So, now that your organization has finally made the decision to launch a customer loyalty program, what's next? That’s a question we get often. Or worse, many businesses don’t move forward with a loyalty program because they don’t know how or what to do to design and build a program. Over the years, I have found that the number one reason that we don’t get deals is not that the prospect goes with another company, but that they delay or decide not to move forward with a program due to resource or time constraints. Many times, the real reason is that they don’t know how to move forward and feel it would take too many resources to launch a program.
Based on this, Tecmark has begun to help its customers design and build their program in addition to our ongoing partnership in running programs for our customers using our technology and service solutions. As I and my team are doing this right now for one of our new clients, I thought it might be helpful to share some of our thoughts and solutions to get this done effectively.
First, you need to include research in the first step of the build to ensure that you are designing something that will work for all stakeholders. Here are some key areas to research:
- Customers – What do they want to see as a way to reward them for their loyalty? What’s important to them as far as benefits and how the program works? Not all customers are the same based on the unique demographics of your business.
- Employees – Get feedback from your employees, especially the ones that are working on the front line with your customers and know the infrastructure of your business. They know a lot about your customers and what would work at the point of sale. Also, when you launch your program, they will more likely be strong advocates of the program.
- Competitors – Make sure that you know exactly what your direct competitors are doing so that your program is positioning effectively and can help differentiate you from these competitors. Also, reach out to other businesses in your space from other parts of the country for ideas that may work for you, even if they are not direct competitors.
Next, you need to pull this together and come up with some ideas and solutions that would incent and reward your customers to increase their loyalty and spend with you. With this, make sure you use a ROI tool (return on investment) to project return (should be positive) and have a baseline in place to measure results. In all cases, focus on keeping things simple, especially at first so your customers and employees can quickly and easily get engaged in your program. This engagement is critical to a successful program!!
Finally, if you don’t have the internal resources or skills, you may want to use an outside expert with loyalty experience to help you with this process. Good luck!!!
Founder & CEO of Tecmark
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