Posted by Indusa Admin on February 9, 2016 8:36 am
Loyalty programs are a powerful tool for retailers but they are often neglected or underused by companies and customers alike. While the benefits of returning customers have been well documented by numerous studies, experts, and organizations, retailers are still lagging behind when it comes to efficient loyalty marketing. In fact, one study by Colloquy indicates that only 42% of loyalty program memberships are actively participated in. This shows a stunning lack of utilization, but thankfully it’s a mistake that can be rectified. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the leading method of implementing and managing customer loyalty programs.
By using a CRM, you can enroll members and manage their profiles, define reward tiers, accrual, and redemption guidelines, analyze customer behavior, and more. You can also create portals for customers to access in order to view their current reward status, refer friends, redeem rewards, and view their transaction history. By keeping customers engaged and active in your loyalty program, you’ll be able to ensure better customer relationships and higher profits.
In order to create a program that truly works, there are some steps that should be considered:
- When creating a loyalty program, develop strategic goals that you aim to accomplish. Whether it be to increase average purchase order or to decrease overall customer churn, goals should be relevant to your organization.
- When it comes to customers, rewards and perks should ultimately be something they want. Whether it’s discounts or freebies, incentives have to be enticing enough for customers to dedicate their time (and money!) to your loyalty program.
- Similarly, personalization and relevance is a key element of keeping your customers engaged and active in your loyalty program. Make sure your rewards, campaigns, and messaging closely align with customer interests in order to achieve your goals.
- By using a CRM, you can facilitate all aspects of your loyalty program; however, you can also integrate with other core technologies in order to strengthen your business. By sharing data between your ERP and CRM, such as purchase history, buying habits, and account standing, you’ll gain a larger and more accurate view of your customers – which will strengthen marketing efforts and the relevance of your loyalty program.
By increasing focus on loyalty marketing and customer retention, customers will have added incentives to shop at your stores. In fact, according to a study by Maritz Loyalty Marketing, 69% of consumers say their choice of retailer is influenced by where they can earn customer loyalty program points. Using a CRM gives you the powerful tools you need to create, implement, and manage a customer loyalty program. By creating this type of program, you’re positioning yourself to deliver amazing customer experiences and differentiate from competitors.
For more information on how to better connect with your customers, download our free ebook “Social is for Closers”. This ebook explains how to use social to drive sales leads, move those leads through the sales funnel, and build lasting social relationships.
About the Author – Sarah Van Wambeke
Sarah is an avid writer and digital media enthusiast. Here at Indusa, she primarily focuses on content creation and social media management.