Brands today are going the extra mile to connect with their consumers. Whether it is offering great offers and benefits or giving their regular and loyal consumers exclusive privileges, brands are doing everything possible to retain their existing customers while also trying to get new customers on board. Gaining customer loyalty has been one of the most important things for brands over the last couple of years. And that is why it is important to have a loyalty program that is able to cut through the clutter and appeal to the customers enough to retain them and turn them into valuable brand endorsers.
As the need to have a great customer loyalty program in place increases, here are some trends to watch out for in 2020
- Emotional or behavioral-based loyalty programs
Traditional loyalty programs were mostly based on rational benefits like point systems, cashback and reward systems, and behavioral models (paid subscriptions like Amazon Prime). However, over the years, emotional loyalty has proven to have higher longevity. Emotional loyalty deals with the ‘Why’ aspect of the offering – why does a consumer choose your brand over the other? Why does he pay more for a product when he chooses one brand over another? Emotional loyalty driven programs focus on building and strengthening relationships with the customer by offering personalized solutions and experiences by creating micro-engagement. It is also used to build long-term relationships.
- Hyper-personalization will be the leader of all trends
Customer loyalty programs that go with the whole ‘one size fits all’ principle when it comes to offering loyalty benefits will become obsolete. Customer loyalty programs will be judged and subscribed to basis their ability to customize rewards and communication based on the requirements, preferences, interests, behavior, and needs of every individual customer. AI-related technology will be of great help to brands to understand the choices and behavioral patterns of their customers and predict their needs and requirements.
- Omnichannel reward programs – a win-win situation
Omnichannel loyalty programs focus on providing a great experience to customers across all touchpoints – these include social media, websites, as well as in-store point of sale. Customers interact with your brand across multiple channels and expect the communication to be seamless. Omnichannel loyalty programs ensure that you as a brand are able to interact with the customer at every possible touchpoint and reward the customer with the currency of their choice – whether it is cashback, discounts, points, or frequent flier miles. This, in turn, encourages the consumer to engage with your brand on every possible channel.
Whereas, for brands, it not only helps build a strong relationship with customers but also helps boost sales. Customers tend to trust brands more and even suggest them to other people.
Since customers spend most of their time on mobiles more than any other device, the best way to reach them is through mobile apps and gamification. While not many brands consider having apps as a part of their loyalty programs many big brands have already harped on this trend and witnessed great success. Gamification not only makes your program more fun and interesting, but it also tends to lead to more engagement. You can also look at incentivizing certain behaviors of your customers to your benefit. For e.g. those who do not purchase frequently can be given incentives to get their friends to download and sign-up on your app.
Geolocation can work wonders for a brand. Geolocating loyalty programs use geofencing, WIFI, and Bluetooth beacons to push offers and promotions to customers. They send out a location-specific notification to loyalty members.
For brands to survive the cut-throat competition and establish a strong place for themselves, it will become imperative to have customer loyalty programs that cut through the clutter and are hyper-personalized as per the needs of the customers.
- Customer Retention: The most important objective of having a customer loyalty program is to retain customers for their loyalty and repeat purchase behavior. And the best way to retain a customer or ensure his complete loyalty is by offering him products/offers that might interest him. You also end up saving a lot of money trying to get new customers since your existing customers often act as brand endorsers. Word of mouth publicity usually helps garner more customers since it comes from a verified and trustworthy source. People are more likely to trust friends/people who are existing customers of a brand than they would trust an ad.
Thus, a great customer loyalty program is of great help to not only retain your existing customers but to also get new customers on-board.
- Better and personalized communication: With a well-designed customer loyalty program you can directly communicate with your customers, which is a great way to create recall and stay on top of the mind of your customers. Since you have the liberty to communicate with your customers directly, it makes it easier and quicker to communicate with your customers about offers, benefits, and any other information that you would want to share with them. You can also personalize emails by matching them with the date of purchase or on the basis of the kind of purchase the customer makes. This helps strengthen the bond with your customer since you are only providing them information and offers that might be of interest and relevance to them.
- Great way to know your customer: An efficient customer loyalty program will help you not only communicate with your customer but will also help you delve deeper into their likes and dislikes. This in turn, can be useful to understand your customer better, create effective communication with them, give them offers and deals that will suit their tastes and needs.
- Lets the customer know you care: When you know the needs of your customers, you can customize offers and deals for them, thus making them feel that the brand thinks about them. This not only makes the customer feel that you care about them but is also effective in retaining a customer.
- Helps improve sales: The more options you offer, the more people will want to buy your products. With a good customer loyalty program, you can offer exclusive discounts, merchandise, freebies, to members. Once a customer gets used to your products, not only will you have his loyalty for life, but you also have an endorser who will promote your product to others.
nth Rewards is potentially the largest multi-brand loyalty platform designed by NPCI, to help brands engage & retain customers. You too can become a partner and ensure great visibility for your brand.