We are certainly not the first to tell you about it: customer loyalty is an essential point of any good marketing strategy. Loyalty is indeed a powerful way to increase the turnover of your business, if however the program is well put together. After showing you examples of loyalty programs that work, what if we take a look this time at the loyalty mechanisms that work? Beyond a few examples, this article aims to provide you with the keys to establishing an effective and relevant loyalty program. You will then be responsible for adapting these mechanisms to your brand.
1. Reward Purchases to Improve Customer Loyalty
What makes customers return to a brand is above all the experience that it offers them. Being loyal to a brand is not only a matter of obtaining a loyalty card, but is rather a result of the positive feelings that the brand provokes in the consumer. Quality products, a strong brand image and an attractive pricing offer can alone generate the desire to remain loyal to one brand rather than another. The concept of the loyalty program is therefore to take the customer beyond the transactional relationship. Its objective is also to strengthen the human and conversational relationship between the brand and the customer. And which is more than ever the crux of a successful marketing strategy.
Rewarding purchases is the basis of any customer loyalty system. For a certain amount of dollars spent, the customer is offered gifts or discounts to use online or in stores, often via a loyalty card.
It is true that purchase rewards can have a boomerang effect when the customer does not consider them rewarding enough. However, rewarding the act of purchase remains an essential mechanism for retaining customers, although it cannot be self-sufficient.
Thanks to the gamification technique, some companies such as Starbucks have been able to develop customer loyalty based on the principles of the game. Gamification makes it possible, in effect, to push your customers to achieve certain objectives, and in particular objectives. ‘Purchases. By observing their room for improvement and seeing the bonuses they can achieve, customers are motivated to come back to buy.
Also set up methods for monitoring purchase histories . This will allow you to integrate up-sell or cross-sell strategies . Find the purchases of your most loyal customers, and offer them similar new products, or even take a grade in your loyalty scale. The satisfied customer of your products will not hesitate to test your recommendations, especially if you simultaneously offer a reduction to do so.
2. Social Networks, Vectors of Customer Loyalty
Social networks are a great relational lever . Being focused on the social aspect, it is the perfect place to build a close social bond with your customers and prospects . From this relationship could arise a bond of affection thanks to the positive image that you will release. This is how you will manage to federate an active community.
Being part of a community has many advantages. By joining, consumers also say they feel close to the values conveyed by your brand. The relationship then goes beyond the commercial stage to enter a personal dimension . The consumer identifies with your brand: being part of a community allows him to meet and create links with other members with the same interests as him.
Being present on social networks has therefore become essential because it allows you to interact with your customers and to multiply the points of contact with them . Facebook, Instagram Twitter, online chats, newsletters, blogs, forums … are all possibilities to address your customers and prospects. Be careful however, developing the feeling of belonging of your customers should not be limited to sharing promotional offers or coupons. You really need to create a bond of engagement between your community and yourself . As part of a loyalty program, you can for example reward your customers for the opinions they will leave on your products.
Another way to take advantage of your community is to create sponsorship or referral strategies. Sponsorship allows the customer to become an ambassador for your brand and to provide benefits to loved ones (often in the form of discounts) online or in stores. This win-win system is very popular because it allows customers to talk about the brands they like and to receive, in exchange, discounts or gifts as a thank you. The model is based on the beneficial mechanisms of word- of- mouth , as for example Airbnb, Tesla or Uber.
3. Personalization at the Service of Loyalty
The importance of customer knowledge and pushes companies to question the loyalty strategies to adopt. You have to please the customer and take care to pamper him constantly, during his buying journey and beyond. For this, it is important to set up an efficient and personalized customer service and after-sales service.
LivePerson has shown in its latest study that, despite the increase in online shopping and commercial uses, customers are still looking, ultimately , for human contact : they need to be referred, advised and reassured . The Live Chat appear as great ways to meet this growing demand.
In this logic, offering premium services allows customers to feel more advantaged by receiving a better quality of service . The champion of premium service is undoubtedly Amazon which, through its Amazon Prime program , has responded to the growing demand from customers for free and fast delivery. For Prime members , the loyalty program offers access to a multitude of additional services such as video and audio streaming, the loan of one ebook per month, numerous delivery facilities and access to the Amazon cloud for a unlimited file storage.
Many companies have bought exclusive benefits for participants of the rewards programme: complimentary changes and reimbursements without refund, preferential check-outs and complimentary / unrestricted shipping to and available by high-end Orange clients. All have pursued the footprints of the American giant. Marks no longer refuse to deliver creative offerings to consumers who are prepared to pay. With respect to stores, the expense of such items solely balanced by the quality of their membership when a client is a consumer. For fact, it is often necessary to access such exclusive offerings if the consumer involved has attained a particular level. Of starters, Sephora Gold Card members have access to the makeup bar once a month.
The three customer loyalty mechanisms cited in this article have proven themselves. They put people back at the center of the brand’s concerns. The idea is no longer here to bet everything on the commercial aspect but to provide a unique experience to your customers. However, for a loyalty strategy to be effective, very good customer knowledge is essential. The customer has his own motivations and expectations, only regular studies and analyzes will allow you to set up the most appropriate mechanisms to make your customers ever more loyal and satisfied.