Finding a new client is much more complicated than maintaining an existing one. That is common knowledge and has been proven by several reference studies in the field, and also that loyal customers are more valuable than new ones. So, what are you doing to keep them? Loyalty programs are the best way to offer them value to retain them. 

Nowadays there are thousands of loyalty programs in the market, but not all of them are efficient. What are the characteristics of a successful loyalty program? 

Adapting to users’ needs and expectations is challenging, but let’s focus on capturing your users once the audience is targeted. Let’s focus on those that can bring more businesses to your company as well as offer brand loyalty. 

Characteristics of a loyalty program

  • It is easy to understand and use. 
  • It is reflected in a tangible medium to visualize performance quickly and agilely, from wherever the user is.
  • It includes achievable prizes with quick profit times. Decide if they will be valuable and attractive prizes and or discounts. 
  • Users are continuously informed about the program and its products.
  • Includes non-economic rewards to show recognition and appreciation for choosing your company. 
  • Delivers value and generates interest. It should offer not only incentives but also be a comprehensive business tool. Those who still do not know the products or services can be educated and get rewarded for it. Ensure they can access relevant information and materials to help them grow and develop.
  • It allows for healthy competition between users.
  • Surprises users and ensures to get their attention creating interest with every small action. 

Now that we know the characteristics our loyalty programs should have, we must know how to take advantage of this tool. Otherwise, it is going to be useless. 

Tips for implementing a loyalty program

  • Define a strategy to follow and an objective to focus on what you want to achieve. Whether it is new clients, retention of current clients, increased sales with or without cross-selling, strengthening the company image or creating identification with the brand, or knowledge of users.
  • Build a database of users to be able to anticipate their needs and meet their expectations. Direct your efforts to the most attractive customer groups. Ensure it has greater customization and that it’s exclusive
  • Get to know the users and do regular evaluations to get feedback to ensure you have useful updates.
  • Offer attractive prizes with a catalog of options aligned to users’ interests and lifestyles.
  • Touch the users’ hearts by offering non-financial benefits that emotionally bond loyal users. Include peer recognition, healthy competition, pins, and personalized manager letters.
  • Design simple mechanisms for accumulating and redeeming points. The simpler the rules, the more motivated users will be to incorporate them.
  • Create momentum, so the users who feel close to their desired prize consume more to achieve it. 
  • Include quick and efficient fulfillment. The logistics entail: assembling catalogs, buying prizes, preparing the service, shipping, and monitoring. It will impact the users’ experience. 
  • Communicate in a fluid and original way through several simultaneous channels. Communicate the program and its benefits regularly. Show value. 
  • Include referral marketing, invite users to share posts, create content through comments on social networks, and opinion forums with moderators.
  • Measure results and KPIs continuously as it leads to control and future improvement as well as monitoring the loyalty programs of the competition.

During my career as a Project Manager, I have learned a lot about what you can’t forget to look for in a successful loyalty program. Feel free to use these tips to improve the way you incentivize and recognize your employees, customers, and company. Optime Consulting’s loyalty programs include all those characteristics and are available for you. 

Loyalty Programs –Is Your Loyalty Program Efficient
Maria Florencia Sanchez – September 2020

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