Marketing News: Are you making the most of your businesses data?
Customers want brands to reward their loyalty
What determines the brands you choose to transact with? Is it the quality of their products and services? The price? The belief that even if you’re paying a premium, you’re still getting good value? All these and more can determine the brands people choose to engage with – but one issue in particular is becoming increasingly important. According to research by Entice Loyalty, 7 out of 10 consumers would opt for a brand if they believed they would be rewarded for staying loyal; this serves as a reminder that attracting a customer is only part of the story for organisations; consumers want brands to demonstrate their business is appreciated and continuously important to them.

So what can do organisations do to keep their customers engaged and loyal?

Introduce a loyalty scheme
The research by Entice Loyalty indicates that nearly 9 in 10 businesses with a loyalty scheme in place are more profitable than those who don’t have one. Boots and Tesco were highlighted as two examples of well-known brands that have increased in-store spend, profitability and customer loyalty as a result of a reward programme. But even smaller businesses can do the same and provide loyal customers with perks or discounts that keep them coming back; for example if you run a coffee shop you could give away a travel mug for every 6 or 10 coffees bought or if you’re a personal trainer give water bottles or T-Shirts to your clients.

Offer tangible rewards
The promise of reward can help to both attract and retain customers. In fact, more than 1 in 4 people surveyed said they would be likely to spend a larger amount with firms that offer rewards. In addition, a similar proportion said they could be tempted to remain loyal to a brand if rewards were forthcoming. However, the actual nature of the reward is vitally important. It has to add value to your offering and be something that is genuinely appreciated by the recipient. Discounts on future purchases are an obvious reward that will be appreciated by many, but on the other hand, handing out gifts could be a popular approach. Think about what kind of items your target audience might want to receive? Would they value useful items such as pens and keyrings, or perhaps more indulgent treats such as sweets or chocolates? Distributing such items not only serves as an instant ‘thank you’ but if they’re printed with your logo they’ll also act as a lasting reminder of your brand.

Encourage happy customers to recommend your products & services
Could you incentivise existing customers to recommend your organisation to colleagues or friends? It is well-documented people trust their friends’ opinions more than marketing blurb. Almost 1 in 10 respondents to the Entice survey said they would be likely to recommend a firm to a friend if they were rewarded for their efforts so the promise of discounts and gifts (to both your existing customer as well as your new contact) could be a powerful incentive.

Make your overall package distinctive
It is easier than ever for customers to research your market – and in truth, many of your rivals might offer a product and service that is just as good as yours. Businesses must therefore be prepared to go the extra mile and make their overall package stand out. This means not only rewarding loyal customers, but going all out to make them feel valued and appreciated every time they engage with your brand. So train your staff in customer service, reply quickly to posts left on social media and personalise your customer communications.

It goes without saying, rewarding loyalty and showing you value your customers should be integral to all you do, but should you need another statistic, the Entice Loyalty study found the cost of attracting a customer is 5x higher than the cost of retaining one, so clearly it makes sound commercial sense too.

 

Source / Further Reading
Customer Loyalty Research: Do rewards matter? Entice Loyalty