With loyalty schemes coming out of our ears almost everywhere we go, it is apparent how important companies are finding these schemes in increasing their success.
To begin with, just having a loyalty scheme was what set one company apart from another, but now nearly everyone has one, so many companies are searching for ways to improve their schemes.
If you are one of these companies struggling to compete, here are some handy tips to improve your loyalty programme:
Who is going to join the programme if they do not understand how it works/how to sign up/what exactly they are getting out of it?
Get partners on board
Find a partner company that makes sense for your customers. Form a mutually beneficial relationship whereby you can share your customers with them and vice versa, whilst being able to offer additional incentives to your customers.
It can be difficult getting people to spend their precious time signing up to something that they are unlikely to see any benefit from for a while, so in order to get people to sign up on the spot, they need to get a reward on the spot. Small incentives are often enough, such as an initial amount of points already on the customer's account or if they are at the till, a discount on the purchase they are making.
Use Twitter and Facebook to advertise the rewards, or even better, reward customers for sharing the information on social networking sites – people are more likely to trust their friends and colleagues.
Try to avoid being an annoyance
Many of us will have a wallet already jam-packed loyalty cards that we often forget to use or can't be bothered to hunt for when we get to the till. Try to avoid just being a pain. Make it easier for customers to actually use their loyalty account, e.g. keyring attachments like Holland and Barrett, or using Smartphone apps like O2's Priority Moments.
Value your regulars
By having additional rewards for your regular customers, you can make them feel special. You can even have VIP accounts for those who use your services more than a certain amount.
If you would like to learn more about Loyalty, you may be interested in attending our 3 Day MBA in Loyalty which is running next month in London. Here is the trainer for the course; loyalty expert Mike Atkin, talking about what the course covers: