Top Ways to Maximise Your Loyalty Programme's Impact
Your business wants customer loyalty like it wants profit and strong talent, that’s a given.
B2B customer retention is integral. Just as water and sleep are essential to so many different aspects of your physical health, customer loyalty plays a key role in virtually every aspect of business health. Customers who are motivated to continue returning to you are a measure of success – much, much more than a continuous stream of brand-new customers who won’t leave with any real motivation to return.
Creating that motivation is not just about giving customers a good experience. It’s important that, when a new customer walks into your ecosystem, there’s enough substance on the other side that they stay put.
You can’t lock the proverbial doors, but you can make your offering strong enough on its own. But, for that to work, you cannot treat your loyalty programme like an afterthought – something plenty of businesses are all too guilty of doing.
Stop thinking of your loyalty programme as an add-on
A customer loyalty programme can (and, in so many cases, does) represent a solid platform on which businesses can build rewarding relationships with loyal customers. But these platforms need strong legs or, eventually, they’ll just topple over – if they ever raise you off the ground to begin with.
So, what do you need?
Get Your Vision Straight, and Give Yourself and Your Customers the Gift of Clarity
When you have a lack of clarity, you can start to feel lost, confused and anxious. Think of when you go to buy a new toothbrush, a new meat alternative, or even what to have from the menu at your local Indian restaurant.
Clarity isn’t exactly the ultimate gift. But, like socks and pens, what it lacks in novelty and appeal it more than makes up for in long-term practicality. Providing clear direction, advice and benefits is key to supporting customer decision making.
If you feel unclear about any aspect of your B2B customer loyalty programme, we can guarantee that your customers will be just as confused – if not much, much more. Getting straight on key factors like points allocation is absolutely essential, or you’re giving your customers something that is neither inspiring nor useful. Like socks with holes in, for instance, or an inkless pen.
Not only does lack of clarity get in the way of successful usage, but it also has a negative impact on confidence. Customers are quick to catch onto missed or failed attempts – the damp squibs of user experience – and each and every one can easily follow you around for a long time, even after it’s been dropped.
You need to know how your rewards system plays out – what garners points – what concrete aspects really encourage customers to stick with you, rather than returning every once in a while. You need to know how it will benefit you, in order for it to benefit your customers.
Lack of clarity = frustration, mistrust, and a distinct lack of participation.
Never Forget that Enthusiasm on Your End Brings About Enthusiasm on Theirs
You’re not trying to play it cool with your customers, and they’re not going to be drawn to you by some kind of invisible, magnetic appeal if your enthusiasm is pooling around your ankles. B2B loyalty is not a randomised draw.
Showing enthusiasm requires a lot more than an engaging ‘figurehead’. A channel loyalty programme – one that exemplifies the difference between that low-interest, low-return bowtie with its single point-of-contact on either side, and the Diamond team, supported by the perfect pairing of motivated suppliers and customers across the entire channel.
Lack of stakeholder buy-in and enthusiasm = sabotage, since no one (or a limited group) will have any real investment in the programme.
Give Your Customers Worthwhile and Relevant Rewards, and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is
If a loyalty programme is plagued by lack of clarity, then it’s the equivalent of gifting holey socks. A loyalty programme undermined by irrelevant and unexciting rewards is the equivalent of gifting last year’s wall calendar. It’s going to be put to one side immediately, if not thrown straight into the rubbish bag.
To make this programme at all worthwhile, it’s going to take a good, healthy investment on your part. These points need to take your customers somewhere, and it’s your job to make sure that that ‘somewhere’ is a place worth being. The points need to be reflective of value, and their value stems entirely from the investment you make into the programme’s rewards.
Irrelevant and worthless rewards and a lack of investment on your part = resistance and apathy.
Communicate – Keep Things Fresh and Strong
Yes, this is starting to feel like an ad for breath mints, but at least it’ll be memorable that way.
Your customers are going to start to lose interest, either consciously or subconsciously, if you fall off that communication wagon and stop reaching out to them. Even if you’re boosting the loyalty programme with all sorts of exciting incentives and rewards, you can’t hope to capture your customers’ interests all over again if you just sit and wait for them to sniff out the perks on their own.
Always remember: customers tend to default into passive mode, which means that the obligation to reach out always lies with the business.
A lack of communication and outreach to your customers = disinterest, and a much less prominent position in their minds.
When the sum of all parts are identified, only then can we delve into understanding the role they play or need to play to achieve a successful programme.
No one wants to put effort into a solution for it not to work. Taking the time at the outset to know what components you need, and then driving these forwards has to become the mantra. And we are well rehearsed at this.
We recognise that whilst the balance will inevitably shift, recognising how these parts must continuously fit together will lead to maximising the success of your loyalty programme.
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