Do you know if your loyalty programme is really working?

Most businesses boil down to a really simple equation:

The cost of acquiring and servicing a customer must be less than the amount of money they give to you. And every business only has so many levers to pull: Keep customers for longer. Encourage more frequent purchases. Increase transaction value.  One of the best ways to pull these levers is by offering your customers incentives and rewards to drive the customer behaviour that you want. These nudges are often bundled together into a Loyalty Programme.

Are your customers engaged with your brand’s programme?

The very first question to ask is whether your customers care about what you’re offering?  After all, they’re unlikely to behave more favourably if they don’t participate in the scheme, or are underwhelmed with its offers. Therefore, participation and redemption rate are key measures to see if your programme is working.

Solid customer research is your friend here, determining what your core customer segments value and how you can provide it to them.  And if you have an existing programme, customer research is better late than never – drilling into needs and wants and aligning your programme can only be a benefit to your customers.

Are you rewarding transactional behaviour or generating customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty as a category can feel very transactional.  How many customers feel a deep affinity for your brand and how many just like free stuff? Most CMOs wouldn’t like this answer.

There is a school of thought that says “does it matter if targets are being hit?” That’s valid and generating true loyalty is easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

The overall customer experience is crucial to the success of a customer loyalty programme.  A slick, well-designed experience that removes friction and is supported by brilliant customer service is the play here.  Rewards, incentives and micro-engagements that are tight to the brand and are offered throughout the customer lifecycle, and not just at renewal time, are crucial to establishing a level of brand affinity that goes above and beyond a purely transactional relationship.

Does your programme drive better business outcomes?

This is the really big question.  A loyalty programme costs money to implement.  Programme management, software and any rewards and incentives are all very real costs.

To find the true benefit of running any programme you must subtract the total costs of running the entire programme from the upside seen in better customer behaviour, and therefore better lifetime values. It is crucially important to monitor and analyse performance to make sure that your programming is truly delivering better business outcomes.

I’m sure you get the picture – you must consider the cost implications carefully and make sure that your loyalty programme is actually delivering 1) Better customer behaviour 2) Better customer affinity and 3) Better overall business outcomes.

Here at Rocket we’re experts in tailoring bespoke loyalty and reward programmes that drive customer behaviour and deliver brand loyalty.  If you’d like to discuss making loyalty and rewards work for your company, please drop me a line at andy.huggins@rocketmarketinggroup.com or send me a message on LinkedIn.

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