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Today, customers have more information, more options, and more control over the buying process than ever before. As a result, businesses must dedicate even more effort and resources to acquiring, engaging and retaining their customers. For consumer-facing organizations, loyalty programs offer a particularly compelling way to build and reinforce the customer relationship. Yet, many businesses spend much of their time focused on the financial benefits of the program rather than taking full advantage of the insights and engagement opportunities that their programs create. These loyalty programs emphasize discounts and offers rather than building relationships, and a result, they never get at the “why” of customer behavior and fall short of creating real and lasting loyalty.1 Truly effective programs extend to the full brand experience to build emotional loyalty that goes beyond short-term consumer actions.
In seeking to understand how loyalty program decision makers can optimize both their loyalty strategies and programs, Deluxe Corporation commissioned Forrester Consulting in November 2014 to conduct an online survey of 150 marketing directors and brand managers in the US with strong influence or final decision making authority over their organization’s loyalty programs. The study sought to specifically test the hypothesis that organizations with loyalty programs that incorporate engagement mechanisms as well as utilize multiple touchpoints increase various loyalty metrics such as customer retention and satisfaction.
In the course of this study, Forrester confirms that loyalty program decision makers that have loyalty programs with multiple channels and with high engagement mechanisms are more satisfied with how their programs perform. They also report high levels of impact on the key metrics they measure.