Customer Loyalty Programs are an opportunity for firms to connect with their existing customers and leverage their buying power. It is a learning opportunity for businesses to understand their target market better, so that with every repurchase it is not only sales that get multiplied but also relationships with existing customers. In the absence of congenial relationship with customers, loyalty dies. This can impact fresh sales. Many a new customer, always looks at reviews from past customers before choosing to buy. The following value-added practises need to be infused into loyalty-building endeavours, in order to convert loyalty into sales.
- By Understanding Customer Experiences
Sales has become too automated and technical that business development endeavours often fail to look beyond ads, banners and campaigns. Consumer loyalty has become a forgotten value that can become a powerful driver of sales. The connect between customer loyalty programs and sales is that of customer experience. How happy a customer feels before and after shopping has a direct impact on repeat business. The cost of getting repeat business is far lesser than the cost of generating fresh sales. To personalize, ease and make shopping experiences better for customers, businesses need to reconsider and repurpose their customer loyalty programs.
- By Remarketing To Dormant Customers
When your business has a fool proof customer retention program in place, an added advantage is that it is able to identify the performing as well as the dormant customers. Dormant customers are a liability with the threat of becoming non-customers in the near future. An essential part of any customer retention program is to establish a system of frequent communication, so that customers are encouraged to engage. More engagement means more opportunities to sell. Understanding the reasons for customers inactivity can give valuable insights into key verticals like production, marketing and sales. Getting dormant customers back to buyers will lead to increased sales at less cost.
- By Stopping Customer Churn
While dormant customers can be saved from switching brands and severing relationships, customers who have already stopped embracing your brand are sources of distress for the sales funnel. It would be unwise to assume that every customer will remain wedded to your brand forever. A certain amount of churn is unavoidable, but well-conceptualized customer loyalty programs can help minimize churn. Ensure customers that the brand adds value to the repurchase process and by extending non-financial benefits like VIP access for services. Customers who are in the verge of switching brands are brought back with meaningful engagement opportunities.
- By Empowering Customers In Decision Making, Not By Manipulating Them
The age of consumerism is here to stay. The modern day customer cannot be fooled, beguiled or manipulated with coercive and over-aggressive selling tactics. The same applies to customer retention. Customers do not like to get bombarded with unnecessary emails and phone calls in an urge to retain them. When loyalty programs educate and empower customers toward making rewarding decisions, they appreciate it and the bonding between the customer and their brand improves. Customer loyalty programs today are tailored to customers’ buying psychology. They put customers in charge and contain an element of inclusivity in them. More sales are sure to accrue when customers feel that they are in charge of the loyalty benefits and not the sellers.
- By Exceeding Customer Expectations
The basic premise in business to build trust is to under promise and over deliver. This phenomenon will not mislead customers but will save them over-expectation and disappointment. When you commit to your capacity, your business is confident of honouring its commitment. The element of surprise always excites customers and improves loyalty. Whenever customer expectations are surpassed, the pleasure of doing repeat business increases. For example if delivery is promised in a week and is delivered in 5 days, the customer satisfaction index rises.
- By Making Loyalty Programs Engagement Drivers
Loyalty programs of the past were largely restricted to rewarding customers for repurchases. Such programs are passive and close-ended. The emergence of internet technology has reinvented the loyalty cultivation process. Today, enhancing brand loyalty is not a value added business function, but is a potential marketing tool by increasing customer engagement. Feedback sessions, online surveys, social media marketing and customer opinion forums are all measures to improve customer engagement. Every opportunity to engage customers is an opportunity to resell as well as understand the characteristics of the target market and shadow the customer’s’ journey with your brand. By incorporating analytics into loyalty programs, it can be easily recognised what excites and attracts customers to come back.
- By Leveraging The Link Between Loyalty And SEO
Customer loyalty is the intangible factor that can improve your search engine visibility. A good position on Google or Bing can definitely lead to sales. Loyal customers are bound to engage more with your brand. By embedding more such social opportunities into these programs, you can transform your offerings into the most-talked-about product in market. Online engagements must be strategically linked to your brand so that the SEO value of such engagements are leveraged, leading to an increase in business turnover.
Customer Loyalty Programs are vital to the sustenance and long-term profitability of businesses. Statistics prove that the returning customer is bound to buy more and buy more often. Both in terms of volume and frequency, they top the new customers. Furthermore, loyal customers are less susceptible to customer churn compared to new customers. By personalizing, humanizing and empowering customer loyalty programs, it is possible to get impressive increase in sales and market share.