Competition for loyal customers can be fierce, particularly as we enter a period of recovery on the heels of the COVID-19 crisis. With loyal customers such a precious commodity in the business world, many businesses are finding new, innovative, and exciting ways to keep people coming back. Unfortunately, that punch-card gifting the tenth visit free is beginning to look a little out of date. Learn more about the changing world of customer rewards programs below.

The science of customer rewards

Rewards programs are becoming more strategic, as business owners vie to stand out amongst their competitors. Many are turning to technology, combining interaction at a digital and in-store level to hook customers across a multi-layered customer experience. After all, who doesn’t love keeping score of rewards points with their favourite brand?

That said, just because you have a rewards program doesn’t mean it’s working. In its ninth year, The Loyalty Report 2019 surveyed over 55,000 consumers across more than 900 programs, in more than 20 markets globally. The report concludes that while memberships are rising with customer loyalty programs, not all participates are active in them. On average, only about 6.7 out of 14.8 memberships are active.

So, what drives customer loyalty? The top five drivers of member satisfaction are:

  1. Meeting the customer’s needs
  2. Participation is fun
  3. Membership improves the brand experience
  4. Membership is consistent with brand expectations
  5. The rewards/benefits are appealing

Of these, how many are you incorporating into your rewards program?

While loyalty program memberships are on the rise, fewer members are redeeming their points or rewards. This is largely due to declining rewards appeal. The impact of redeemed rewards on customer satisfaction is also on the decline. However, new customer retention techniques have the potential to boost appeal among members, especially among Gen Z and Millennial customers.

Not all customers are equal

Interestingly, men are members of fewer programs but are more active in their memberships. Women, meanwhile, are members of more programs but active in fewer, as they tend to distribute their spending. Taking this into account when tailoring your rewards program can create more “stickability”, and a tailored appeal by personalising the rewards to different demographics.

Surprising the sceptics

Consumers are more discerning when it comes to buying into the value of rewards, which should come as no surprise in the digital era. Surprise the sceptics by giving unexpected rewards and win the love of your customers. Integrating multiple emotional and transactional benefits is the key to a successful loyalty program.

In other words, a successful rewards program which factors in financial (where they save money) and emotional elements (the latter including the element of surprise) are better placed to make customers feel more valued.

The missing piece in your rewards program

Bartercard’s bRewards program has been designed by our members, for our members. By growing the Bartercard community, through referring businesses you want to deal with or business owners you think would benefit from the network, you can earn valuable bPoints.

Redeem your bPoints for a wide range of travel and lifestyle options, including Apple products, gift vouchers, or a PS4! You could even use your bPoints to pay your Bartercard service fees. bRewards offers a real incentive for members to help grow their trading community and bask in rewards they would not normally purchase for themselves.

Anna

Author Anna

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