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What is the most important aspect of a loyalty program?

When it comes right down to it everyone probably has a different idea as to what the most important aspect of a loyalty program is. Let’s face it, we all love our bit the most so it must be the most important! But if we really think about it, I think we all secretly know that the thing that is most important to anyone is the rewards themselves and the figures support that. With one of the most sophisticated and diverse loyalty industries in the world, the UK is more than happy to say it loud and proud with 69% of Brits admitting that they choose a program based on the benefits and rewards it offers.

Coming in second, still with a high ‘importance’ score of 61%, is discounts on products and services and down in third with 45% is a nice easy experience from sign up, through to account management.

Despite this, most companies will think about the rewards last when setting up their programs. Attracting the Customer is what the program is all about, so rewards should always come first. It’s all about knowing your customer, knowing their spend ability, what they spend and what their interests are. In short, data, data, data. You need to be flexible, to really tailor your rewards, encouraging new customers to try it out and existing customers to increase their spend. In fact, retention and development is more cost effective than a new customer campaign. With something truly desirable to each customer available as a reward you have something they want, now you just have to make it achievable. This is where flexibility comes in.

To achieve your loyalty goals, your rewards should be tailored to suit the needs of the customer.

I can say with a lot of certainty that the rewards that would appeal to say, my boss, are not really the ones that would appeal to me (mostly, I mean we have some cross over interests, it’s inevitable). Yet we may easily be loyal to the same brands and perhaps with the same reasons. Why would that be? It would be because both our experiences are tailored to fit our needs. For example, both of us see the word ‘spa’, it catches our attention. For him, it is a racetrack in Belgium surrounded by trees and hills, for me it’s about relaxing and pampering. This is where CRM data comes in to play. By using this data, we are able to differentiate which rewards will attract the individuals best. But by offering us what we want, we can both make the same choice, to spend our money with them. We recommend throwing in a few gift voucher options as well though, just to make sure you’re covering all bases.

It’s all about appreciation, customers feel valued, this improves loyalty and leads to increased spend as well as a positive view on your business and services. A whopping 50% of customers changed their behaviour to reach a higher tier within a loyalty program based on the rewards offered. If that doesn’t show that rewards are the most important aspect of a loyalty program, I’m not sure what does.



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