THE MAJOR FACTORS BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM – TIPS 16 TO 20.

  • Posted by careers 16 Mar
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THE MAJOR FACTORS BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM – TIPS 16 TO 20.

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To continue in our series, please find below tips 16 to 20, we trust that you have starting thinking more about your customer loyalty processes and objectives to enable true Customer Loyalty which will ensure that your customers are emotionally tied to your brand and therefore making it impossible to switch.

  1. Building a database that can really create loyalty

There’s a myth that says most companies have enough data about their customers to conduct successful marketing campaigns. But, in fact, some of the largest firms in the world have not assembled the personal identities and key contact information of their largest customers into a single database. Instead, the information resides in the minds, drawers, or handheld PDAs of their sales representatives. Rarely is it warehoused as it should be. The amount of junk mail the average consumer gets today proves the point: despite talk of CRM, it hasn’t improved relationships between consumers and their suppliers. The problem is that properly implementing a customer database is far more difficult than ever imagined. A customer loyalty programme’s unifying effect on data, if the data structure is properly planned based on clearly set-out business objectives, forms the basis of relationship-based campaigns, for example, my bank is very close to my office and I use the ATM on the same day every week, with the appropriate customer and transaction data, if my pattern changes with me making withdrawals on another ATM same days of the week, the bank could send me an email with: “Desola, we see you’ve moved – here’s a list of all the ATM’s around you to get you started”.  Or if my bank with my salary account notices that I now have a higher pay, they could send me an email informing me of products I could invest in.

  1. Becoming truly customer-centric

Most businesses are, by nature, either product-centric or service-centric. Remember the days when business owners knew their customers by name, and knew their personal preferences – and just about everything else there was to know about them? Those who have realised the value of a customer-centric approach have thrived: examples are the Tesco Club card programme in the UK, widely regarded as one of the best loyalty programmes in the world, and the Nectar retail coalition programme, which very quickly signed up 13 million members, representing half of the UK’s households. But adopting a customer-centric approach generally involves changing several procedures, including: marketing, sales and service applications must be merged seamlessly; differentiation based on products or services must be changed to differentiation based on customers; reactive service must be swapped for proactive service; and data that’s segmented by products must be segmented by customers instead. Again, the loyalty programme’s data is already customer-centric by its very nature, and the implementation of a loyalty programme is a vital opportunity to merge cross-department data silos.

  1. Ensuring the success of a loyalty programme

There are dozens of elements that are critical to the long-term success of any customer loyalty or relationship marketing initiative. First, these programmes are definitely not a ‘quick fix’ for an ailing corporate bottom line. It takes time to build loyalty because loyalty is based on trust- and relevance-based relationships with best customers. Accurately targeted marketing is a benefit of loyalty data, and is essential if the programme is to be seen as ‘relevant’ by its members. Other secrets of success include: gaining consumer buy-in, knowing your customers, rewarding only the right behaviour, rewarding and recognising customers in the right circumstances, spotting defection patterns, insights into customer lifecycles, making sure rewards are attainable, recovering the programme’s costs in a reasonable time, well timed and relevant communications, keep the programme simple to understand and use, measuring campaigns and results continually, acquiring new customers, having unique and uncopiable benefits on offer (as a barrier to entry for competitors in the same space), empowering your staff to make the right decisions under all circumstances, and of course making the customer’s life easy.

  1. Detailed planning and careful execution

The list of issues to consider and pre-plan when designing a loyalty programme is enormous: there are hundreds – sometimes thousands (depending on programme complexity) – of individual action points that have to be worked through before a programme can confidently be called “a success”. Indeed, any failure to address some of the more important points could result not only in a failed programme but also unrecoverable expenses, lost consumer good will, legal problems, and lasting brand damage. The loyalty consultancy and management company ICLP uses a comprehensive list, of which the following are just a few of the more important issues to be defined: Loyalty programme markets and objectives; strategy (programme type, proposition, communications, partnerships, infrastructure, etc.); objectives, key process flows, KPIs, rewards, benefits, financials, and timelines; desired behavioural changes; benefits and rewards, type, tracking, communicating, reward currency, breakage, and liability; partnership details; tiers (both thresholds and management); financial and administrative controls; legal aspects; staff requirements and training; ROI; programme rules; system functionality; fulfilment process and costs; data requirements and usage; and the list goes on. There is much to be planned for a well-executed programme.

  1. Use the six Ps of customer loyalty marketing

Loyalty programmes have become necessary due to vast customer bases and market sizes, according to The Allegiant Group, which suggests adding two new ‘Ps’ to the well-known ‘Four Ps of Marketing’ (those being Product, Price, Place and Promotion). The two newcomers that stand to benefit the customer loyalty marketer are People and Performance People (and how they affect customer loyalty) are an increasingly important part of the marketing mix, and

the Performance of the entire enterprise, and its quality and consistency therein, is increasingly critical to delivering products and services in a way that engenders loyalty and repeat purchasing behaviour. Other critical success factors in the development and management of successful loyalty initiatives include: strategy and economics, the features and benefits offered by the programme, the methodology of the reward component, and the metrics and measurements used to track the effect of the programme.

I trust that you find these tips helpful and can implement most of them in your businesses, please note that the key to these tips are the principles and logic not the examples and they can all be implemented for any customer facing business.

We look forward to sending you the next 5 tips next week. Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions or comments on how to improve our newsletter.

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