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