When it comes to building a rewards and recognition program, the interests of the customers should always come first. After all, they're the ones who would be claiming the perks and freebies that the program offers. If customers are simply not interested, then the program serves no purpose at all.
Customer loyalty is nurtured by giving customers what they want, and this idea should be at the heart of every customer rewards program. Therefore, business owners should get to know their customers first—from their profiles to their preferences to come up with a solid customer retention strategy.
Reward regular customers and encourage casual ones to make their dealings with you more frequent. Here are the ways you can build a rewards program that your customers will love.
1. Promote causes that your customers will support
The most effective way to capture the interest and loyalty of your current and potential customers is to appeal to them emotionally. However, this isn't about creating drama, rather establishing shared values between the business and customer.
A study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) on consumer behaviour and loyalty yielded a surprising result: Customers are loyal not to the brand per se, but to the beliefs that the business producing it espouses.
So, if your business has an advocacy that customers can empathize with such as a pledge to help the poor, a fight against injustice, or providing joy to children, they'll become more loyal to your business.
Apart from providing perks or discounts, infuse an advocacy within the program. For example, a percentage of every purchase made can proceed to a worthy cause. While this isn't a direct reward to your loyal customers, they'd still feel rewarded by the feeling of having supported a cause they believe in.
2. Tailor-fit your programs to your customers' preferences
The surefire way for customers to love your rewards program is for them to actually like what the program is offering them. Are your current pool of customers keener on receiving discounts, freebies, or perhaps exclusive services?
Find out what makes your customers tick and integrate that into your rewards program. When they feel that the rewards program is tailor-fit to their preferences, consumers become more motivated to avail it.
Strive for personalization when developing a rewards program for loyal customers. It can be as simple as offering different perks according to age brackets.
Customers will feel more likely to give your business their patronage if they see that you're exerting effort in catering to their specific needs.
3. Make sure that there’s something in the program that will truly benefit the customer
What's a rewards program if nothing adds value to your customers' lives? Make sure that your customers will find what you're offering appealing for them to devote time and effort to your program.
To do this, you must know your customers' profiles—what they buy, how much they spend on a purchase, or how frequent they visit your store. While it may seem tedious keeping track of all those information, it's the key to developing a program that customers will truly find beneficial.
4. Use social media
Nowadays, almost everyone has a social media account. Use that to your advantage by incorporating social media into your rewards program.
Social media integration makes the program more accessible to customers who check on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts at least once a day.
Instead of giving out coupons through the cashier, why not distribute them to customers who have checked in your store regularly on Facebook or Foursquare? This way, you'll be rewarding customers for their patronage and make it convenient for them to claim the freebie.
Using social media for your customer rewards program also enables you to reach out to younger demographics such as teens and those in their 20s. Customers in this age bracket are more likely to take on your offers if they see it delivered through a medium that they're familiar and comfortable with. In this case, social media—compared to traditional marketing tactics.
Reaching Out to Customers
Participation is the key to a successful rewards program. The best way to encourage customers to jump into your loyalty program is to make it relevant to their interests.
Tie your brand with a belief that your clients will likely support, use social media to make the program accessible, and make sure to listen to what they want. With these in mind, you can reach out to customers and give them the added value they deserve.
By Apple Pineda, Content Marketing Specialist, Avail.at who specialise in converting traditional performance based rewards programs, into one that is online, always-on, curated and efficient.