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Off and On: What Consumers Do and Don’t Want in a Loyalty Program

Many businesses introduce loyalty programs in the hopes of attracting new customers and turning occasional customers into loyal brand advocates. Take a look at the loyalty program benefits that US consumers say motivate them more – or less – and compare this list against your own loyalty marketing strategy.

by: Elizabeth Kraus

Give ‘Em What they Want: Are Your Loyalty Program Benefits Getting the Job Done?

Nielsen study shows what loyalty program benefits are most effective in motivating consumers so that you can meet your business marketing and growth goals. How does your customer loyalty program measure up?

If you are considering a loyalty marketing program for your business or want your company’s loyalty program to do a better job in meeting customer-attraction and other marketing goals, you might want to check out a new global study by the consumer opinion experts at Nielsen. This new study details the types of benefits that work best in the US as well as other parts of the world.

Overwhelmingly, consumers indicated that discounted and free products are what they want most in a loyalty program. Here are the top five benefits listed by US consumers in the 2013 Nielsen loyalty study:

  • 75% – Discounted or free products
  • 42% – Free shipping
  • 25% – Exclusive products or events
  • 24% – Enhanced customer service
  • 12% – Special shopping hours

In the same study, consumers were also asked what factors would make them opt-out of a brand’s loyalty program. These were the top six responses:

  • 50% – Program too expensive
  • 43% – Not shopping enough with the brand to receive the benefits
  • 37% – Program is too complicated
  • 30% – Didn’t like the benefits offered
  • 27% – Too many program communications
  • 25% – Did not want to give out personal information

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Customer Loyalty Program

Do you know what you want your customer loyalty program to accomplish? If you want your loyalty program to help you increase profitability or margins, offering the discounts or freebies consumers said they want most in a brand loyalty program could actually hurt your bottom line.

Defining loyalty program goals is essential to identifying and providing the types of rewards that will help you meet your targets. The benefits that help you convert occasional customers to more frequent shoppers could be different than the type of benefits that will help you attract new customers in the first place.

Here are some potential goals that could help you design a more effective customer loyalty program; should loyalty rewards help you:

  • attract new clients
  • motivate clients to shop more often
  • cause existing customers to shop with you on a greater number of channels (online as well as in-store, at an affiliate site, etc.)
  • incentivize customers to spend more per visit
  • stimulate referrals

If you answered “all of the above” or identified more than one goal for your loyalty program, you may wish to consider launching more than one type of customer loyalty program; at a minimum, you may need to offer different rewards in order to trigger different types of behaviors.

For instance, offering a Buy-One-Get-One offer may help you with new customer attraction or referrals, but it goes against the other goals which lead to bigger margins or profits per customer. One size simply may not fit all when it comes to your customer loyalty program.

In addition, when designing (or re-tooling) your brand loyalty program, make sure that you try to avoid consumer loyalty program turn offs:

  • If there is a cost associated for loyalty program members, make sure that benefits outweigh costs or add a money back or partial refund guarantee
  • Consider increasing benefits accrued (if customer’s aren’t shopping often enough to get benefits from the program) or offer increased benefits at tiered levels to incentivize customers to shop often enough to realize member benefits
  • Let customers choose from a range of rewards
  • Survey members to see whether their benefit preferences are changing on a regular basis, such as annually at the time of renewal
  • Let customers choose channels and type of communication they want to receive and make it easy to opt out or change their preferences online
  • Don’t require loyalty program members to reveal information they don’t want to share, and reduce information requested to only what is most necessary to administer the program

A loyalty program can help you meet your marketing goals, grow your business and become more profitable, especially if you take a strategic approach. Tailor your loyalty program to reflect specific business goals and to reflect the preferences of your customers and you are far more likely to get the results that you desire.

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For more information:
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abc, food truck marketing, food truck rental, Uncategorized

Using Advanced Tech to Measure Customer Experience

Companies that can differentiate themselves will be the ones that can derive value and drive customer engagement based on data analysis of emotional responses. – using-advanced-tech-to-measure-customer-experience.

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By Krishnan Ramanujam

Think for a moment of the last time you shared a negative experience on your social channels, or when you conducted research from your mobile device before making a purchase in a store. More likely than not, these actions are second nature to you as they are for most consumers who consider multiple personalized touch points with a brand or product—including online, social, mobile, in store, etc.—to be the norm.

And it is.

However, for businesses, regardless of industry, this shift in customer communications is transformational. It is compelling companies to redefine traditional business and customer experience (CX) strategies in order to enable faster scaling, real-time engagement, and new innovation models that will retain and build customer loyalty.

 

The key is to identify what makes each individual consumer tick by understanding their personal experience, feedback and preferences, and then standardizing that experience across all touch points to meet that customer’s expectations. It may sound like a daunting task, but, in many ways, the hard work has been done. Consumers are already talking with brands; it’s just a matter of listening to what they say.

Today’s customers are providing businesses with a treasure trove of rich, real-time data, and the latent power of that information is immense. It should be used to inform business strategies and, more importantly, is an opportunity for companies to make educated deductions about how their customers’ needs will evolve in the future so that they can plan accordingly and improve customer retention.

The data that companies are mining is not just objective or transactional. It is emotional and includes highly subjective opinions from customers who are expressing either satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their experience with a company or product. This subjective and emotional feedback is the most critical for companies to note.

In fact, our customers have told us that the “voice of the customer” is ranked highly as both a short- and long-term priority for their businesses because it affects key business goals, including customer retention and revenue growth. It will become even more important in the coming years as brands compete for customer loyalty in an increasingly crowded market. The companies that are able to differentiate themselves will be the ones that are able to derive value and drive customer engagement based on data analysis of both subjective and emotional responses.

In order to do this effectively, companies must first strengthen and refine existing data-mining efforts. Here are two guidelines for achieving that:

· Ensure that the back office is fully integrated with the front office (or the consumer touch-points and interfaces) to provide a seamless customer experience.

· Standardize all data being collected in order to translate subjective (emotional) data to objective (actionable) information.

With these tasks accomplished, a brand can then identify the CX pain points it needs to address. Businesses can leverage this data to predict future responses to situations, products or services, and through sophisticated and automated analysis, can identify ways to deliver improved solutions for their customers.

For example, in the commercial banking sector, customers are faced with a variety of options and opportunities. Banks must aggressively differentiate themselves, and many are adopting CX programs that focus on driving customer loyalty.

Consider this client, a global retail and private bank that wanted to change the overall customer expectation of banking for its more than eight million customers serviced via an extensive branch network, online channels and customer call centers. The bank acknowledged the pressing need to develop a CX strategy that was capable of monitoring the conversations currently occurring, evaluating customer feedback and opinion, and standardizing experiences across platforms and geographies.

By tapping into the advanced technology tools available to them, this global bank created a 360-degree view of the customer that was focused on not only acquiring and engaging new customers, but also on activating, sustaining and retaining existing customers. The bank created a repository of all customer data, which was then mined to create personalized offers and recommendations saved to a customer portal that was available to all bank employees.

This approach ensured that regardless of the point of contact, customers would get the same level of service and receive a consistent message that was tailored specifically to them. The result was an enhanced customer experience, which drove loyalty for the bank’s brand.

This is just one example of how companies can harness the power of technology in order to build customer loyalty through personalized experiences. Looking ahead, it will be increasingly important for companies, regardless of who their customers are, to tap into this data to stay ahead of the competition. When done correctly, the value of a personalized, data-driven approach to customer engagement is immeasurable.

See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/crm/using-advanced-tech-to-measure-customer-experience.

 

 

 

 

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