When companies realise the indispensable quality of customer loyalty, they open their businesses to a number of potential payoffs (increase in sales and repeat purchases, lower churn rates, higher customer satisfaction, etc.). The trend has shifted from one-sided, producer-to-market relationship to a more intimate, emotionally-driven one—one that connects your business to your customers on a deeper level.
This is where customer retention strategies, like loyalty programs, come to play. Massive strides have been taken to ensure that consumers never withdraw their support from a brand. Now, it’s about making lasting, emotional impressions—in fostering loyalty. Emotional connection or loyalty accounts to a higher lifetime value and so brands have to overcome that otherwise casual one-time encounter with consumers. With this, businesses turn to the tried-and-tested perks of customer loyalty programs or the reward system.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR A BRAND?
Experts have sung praises for loyalty programs over the years. Before, the hype was all about acquisition (especially for start-ups); on allowing the customer base to balloon until it holds itself well against the threats of “customer irrelevance”. While there is nothing wrong with that, that fixation to acquisition won’t suffice; not enough to anchor customers. Churn rate is a silent killer that manifests itself well if customers don’t connect with a brand. And this is what loyalty programs are for—to bring brands closer to their customers so they don’t disengage.
But aside from this, how does a brand actually benefit from a loyalty program?
Well first, loyalty programs boost repeat purchases and ultimately sales
When rewards are relevant and if it targets what customers actually want, it encourages repeat purchases. Loyalty programs improve customer retention because it provides additional incentives to customers when they do specific actions (like making a purchase or for bringing-in referrals). A loyalty program must be skillfully created based on customers preferences so that it yields repeat purchases and profitable results for a brand. As we know, more purchases equate to more revenue. And really, who doesn’t want that?
It strengthens business-to-customer relations
Loyalty programs give the impression that you care and the newer market nowadays crave that deeper, emotional affinity with the brands they subscribe to. Think of it as a pact; it’s binding. Like any marketing initiatives, loyalty programs lead customers to your door and keeps them there until they become loyal patrons.
It provides valuable market research data
A good loyalty program sees what type of rewards draws customers in. Knowing this gives you an intel about what excites your customers; what keeps them coming back for more. As a reference point, the data from loyalty programs reflect a profile of your customers which gives you insider reports to their interests.
It turns customers into advocates or patrons
Compared to mere customers, loyal advocates or patrons go out on a limb for a brand. They are more likely to recommend the product or service to their networks and stand by and defend a brand. These are pivotal to staying relevant, and the best part is, your network of loyal customers do most of the work for you!
Of course, for all these to work, you need a loyalty program platform to power you up. A loyalty program platform’s effectiveness is measured by the value they deliver vis-a-vis the cost of development; I mean, everyone wants value for their buck, right? And most of the providers in the market try to squeeze better features in to make it worth their clients’ money. One of the leading international loyalty program platforms TapMango is in demand due to its feature-rich programs. While its marketing portal is great, customers often comment that the interface could still be more user-friendly. And although covering a wide variety of industries, it’s a bit pricey which could be an issue especially for start-ups.
Another program provider giant Annex Cloud is praised for its high-end flexibility and dynamism. It reads into your customers’ shopping cycle, deploying rewards at a time that perfectly captures their interest and complements customer retention strategies. Since it tries to pack everything in, the administration dashboard could be a bit overwhelming and hard to navigate at first. But it’s nothing that can’t be solved by a team of back-end support at Annex Cloud.
Singapore-based loyalty program provider Market Cloud has found a solid footing in this industry, especially among start-ups. It has all the makings of a strong, seamless reward platform; from a clean, specific-action dashboard to user-friendly, customisable features, it has got you covered! The platform promises that it will help businesses “reward the customers that ultimately reward them”. It does this through a smart and functional interface that gives brands access to their members’ information sheet, available on mobile and desktop versions.
One marker of a good loyalty program provider is its ability to engage customers so that it gives way for a profitable business-to-market relationship. Since it represents a brand, it needs to reflect the brand’s DNA, and this is what Market Cloud’s customisable features set out to do; every program can reflect a brand’s core elements and preferences. Like most loyalty programs, Market Cloud sets the stage for a lot of customer-activated rewards like referrals, purchases, social media shares, and many more. Brands enrolled in the program can pull from their own creativity. They can even customise the rewards they offer!
The functional interface stays away from the confusing technical clutter. Win-win situation for both you and your customers, right? Pull your team and request a no-strings attached demo now!