Standing in line for coffee this morning, I was rifling through a thick stack of plastic cards searching for the right one for this particular chain. I’d done the same thing the night before at the drugstore, pulling out wads of plastic to save a couple of bucks.
It struck me that there are loyalty programs that amount to little more than permanent coupons. I choose the card based on where I am. I feel penalized by NOT being a rewards member, and the clerk holds the line hostage while I grudgingly sign up for yet another wallet filler so I can save four bucks on sunscreen and shampoo. Other programs, however, like this coffee shop, really do reflect my preferences and reward my loyalty. They keep track of what I purchase and offer me my morning treat for free once in a while.
That’s the kind of reward program I can get behind. More of what I want, when I want it. That’s some customer love right there.
For cataloger publishers, loyalty programs can be a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. For one, it’s far easier to get a good customer to buy again than it is to land a brand new customer. So be good to the people you’ve got, and make your loyalty program count.
Mark Cameron of Working Three provides some food for thought when rethinking your customer loyalty program in this MarketingMag article.
He points out that, for the most part, these programs are good at measuring “transactions” but fall short when it comes to determining a customer’s commitment to your brand at key moments of truth – those moments before or after the purchase when customers engage with your brand promotions online, evangelize your products to their social circle, and exhibit other behaviors that cannot be tracked by a buying transaction.
Great ideas as we look for new ways to reward our best customers and incentivize them to be raving fans.