Delivering personalised CX with loyalty programmes
Regardless of whether you run a small independent coffee shop, retailer, nail salon or other kind of business that thrives on repeat customers, a decent rewards program will boost your customer retention.
A really decent rewards program, however, will ensure that every customer who signs up enjoys a truly unique and personalised experience with your brand from day one. This article is a step-by-step guide to creating this customised brand experience.
1 – Switch paper or plastic for digital
Much like CD’s, video cassettes and phone books; paper punch cards are dead. People are no longer carrying a dozen loyalty cards around in their wallets, which means their loyalty is lost the moment they throw your punch card in a dusty old desk drawer at home.
There’s still a place for your loyalty card in every customer’s pocket, though… nowadays, it’s a digital loyalty app on their smartphone!
The moment a customer downloads and signs up to your digital loyalty app (don’t worry; creating a loyalty app is easier than it sounds), your business has earned itself a prime piece of real estate on that customer’s device.
By offering customers a mobile app-based loyalty program, all of these following steps are a piece of cake!
2 – Communicate with your customers on a personal level
As is the case with most apps, users will be required to enter their phone number or email address in order to join your loyalty program. This becomes the first piece of data that you can use to personalise their customer experience.
How? You can now usher your newest member into this exclusive rewards program with a welcome email that addresses them by their first name, and offers instructions, tips and tricks for how to get the most value out of the program.
You can even ask them for their date of birth upon signup, which allows your business to offer them a special birthday gift each year.
Here is where the personalised experience really begins, though – you can periodically check in with your loyalty program members via SMS, email or push notification.
Perhaps they haven’t visited the store or made an online purchase with your business for a while. Now that you have their contact details, you can directly engage them with a message along the lines of:
“Hi, James! We miss seeing you around the store lately. Come in before the end of the week for a free upgrade with any order when you show us this message!”
Not only does this kind of offer add a personal touch to your business-customer relationship, but it’s a highly effective technique when used in conjunction with this next hot tip…
3 – Use the data collected from each transaction to tailor their shopping experience
When a customer signs up with their email address or phone number, that’s the first chunk of data your business receives from that customer. From here, however, every single purchase the customer makes with your brand allows you to further hone in on what this specific customer wants.
Every transaction is logged within the digital loyalty platform so that points can be accrued and rewards redeemed. But the secondary function of holding all this data is that your business gains valuable insights into information such as each customer’s:
- FOV (frequency of visit)
- ATV (average transaction value)
- product/service preferences
- which days of the week/time of the day they tend to visit or make online purchases
- which accessories they tend to add to their basket
- a plethora of other useful information that allows you to offer increasingly targeted marketing and relevant rewards
You can use all this data to cater for each customer’s individual preferences, and this is called personalisation.
Let’s say one customer only buys formal menswear. He can get in-app recommendations on items like satchel bags, dress shoes and quality belts. You could also send him a push notification offering an exclusive 30% discount on all collared shirts purchased in May.
Maybe another customer mostly shops online, and regularly buys rings, necklaces, sunglasses and other accessories from your brand. A personalised email offering her free shipping on all purchases made before the end of the week might be an attractive offer!
This highly targeted form of marketing simply can’t be achieved by traditional “above the line” channels like TV commercials and billboards, and the statistics prove it. A recent study found that 59% of consumers who experienced personalisation were significantly influenced by it.
4 – Hedge your bets by offering as much variety in your rewards as possible
The logic behind this strategy is quite simple – the more variety in your rewards, the more likely it is that every customer will find something appealing in the selection.
One way to achieve this variety and flexibility is to partner up with other businesses that typically share the same customer base. You see this all the time with airlines, hotels and rental car companies, for example.
Digital giftcards like Visa Virtual Rewards and Amazon Gift Cards are another way in which you can broaden the scope of your rewards program.
5 – Surprise and delight customers with unexpected incremental rewards
When it comes to making your rewards program members feel individual and appreciated for their loyalty, there’s no limit to the techniques you can implement.
Most digital loyalty app providers offer features like Birthday Club (mentioned earlier), or random Instant Prize competitions, which can be sent out via text or push notification with a link to a “Scratch & Win”-style game with a 1-in-3 chance of winning a prize.
These prizes don’t need to be overly extravagant – the idea is just to create a bit of buzz around your loyalty program, get people talking and engage customers in an unexpected way.
6 – Ask customers what else will enhance their personalised brand experience
Who knows how to offer your customers a unique and tailored experience better than your customers themselves? Don’t shy away from asking your loyalty program members for feedback via optional in-app surveys and forms.
These are your most valuable and highest spending customers – chances are, they have an emotional connection to your brand and will be more than happy to contribute to the enhancement of your program through honest feedback.
Perhaps you could offer small rewards or bonus perks in exchange for giving feedback, much the same way that many brands offer rewards for referring peers.
Furthermore, if customers see that you’ve taken their feedback on-board and made changes accordingly, they’re likely to grow even more invested in your brand and become ambassadors.
Think outside the box with your personalisation strategies
The points listed above simply scratch the surface of how a business can tailor its brand experience to cater for each individual customer’s preferences. There are countless other techniques that are also highly effective when implemented properly.
Holding regular brainstorming sessions to develop new and exciting ways to personalise the customer experience is a great way to stay on top of emerging trends and technological advancements.
Remember – when it comes to creating a unique and tailored customer experience, a well-structured loyalty program is key!
Brad’s time as a content writer for Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions has equipped him with a thorough knowledge of brand loyalty and customer retention – from current trends and techniques in the industry, to creative marketing strategies for rewards programs.