One of the key traits of a premium loyalty program is that it has to be great for consumers and retailers.

That means there are KPIs on both sides. Retailers want a program that brings in revenue by increasing purchase frequency, basket size, and customer LTV. Consumers have KPIs, too.

They want a program that’s a product market fit. A program with benefits that are tailored specifically to them. Unique value they can’t get at any other retailer.

Every loyalty program’s success is determined by consumers joining, engaging with the program and, ultimately, remaining members. The key to success lies within the word custom.

Here are a six important reasons to consider when aiming to please both sides of your loyalty program:

 

1. Custom

Creating a unique offer that can only be found in your loyalty program is the best way to differentiate in the market. There are many successful programs in the retail space currently, but what makes each program successful is the response triggered by their customers.

If Starbucks and Dunkin’ had identical loyalty program benefits, what would help you decide where to shop? For most people, it would be left to customer service interactions and product quality.

Some people might ask, “Where do I have the shortest drive-thru wait? Who has friendlier staff? Which place has better quality products?”

Your customers have unique demographics, needs, and expectations. Two programs with the same experiences and benefits won’t drive identical performance.

 

2. Understanding

Know your customers. You’ve probably heard that over a million times, right? Aside from knowing who your demographic is, take the time to understand what program features will benefit your customers the most.

What are they expecting? If you’re offering a Premium Loyalty program, your members are opting to pay for the best your brand has to offer.

That means they have an invested expectation of the value they should get from the program. They’ll be constantly re-evaluating if the benefits are worth the cost.

 

3. Special

Everyone wants to feel special. Whether it’s in personal relationships, at work, or when you’re shopping, it’s important that we feel appreciated in unique ways. The Age of the Customer has prompted retailers to create great shopping experiences as another way to differentiate.

How special do your customers feel when they shop with your brand? Offering benefits that make them feel smart, like when they’re saving more than non-members, is key.

But unlimited choice and price comparison shopping can make it more important for consumers to feel special.

Learn more about transactional and experiential benefits working together here.

Memorable experiences make people feel special and smart. Customers should be treated to unique experiences or rewards that make them feel like you care. And, most importantly, these experiences and rewards show appreciation for how loyal your members are to your brand.

 

4. Timing

Be there when it counts the most. You should be getting members to engage with and utilize your program’s benefits when they normally shop most and when they’d benefit most.

Let’s not forget about the consumer KPIs!

Members expect you to deliver value when it’s most beneficial to them. No roadblocks, no exceptions. When they’re paying for your best, your best better be when it’s most convenient for them!

Learn more about instant benefits and premium loyalty.

Don’t forget we’re talking about “consumer” loyalty programs. Isn’t the customer always right?

 

5. Optimization

We’ve established that set it and forget it just isn’t an option. A Premium Loyalty program takes time and dedication to optimize, but the long-term benefits (on both sides!) are endless.

Can you remember a time when smartphones weren’t in every person’s pocket and loaded with ways to price compare on the spot? Feels like it was ages ago, but it wasn’t.

Imagine the shift in thought process that needed to happen across every organization to stay relevant. A loyalty program needs those same changes.

As your members begin shopping in new ways, getting access to new types of information or technology, you’ll need to reassess your program. Who knows what’s coming next to disrupt the market?

Here’s more about why premium loyalty program optimization is so important.

If your short-term plan of action is full steam ahead with an optimization program, you’ll be sure to keep your program relevant and valuable for your members.

 

6. Momentum

Keeping up the momentum is critical. Once your program is launched, there’s still so much to be done!

Like optimization, of course, but now it’s time to hear from members and understand any barriers to join, issues with benefits, and act on everything that can and should be changed.

When your customers are having positive interactions at the counter, on the phone, over email or social, you’re creating loyalty moments.

A loyalty program opens the door to expanding those moments by offering valuable benefits, unique experiences, and showing appreciation for their loyalty.

Watch our free webinar with Emily Collins from Forrester on how to create loyalty moments.

 

It Starts and Ends with Loyalty Program Customization

Every program build may start with the same high-level ideas, but what makes it successful is making it custom to meet the expectations and desires of your unique customers.

No two retailers have the same demographic of shoppers, but all shoppers want to feel special. It’s understanding how to make it custom for your shoppers and maintain momentum that creates differentiation and brand loyalty.

Customer loyalty programs have the greatest success because they meet and exceed member expectations.

Wouldn’t you want to have a loyalty program that attracts and retains members, and achieves those goals?

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