Relationships and communication with existing customers have a tremendous impact on your organization. You can increase revenue by focusing more on marketing to existing customers, improving customers’ lifetime value, and capitalizing on business growth. Customer loyalty programs help to foster these relationships and create value.
By: Samir Palnitkar
Marketing to your current customers is a game changer for companies looking to tap into these benefits, ranging from a higher retention rate to increased revenue to more customers. This plays a particularly important role in constructing customer loyalty strategies. Engaging current customers impacts the business goals in several ways, including increasing revenue by generating opportunities for sales of additional products and services.
Here are a few strategies to increase customer loyalty with a reward program
1. Focus on the Customers’ Needs
Your customers buy from you to help them reach a certain goal, and this is true no matter what industry you inhabit. More and more brands are offering loyalty programs. But not all the customers actively participate in them. This is a lost opportunity in gaining your customers’ trust and building a solid relationship with them to make them repeat buyers. A customer centric mindset is a must have while formulating brand loyalty strategies.
What many companies fail to realize is that monetary rewards are not all that drive customers to engage in loyalty programs. Many brands fail in their loyalty programs because they forget to prioritize their customers’ needs. When building a loyalty program, the goal is to acquire customers, retain them, and increase their lifetime value. You would want them to keep on choosing your brand against competitors. To do that, you must understand your customers’ wants, needs, and preferences.
2. Positive Engagement
Loyalty programs serve a dual function namely, to incentivize new clients to stick around after purchasing your goods and services, and to ensure that existing loyal clients still feel as if they are valued by your operation.
A loyalty program not only elevates customer appreciation of your business, but you also increase the chances that existing customers will share their experience with those close to them. The more a customer feels appreciated, the more he or she is likely to support that company and recommend it to others. It is important to engage your customers.
Customer engagement comprises all your business’s interactions with customers, including all forms of customer inquiries, service, and feedback. You should make every effort to keep all these interactions positive, especially when customers are unhappy. If a customer realizes you will go the extra mile to please them, they are far more likely to feel valued — and to stick around. Customer engagement is an important strategy to increase customer loyalty.
3. Valuable Content
Content has become an important medium to attract your users. Whether you run a blog, a newsletter, etc., the last thing you want to do is make it purely marketing centric. Of course, blogs and newsletters are both powerful content marketing tools, and you are still using them for that purpose, but people are less likely to read and interact with you if they think you’re just trying to sell to them.
If you are used to taking a “sell, sell, sell” approach, you might need to give yourself a mental adjustment to get into the proper mindset to create content in this way. Good content undoubtedly improves the way you approach your audience. It gives you the platform to share every bit of critical information with your audience in a creative manner. With the help of this, you can undoubtedly enhance your approach. Content plays an important role in building your customer loyalty strategies. Creative ideas and messages make customers stop and take notice!
4. All Customers are Not Equal
In order to maximize loyalty and profitability, a company must offer its best value to its best customers. That is, customers who generate higher profits for a company should enjoy the benefits of that value creation. As a result, they will become even more loyal and profitable.
However, most companies inadvertently treat all customers as equal, providing them with products of equivalent value regardless of how much they spend or the time frame of their association. A company that offers average-value products and services to everyone wastes resources in over-satisfying less profitable customers while under-satisfying the more valuable loyal customers. Highly profitable customers with higher expectations and more attractive choices defect, and less desirable customers stay around, diluting the company’s profits.
Customers who consider your business as being truly invested in their lives will trust in your offering and buy from you. By merging this level of trust with an attractive rewards program, you have the perfect recipe for a large and loyal customer base.
Loyalty flows beyond social media engagement, giving out loyalty points, or referral rewards. It is about recognizing your customers as people you value greatly and appreciating them for their support. The loyalty program strategy must be focused on the needs of the target customers.
Samir Palnitkar is the VP of Customer Success at Zinrelo, a technology company that specializes in loyalty rewards programs. An expert on building and growing “retention-first” businesses, he frequently writes on customer retention and loyalty rewards programs. Samir is also the founder of four other successful startups, holds five technology patents, and is the author of two technical books.