Expert insights on how to engage customers and drive loyalty, from an opinion paper created by the ADMA Expert Community.
Loyalty programs are a key marketing strategy for many organisations. We see them all around us in coffee shops, airlines and shopping malls. Marketers agree on the concept of loyalty, but an actual definition can be difficult to isolate. The ADMA Expert Community gave it a go. Here are a few takeaways from the opinion paper they’d produced in the lead-up to Engage 2014 – ADMA’s annual customer experience conference.
Before you print your loyalty cards
A loyalty program is not a cure-all. Rather the program is part of a wider proposition that adds value for its consumers. Some of the major benefits are information and feedback, which can be used to drive customer-centric improvements across the business.
A well-implemented loyalty program requires the support of a number of stakeholders in an organisation. These stakeholders should be identified and their participation and agreement sought, with regular engagement encouraged. Stakeholders may include:
- the board
- customer service
- IT and business services
- brand and product
Brand passion is not enough
One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is gaining and retaining customers. Customers require a brand promise that is not only credible and compelling, but also establishes a personal connection with the potential customer. This promise gets the brand a ‘first date’, with the goal being a ‘brand marriage’ (brand loyalty).
But once customers are passionate about a brand, they need different things. Their loyalty needs to be maintained over the course of time:
Be present at touch points, which matter most to your customers and provide an emotional connection.
Customers are looking for the next experience and it is important a brand is delivering this to remain relevant and retain a customer’s loyalty.
3. Consistently deliver
Being consistent helps re-affirm your customers’ trust and credibility in your brand, and helps provide clarity of distinction from competitors.
4. Deliver personalised experiences
Create personalised, two-way interactions with your customers that are relevant and customised. Focus on building customer relationships.
Put a stamp on it
Get your data right and learn to count ‘stars’ on your customer’s loyalty cards. They expect a ‘heart’ from you, so don’t let them down.
Brands should always start with their customer and business data, not assumptions or external trends. Here are just some ‘test and learn’ principles:
Taking this approach, brands can capture, process and analyse the critical data to ensure that insights and recommendations for the program are adaptive to the changing needs of customers and the market.
Ultimately this provides clarity and certainty to your decisions, creating sustained competitive advantage. Loyalty is fundamentally a data-driven pursuit.
For more insights on how data and technology impact customer loyalty, go to ADMA’s Engage website to download the full paper.
To meet ADMA Experts and international customer experience gurus, book your tickets to attend ADMA Engage 2014 today.
Book tickets now.