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Consumer Products and Services5 Reasons Your Loyalty Program May Not Be Working For You
You may have created your own loyalty program or you may be using a third party application or mobile app, but here are some of the reasons it may not be working for you and what you should be looking for in a rewards platform.
1. You can’t customize it to suit YOUR business.
Many third-party loyalty applications are based on a one-size fits all format where many other different businesses use the same format to create their loyalty program. How do you stand out? There are also some companies out there that create a loyalty program for you after they ask you some questions about your business (most likely the same questions they ask everyone else). My point is, only you know your business and your customers, so being able to customize your loyalty program the way it works for your business strategy, needs and goals is essential. You need to be able to:
(a) choose how many deals you want to give offer
(b) choose and vary the number of points for a particular deal you want to offer
(c) decide how long you want the deal to last
(d) decide how long you want it to show online
(e) offer your deals to a mass audience easily (and not just do this only with social media)
(f) be able to reward your most loyal customers, suppliers and employees within the same program
(g) create redemption offers so your customers can redeem their points for items/goods with your business
…and so much more!
It’s your loyalty program; you need complete control to be able to influence your customers (and the people that affect your business) the way it works for you.
2. The system you’re using isn’t flexible enough.
Does your loyalty program allow you to create a wide variety of deals such as discount, cash back, point per dollar (or equivalent currency), instant deals, freebie deals, redemption offers and more? Your customers need variety and you need to be able to create a wide range of deals to cater for their needs and interests. A cash back deal may not work for every business so you need a system flexible enough to let you create many types of deals (even create your own custom deals/activities) to determine what’s right for your business. You also need to be able to strategically influence your customers to come to your business over your competitors. To do this, you need to know what your competitors are offering and beat their offers without the expense of purchasing a whole separate system or doing time-consuming tasks like visiting their business every day. Does your current system provide this all for you in one automated program? What about other people besides your customers, that you do business with, such as your suppliers? Does your loyalty program let you reward them as well (B2B rewards)? If you’re able to reward your suppliers, chances are, you can receive better deals from them too.
3. You’re not engaging your customers.
Your customers demand great customer service and want to feel special. Does your loyalty program not only let you create deals and redemption offers, but does it also let you create contests and treasure hunts to guide them to your specific products/services? Does it use engaging and rewarding concepts such as gamification, to give them status and virtual badges to keep them truly engaged and coming back because they had fun doing business with you? Engagement is the new secret weapon.
4. You’re relying on programs that are purely social.
Many third-party loyalty programs focus highly on social media (i.e. “Get your friends to like us on Facebook and earn a reward!” or “Share our content on social media and we’ll give you a reward!” and so on). Truth is, most people use social media, like Facebook, to interact with their friends and post stuff about themselves because let’s face it, we’re self-indulged individuals. Many people don’t like to be spammed by their friends on Facebook or Twitter just so their friends can get a rewards and promote your business. My point is, don’t give your loyalty program to Facebook; you should want your customers to interact with your business directly, not through your Facebook or Twitter account.
5. You’re not finding out enough about your customers.
You need access to easily understandable, valuable and get-to-the-point analytics that show how your deals are performing and your customer activity. Can you see the number of customers that have tried your loyalty program, but haven’t joined it yet? Can you see the number of customers that were gained from referrals? Can you see all the deals you created (purchase deals, discount deals, freebie deals, etc.) and which type(s) performed the best? Who are my top 5 customers and how can I exclusively reward them? In-depth, valuable analytics giving you key details you need to know are essential to understanding if your loyalty program is competitive and effective.
Take this away:
All of the above must be in one affordable and simple to use loyalty program. By maintaining control and giving your customers value and variety, your loyalty program is more effective and valuable for you and all the people that affect your business.