Loyalty 4.0: impress customers, don’t bind them
I recently got married. I’m taken now, but I’m still wondering: What does a company need to do in order for me to swear eternal loyalty to them? For this reason, I took a close look at customer loyalty and created a guideline that can help many companies take the right actions.
With digitization, the range of products and services is expanding; quality and prices are becoming more transparent. The result: customers change providers more frequently. While loyalty is indisputably having a tough time these days, it has not entirely died out. It is simply more difficult to activate than before.
Companies invest millions in customer loyalty measures and offer various bonus programs. And yet these do not seem to guarantee loyalty for most customers, but rather tend to satisfy bargain hunters at best. The authentic added value for customers needed to meet loyalty boosting goals is often lacking. Therefore, for many companies the time has come to revamp their customer loyalty program.
“Real loyalty is only created when customers become convinced and enthusiast of their own accord.”
Claude Schuler, Marketing Manager bei BSI
What services earn my loyalty?
Customer loyalty does not arise when a product or service meets the customer’s expectations, but when they clearly exceed them. The same goes for the loyalty program services offered. To find added value that impresses, not only must the needs of customers be known, but services must also be targeted towards them.
Customers today expect regular discounts. They are a hy- gienic factor that should be part of any loyalty program. However, these discounts alone do not promote customer loyalty; they must be augmented with further benefits, such as creative services beyond the actual product range: exclusive events, limited products or perfectly timed surprises.
Excitement is the elixir that builds loyalty. And companies must regularly come up with new services that generate enthusiasm. To do so, they must integrate a balanced mix of services from the four bonus dimensions into their loyalty program. These services must be targeted towards the respective purchaser types. A certain added value may perhaps work excellently with the most loyal fans, but is not well received by sporadic purchasers.
It is not easy to find creative services that also go well with the brand. But in combination with an app, there are countless new customer interaction possibilities for the bonus program. Used properly, they can make life easier for the customer in certain situations. And the battle for room in one’s wallet can also be avoided.
You can influence the behavior of your customers with a bonus program, while also investing in the relationship. The latter pays out more in the long term, because it activates the intrinsic motivation of your customers. It turns them into brand ambassadors that swear eternal loyalty.