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5 Ways To Build A Great Customer Loyalty Programme

by Simon Spyer on Apr 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Focus On Retaining Customers With Relevant Content

5 Ways To Build A Great Customer Loyalty Programme

A loyalty scheme is just a tactic.

A loyalty programme is a commitment to better customer experience and continuously growing customer loyalty.

There are 5 ways that this can achieved from deal-led incentives to more emotional relationships. Read on to understand which is right for you and for different groups of your customers.

The 5 Facets Of A Great Loyalty Programme

When we talk about a customer loyalty programme we mean any sustained activity aimed at engaging better with customers, delivering better customer experience or increasing customer lifetime value. We're not talking specifically a bout points-mean-prizes loyalty schemes.

So how can you engage with your customers and deliver better experience?

Option 1 - Incentivise Me

This tends to be the default for most loyalty initiatives - a straightforward value equation of do X and get Y. It's functional and often drives short term response.

But transactional relationships are rarely longstanding and potentially expensive.

A rewards proposition achieves the same objective but may be more effective. While incentives are overt and typically available to all, rewards can be covert, highly targeted and recognise a particular behaviour.

Option 2 - Share My Interests

This is often the next step from a transactional, incentivised loyalty programme. It allows you to understand your customer's specific interests (a particular range or category or a particular type of content that they engage with).

And this understanding allows you to deliver more relevant and interesting content to them, potentially helping to facilitate their interests.

Option 3 - Share My Values

If your brand has particularly strong values (renewables, CSR, reducing salt content, employing older staff etc) then these could be powerful attributes to share and continuously demonstrate to certain customers.

By showing your commitment and linking it to a customer's behaviour you reinforce that you are jointly working for the greater good and potentially gain their loyalty.

Option 4 - Entertain Me

This is a critical emerging trend with many consumers wanting brands to provide content that engages and if appropriate entertains them.

AMEX and O2 have done this particularly well by giving customers exclusive access to pre-book events.

Whether this is appropriate for your brand will vary but it's certainly worth considering and raises potential partnership opportunities for brands that can't directly entertain customers.

Option 5 - Support Me

A critical but often forgotten facet of customer loyalty.

What are the key moments of truth in a customer's journey and how do you recognise the customers at this point and ensure that service expectations are delivered and hopefully exceeded.

These instances of support can be extremely powerful and truly bond a consumer to a brand.

A Combination

It's rare that one of these facets will, in isolation, create true and lasting customer loyalty. Good loyalty programmes combine at least two of these facets and the best, like Amazon, combine four.

The key is to understand your customers and build the value proposition around their needs. 

Working Out What's Right For Your Customers

Your starting point should be the customers that you are designing the experience for and their needs and paint points.

Follow these three steps to focus your efforts:

  • Persona development. Define who you are going to be designing the experience for, their relationship with your brand and the role that your brand does and could play in their lives.
  • Build your value proposition. Start with the pains, gains and needs of your target persona. Then identify the products or services, gain creators and pain relievers that you could offer - and root this in the 5 dimensions outlined above.
  • Map the customer journey. Work out when your value proposition is most relevant to the customer, how it should be communicated and what you need to do to deliver your value proposition at the right time, through the right channel with the right message.
Download our Complete Guide To Customer Journey Mapping for more details on these steps.


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This post was written by Simon Spyer

Co-founder & Insight Partner at Conduit, professional insight-monger, dad, lover of all sport and Spurs.

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