Reimagining and growing customer loyalty in a digital world
By our News Team | 2021
Around 80% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a better experience. Can ‘loyalty’ practitioners leverage this?
Most of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Creating customer loyalty requires a company’s loyalty programme to become part of a brands’ operational policies. It cannot simply be bolted on as an afterthought, giving discount on products.
Approximately 80% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a better experience. It seems, therefore, that the solution is to create loyalty through improved experiences in a digital world. This requires a different approach.
Nic Roets, International Consultant at customer loyalty specialists, LoyaltyPlus, says: “It is easy to write off rewards programmes as something to be used for short-term promotional giveaways or monthly specials. However, their potential to revitalise the customer experience is significant.
“Much of how these initiatives are positioned comes down to whether the company approaches them as rewards or loyalty programmes.”
Photo by Clay Banks
Creating value by motivating customers
In the case of the former, it is about creating value by motivating customers to try a product or service. Yes, this is important, but there is little longevity associated with that. The business must identify how to give the best value possible to its best customers. And this is where loyalty comes in.
“Some customers use many store programmes to ‘chase the special’ and are not brand loyal at all. Others exclusively purchase certain brands, but are often disappointed that their loyalty is not rewarded in more innovative ways than a discount, or something similar.
“These customers are not influenced by pricing. Instead, they want a personal service that reflects how the brand values their business and approaches them on an individual level,” explains Roets.
Invariably, those loyalty programmes that are the most successful are built around the value they provide. They connect with customers on a deeper level. Beyond the experience, this talks to how the brand is giving back to the community. Also whether there are charitable donations and choices of welfare or charity programmes taking place.
“Brands must realise that they can no longer afford to have loyalty programmes that are not integrated into the broader business strategy,” emphasises Roets.