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What will a successful loyalty and engagement programme look like in 2022?

2021 – completed it... 2022 – let’s do this!

With COVID-19 still being a big part of our lives, we’ve already adapted, and continue to do so, on the new changes the world brings. Buying behaviour has changed. Business operations have changed. Communication has changed. You name it – it’s probably changed or been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another!

The customer loyalty and employee engagement landscape has certainly changed too. Loyalty and engagement programmes have been a saviour to many businesses. They’ve helped understand clients new purchasing habits. They’ve enabled businesses to be reactive and communicate quickly and effectively. They’ve encouraged employees working from home to remain highly engaged. They’ve allowed businesses to be more targeted and personalised with their marketing.

But what can we expect this year when it comes to loyalty and engagement programmes?

1. More than just rewards - it's your  most engaged communication channel!

Throughout 2020/21, businesses faced the challenge of not being able to reach their audience in the way they normally would. Face-to-face interactions were replaced with zoom calls, physical shopping experiences were replaced with online experiences and offices were replaced with working from home. Some businesses even had to temporarily close their doors.

With these drastic changes came the need for businesses to adapt their communication method. They needed to remain at the forefront of their customers and employees minds, regardless of the situation. If businesses weren’t reactive and responsive, customers may shop elsewhere and employee engagement levels may decrease.

One of our clients used their customer loyalty programme to do just that – react and respond! As loyalty programmes already have a highly engaged audience, the client utilised this platform to pivot it into an information hub. They used it to share important business updates, as well as free resources and support to help their customers during the challenging times. Because the client already had such a highly engaged audience, adapting their communication method was seamless, incredibly fast, and engagement remained high.

Going forward, many businesses should consider using their loyalty and engagement programmes in a similar way. Not just focusing on recognising and rewarding behaviours but also as a channel to communicate with the audience. As users begin to interact and engage with the programme, businesses have a great opportunity to share regular updates and resources with a highly engaged audience. Not only will this improve communication, but it also enhances the user experience as it prevents them from having to leave the programme to check out another platform to find the relevant information.

2. Be unique. Personalisation is key!

There is no "one size fits all" approach when it comes to a loyalty and engagement programme. People are motivated differently. Their behaviour is different. Their purchasing habits are different. The entire user experience should be personal to the individual. Although this is likely already an expectation your customers or employees have, they’ll expect you to become even smarter with the data you have on them.

When it comes to loyalty and engagement programmes, the content on the programme needs to be tailored and relevant to that particular user. For example, you may wish to show one group information on a product that is more relevant to them than a different group. You may even wish to take it a step further and have tiers within your programme. Users can start in the bottom tier and work their way up, earning more points and even more rewards, as they demonstrate the desired behaviours you want to see. Tiers can also be used to segment your audience so they’re incentivised differently.

By segmenting your data, you can get more personalised with the communications you send which will likely result in better email engagement.

3. Don't stop there - keep optimising!

With loyalty and engagement programmes, it’s not just a case of sitting back and letting it roll. Customer expectations change over time. What they value in 2022 will be different in 2023 and so on, so your programme needs to adapt too. One of the best ways you can keep up to date with your customers’ expectations to ensure you’re meeting their requirements is by simply asking for feedback. Ask them what they like about it, what they don’t like, how you can improve. This will really help shape the future of your programme.

So let’s summarise! A successful loyalty and engagement programme in 2022 should include the following:

  • Being used as more than just a loyalty and engagement programme! Use it to communicate quickly, regularly and consistently, with company updates and resources.
  • On the subject of communications, be more personalised as this will improve the user experience and content will be more relevant.
  • Lastly, continuously optimise the programme to meet the current trends within the world.

Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, but one thing we do know is that by following these three points, you’re well on your way to running a successful loyalty and engagement programme. If you’d like some further support on how to get set-up or revamp your existing programme, get in touch today.

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