It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set new marketing goals for a successful year ahead. And a great way to go about growing your business in 2017? Improve your customer loyalty program! Increased acquisition rates, higher retention rates, and more customer engagement are just a few benefits of customer loyalty programs. So, to better grow your company in the New Year, we’ll talk about some of the top professional New Year’s resolutions you should be striving to achieve in 2017.

The Benefits of Customer Loyalty

Before we discuss your must-have professional New Year’s resolutions, let’s talk about what other U.S. marketers plan to do to grow their businesses in 2017.

According to an article published by eMarketer, the loyalty and analytics company CrowdTwist conducted a survey on loyalty programs in March and April of 2016. The survey was conducted to find out how Fortune 500 companies feel about investing in consumer loyalty programs.

According to the study, more than half of the 234 digital marketing respondents said that they plan to spend more on consumer loyalty programs in 2017 than they spent in 2016. About half of the respondents plan to invest more in loyalty programs than they’ve invested previously, while 13 percent said they plan to increase spending significantly. Only 4 percent responded by saying they plan to spend less on loyalty programs.

So, why are more Fortune 500 companies planning to invest more on consumer loyalty programs in 2017? Because incentive programs provide a larger return on investment! Plus, there are plenty other benefits of customer loyalty as well. Other benefits include:

  • Loyalty programs are less expensive than investing on customer acquisition
  • Loyal clients spend more on a regular basis
  • Loyalty programs stand out and show customers that they’re valuable
  • Customers are more likely to refer businesses that offer loyalty incentives
  • Engaged customers are more likely to explore other options within your company
  • You’re able to try new things since you have loyalty customers who can provide feedback and state their honest opinions

And finally,

  • Loyal customers are happy customers!

What You Need to Do This Year

Now that you know the benefits of customer loyalty, you need to set those professional New Year’s goals and get started on achieving them! Here’s what you can do to earn the loyalty and ongoing business of your valued clients in 2017:

  1. Build Customer Trust
  2. Offer Personalized Rewards
  3. Personalize Consumer Experiences

Build Customer Trust

While it may sound like a no-brainer to develop a loyalty program that builds customer trust (after all, trust and loyalty do go together), it’s important to know HOW to make this happen. It would be nice if all loyalty programs had the same effect in reeling customers in and hooking them for life, but that often isn’t the case. So, how can you go about doing this? By offering your clients visibility and transparency!

When you create a loyalty program, be very upfront about how the program works, how it benefits your customers, and how and when rewards can be redeemed. Your program shouldn’t be confusing—it should be easy for the consumer to grasp and they shouldn’t have to jump over hurdles to access it.

When you make it as easy as possible for the consumer, you’ll develop positive relationships and you’ll build consumer trust.

Offer Personalized Rewards

You may think that airline tickets were the most wonderful consumer reward ever invented, but a busy mother of four who juggles family, a full-time job, and extracurricular activities may not think so. In fact, she may never have the opportunity to redeem her travel rewards. Maybe some of your ongoing customers value regular travel, but maybe your other clients are lucky if they can take the night off to go to a shopping mall. According to RetailWeek, 20 percent of shoppers don’t redeem their loyalty points!

You see, your rewards need to meet the preferences of all your customers. Today, a wide range of shoppers are filling the marketplace—including Baby Boomers, shoppers from Generation Z, as well as Millennials. Sure, these groups have a few things in common, but the more diverse your rewards are, the happier your regulars will be.

Personalize Consumer Experiences

Something we’ve learned from the previous point is that personalization matters. In fact, it matters more in 2017 than it ever has previously. SJ Insights explains that consumers are exposed to 4,000 brands daily—and only a small portion of these companies or services are relatable to the consumer.

The best way to fix this? Find out who your customers are and how you can make them feel special. Conduct a poll, gather customer feedback, and engage with your customers on social media.

Whether you start by sending personalized emails that refer to the customer by name, creating a new customer rewards program, offering birthday rewards points, or customer anniversary points and customer appreciation events—you’ll show your clients that their business is important to you and that you want them to keep coming back for more.
Contact Mpell Promotions today to find out how to get started.

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