The Benefits Tiers Hold For Driving Desired Behaviours
Loyalty programmes are all about driving particular customer behaviours. Ultimately, they’re about driving loyalty (of course!), but loyalty is expressed through a lot of different behaviours: spending more, spending more frequently, interactions with the brand and referrals.
The basic premise is simple: reward desirable behaviours, and customers will be prompted (either subconsciously or consciously) to perform those behaviours more often. This is what positive reinforcement is all about, and why it’s utilised as widely as it is.
Of course, as with most things, the basic premise isn’t the full story. To reap the full ROI from your loyalty programme, you’ll want to consider diversifying your B2B customer loyalty platform into a number of self-contained tiers. As customers graduate from one to the next, their interactions with your brand are benefitted by a fresh spark of interest and engagement, and that really is the dream…
What is a tiered loyalty programme?
A simple, single-tiered loyalty programme speaks for itself. Customers sign up, start to collect points based on their interactions with your brand, then redeem those points against the rewards listed in your catalogue as and when they’ve stored up enough.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, it’s simple and effective. Customers have a compelling reason to come back to you over and over again and, provided you’re also offering a stellar customer experience and plenty of meaningful, relevant comms, they will quickly become loyal to your brand.
A tiered loyalty programme is the next step up in terms of complexity (and long-term ROI). With this structure, customers are sorted into different tiers depending on a particular criterion or set of criteria.
What distinguishes one tier from the next? The rewards available, with higher tiers offering more desirable rewards.
Provided the criteria that sorts customers into their respective tiers allows for movement (i.e., a customer in Tier 1 can worked towards graduating to Tier 2, Tier 3, etc), the tiered system can be incredibly beneficial to you, and your ability to keep building on that all-important asset: loyalty.
The benefits of tiers
No more tiers over disloyal, disengaged customers – here are some of the biggest benefits to splitting your rewards platform into self-contained layers.
- Make it new again
Novelty is a powerful motivator. When something feels brand new and exciting, it’s a lot easier to get customers to engage with it, but what happens when your programme has been around for a few years already, functioning just as it’s supposed to?
A well-curated rewards catalogue will go a long way toward maintaining the motivation that was there in the beginning, but a tiered system is an excellent way of injecting a fresh dose of novelty and motivation into your customer’s behaviours.
Graduating to the next tier means accessing new rewards, and, as a result, having fresh goals to work toward.
- Engage, engage, engage
Engaging customers isn’t an exact science, but it often boils down to the same key elements: value, clarity, and meaning. Splitting a standard rewards platform into separate tiers means adding more value and meaning into the customer journey – and provided your communication is strong enough, strong engagement, too.
A lack of engagement is a serious hindrance to loyalty because it can so easily turn into apathy. It’s a common answer to the question, Why do my customers keep leaving? Keep engaging customers, keep customers loyal.
- Reward more good behaviours
Being clear on when and how to award points to customers is key, but some customer behaviours are far more desirable than others. A return purchase valued at, say, £10 is desirable, but a return purchase of £1,000 is more
Tiers mean that all behaviours can be rewarded in a way that feels relevant to the value that behaviour holds for your business.
Consider the way luxury retailer Hermes rewards its customers. The more they spend, the more products they are able to buy. The Birkin bag, for instance, isn’t just available to anyone who walks in the store.
That sort of approach to loyalty won’t work for everyone. In fact, it won’t work for most businesses. But it does go to show how powerful a tiered rewards system can be for driving behaviour.
- Send targeted comms
The more personalised and relevant your communications with customers feel, the better. This is how you built emotional engagement and loyalty, after all.
With customers divided into separate tiers, it’s simply easier to create targeted b2b communications that really hit upon their spending habits, and how they interact with your brand.
Loyalty programmes generate a wealth of invaluable data. With specific tiers, that data becomes even more focused on the different types of customer your business is working with.