If we surf on the web about a company working in a particular domain, let’s say an online shopping portal, we will come across tens and hundreds of company. But, there are very few which stand out. Has it ever occurred, why? What is that out of the box strategy that tactically makes them the best in the game?
Any business either established or blooming needs a model to concrete themselves in the market and that is provided by customer loyalty programs. Let’s understand what it means. Suppose I’m a customer who visits a particular grocery store to buy monthly ration. After a while, I decide to visit another grocery store in order to dispense the drabness. So, to keep the customer count intact, the owner will give some exciting offers and that is what customer loyalty programs are all about.
It’s a program that provides offers and incentives to the customers like merchandise, vouchers and discount coupons, etc. by the company which will aid in customer retention. Loyal customers will keep the revenue flowing as they spend more than the occasional customer. These programs can be easily managed with the help of loyalty program software.
Why choose Customer Loyalty Programs?
Introduction to a point-based system
A ledger like a system can be maintained in which a point, star or sticker will be credited after every purchase you make. The number of points will be based on the purchase amount.
Sephora provides a wide range of beauty products and cosmetics, generating most of their annual sales rate from millions of members by providing them with their point-based reward system.
The members can redeem their points for gift cards and discounts. Also, customers can use their points in whichever way they prefer.
Simplicity is better than complexity
If you want to captivate others, the best way to do so is to surprise them when they least expect it. In this case, you can over deliver by under-promising the customers.
WestJet is a Canadian airline that decided to take its outreach to another level. They used “Surprise and Delight” marketing strategy to enhance their customer base. During Christmas vacations, they asked their passengers to make a wish about a present they desire before boarding the plane. People were stunned to see that the baggage claim conveyor belt was flooded with gifts that they wished for. The company made a video of it and posted it online which not only represented brand loyalty but also created a fan base.
A bit of advancement could be made to point based system by introducing it to a tier. Minimum points are required to move to a tier, for example, from gold to silver, then platinum, thereafter diamond and so on. Also, offers will be bestowed accordingly.
Estee Lauder’s M.A.C has its own M.A.C program for their online customers which feature 3 tiers.
Based on the amount you spend, you are classified under 3 tiers. As the tiers succeed to the next level so do the features of such customer loyalty programs. More advanced the tier, more access to limited edition accessories, more complementary cosmetic products and more exclusive treatment.
Giving it a gaming interface
Similar to games, a leader board can be created in which customers could compete against each other in order to remain at topmost position in the chart. This will not only boom the business but also demonstrate the loyal buying behavior of the customer.
Computer programming is one of the vital pillars of IT sector. Sololearn is a website that aids you in learning and application of programming. It has a unique feature of granting XP points after every lesson and quiz that you take.
Also, there is a leader board that automatically ranks you on the local and global platform based on the XP points you earn. Giving an education website a gaming interface makes learning fun and engrossing.
There are many companies that partner with other companies to fascinate potential buyers. This will help in generating a strong customer base.
An example of this is Plenti Rewards. This system was created by American Express.
It allowed customers to make a variety of purchases and rewarded them with points. Plenti was not limited to a single company. It allowed you to earn points at one retailer and utilize it at another retailer. By working with other brands each brand is able to maximize the profit.
Create a community
There are certain companies that give referrals to redeem if you share about them with your friends and acquaintances, follow them on a social platform and review them for their services. This will give a credible aspect to the customer that the company or organization is very active in all the aspect and is capable of providing world-class service at all expense.
One of India’s largest network transportation companies, Ola, in its initial days and now seasonally offer a “refer and earn” scheme. This scheme offers a certain amount of money to customers who refer to them to their friends and family. The system helps the company to reach out to the community who weren’t a part of their service and also benefit the people who are already a part of it.
Don’t just ask your customers for money but also generate event triggered mail as an invitation gesture. Host a customer appreciation program to express your gratitude towards them.
Every year Marriott celebrates “Year of Surprises” as a part of its customer loyalty programs.
They ask people to tell them about someone in their life who deserve a celebration in an enthralling fashion; if they are selected, a surprise party would be thrown for that someone in a way that they will never forget.
Loyalty card program
Give them a loyalty card which will be punched after every successful purchase. Also, provide them with certain concessions over the loyalty card which will win their trust and help them stick to your brand
Citygro is customer retention and marketing software platform that offers a digital punch card system. You have to punch your digital card after every purchase. It keeps the tab of your history and informs you about any exclusive offer on items which you are likely to go after.
Give them a status
There are certain companies which give premium facility to their customers, indirectly giving them VIP status. The reason behind this strategy is to provide them with a special privilege that the premium members could only enjoy.
National car rental Emerald club offers an Emerald club Executive Elite membership that enables the premium customers to share their rental car experiences with the committee members of the program. It also helps them improvise their experience in the best possible way. The membership and revenue of the company have constructively escalated since its initiation.
Gifts on occasion
Birthdays, Anniversaries or any other occasion could be an excuse to surprise your customers by giving them gifts and celebrating with them.
Suja is an organic juice company that offers cold-pressed juice and smoothies. It started an “ItstheJuice” campaign in which the company used Instagram and Twitter to filter out different hashtags like #mondayblues, #feelingsick, #tired, etc. to track their customers who were having a bad day, exams or any other issues and reached out to them with a surprise juice delivery.
Customer loyalty is also heavily influenced by the relevance of your brand to the consumer. It is for this reason that marketers need to keep their outreach highly personalized. For instance, if your brand has a mailing list, it is important to adhere to all the email marketing best practices including the need to maintain a clean list, engaging subscribers and customer segmentation. Failing to do so, you may not only end up increasing unsubscriptions but also lose your customer’s loyalty to the brand. As a solution to this, you can consider implementing customer loyalty programs.
How can customer loyalty programs be implemented?
There is loyalty program software that could be used which comes under Customer Relation Management (CRM) software and Customer Engagement software. So, let’s apprehend the concept of this software and optimize their resourcefulness.
Customer Engagement Platform enables the business managers to interact with their customers and bond with them. Through this, you can reach loyal consumers via emails, messages or other social platforms which could be beneficial in building a strong CRM infrastructure. The benefits of using this platform are customization, real-time report, high revenue generation, and better customer service. Some of the top customer engagement software are Freshdesk, OptCulture, Interakt, Zoho Desk, WebEngage, etc.
CRM is another platform that enhances the quality of the relationship between the customer and the organization. Data analysis is used in this where the consumers’ data is stored along with sales lead and marketing data. The major benefit of this is that the client information is available on client interface and you don’t have to create a separate spreadsheet for every customer. Its flexible and can be customized with mobile access. It integrates analytics and also provides you consolidated data. Best CRM software for business is Salesmate CRM, FreshSales.io, Outwork AI, iCRM, etc.
List of Best Customer Loyalty Program Software
For any business, credit card processing is one of the significant processes involving interchange fees, gateway fees, qualifying and non-qualifying transaction, and other terms and conditions. Hectic, right? What if this process is made easy? Squareup is a financial and mobile payment app that outmaneuvers the orthodox credit card processing and let anyone accept credit cards with ease.
Customer Loyalty programs offered by Squareup:
Digital Punch card
Customers receive points after purchases
Allow customers to redeem their points to achieve higher tiers in order to get advance offers.
- Enrollment in this process is done using a phone number.
- Customers receive a text message if they earn points or reward hence keeping them updated.
- Reward the customer through the point of sale.
It’s beneficial for any business if it keeps track of customer history so that they can provide them with what they actually want. The squareup dashboard keeps track of loyalty program performance. Customers who have actually enrolled in this program have spent 37% more after joining; eventually, boosting sales and customer base.
What better solution can be suggested to slim your pocket from all the paper and plastic vouchers or cards? The only solution – Digitize it. This is exactly what Poket does. It is designed to make customer loyalty programs and CRM rewarding for both customers and merchants. Traditional customer loyalty programs involve various steps and paperwork before getting initiated whereas it requires a minute or less to register on Poket.
Poket offers an extensive Loyalty program:
- Stored value card / Gift card
- 1-tier Point System
- 2-tier Point System
- 3-tier Point System
- Discount Card System
- Punch Card System
- Package Card System
- Cash Back System
Customers can also be rewarded by sharing about it on different social media platforms. Also, it sends Emails, SMS, push notifications to customers and comprehends their preferences. Major reasons to use this software are
- Cost Effective
- Accessibility from anywhere and anytime
- Mobile Platform available
- Regular update
Overall, if you are looking for all in one digital customer reward solution, Poket is one of the best software to be benefitted from.
Fivestars is a marketing and loyalty system that provides support to local businesses. Fivestars is 10 times more effective than traditional marketing and can add up to $72K in revenue to the business. It is trusted by more than 13K+ business.
Loyalty program offered by Fivestars is as follows:
- It keeps track of the customer by creating a database of the consumer as soon as they log in to the system.
- As soon as the customer signs in, they get points and redeem rewards.
- It has a unique reward system where the reward could be used to earn free appetizer in your restaurant, an item from a store or any add-on services which they like.
- It monitors the entire loyalty performance on a dashboard and keeps both the customer and the client updated.
There are different startups, SMEs and agencies that use this platform for the betterment of their company.
Summing it up
Customer service is more than just asking the company employees to smile. It’s about training them to treat people in the way people want to be treated. It’s all about giving customers what they want, when they want, how they want. Good communication skills and human relations also play a very integral role.