VIP and loyalty programs are an excellent way to keep your customers coming back for more. Not only does it allow them to become invested in your product offerings, but it can likely increase the amount of money they spend. However, how exactly effective are these programs in retaining customers and encouraging an increase in spending?
According to a 2016 Accenture study, customers who were members of loyalty programs like frequent flier mile clubs generated between 12 to 18 percent more revenue than non-members. A 2014 survey revealed that 66 percent of customers felt loyalty programs were a way for companies to show their loyalty to them, while companies felt the programs were a way customers show their loyalty to the company. If done correctly, these programs can encourage engagement and brand loyalty. However, how can companies use these programs to drive retention and increase spending? Read on for seven ways.
Customers love saving money, and whenever a VIP program gives them the opportunity to do so, they will jump at the chance. According to the Expedia Affiliate Network, 61 percent of customers said discounts and coupons were top-ranking tactics for encouraging loyalty. So, if you are wondering where to start, coupons are probably the best place.
Use your customer relationship management (CRM) software to better understand the engagement of different types of customers and segment your customer lists to send them digital coupons that will engage them. Highly engaged customers might bite on a small coupon, while low engagement may need some better enticement. Confused about which CRMs help you segment your customers based on advanced performance data? TechnologyAdvice.com can connect you with the right CRM for the data transformation you want.
Sometimes, customers fail to get involved with VIP and loyalty programs because they do not know about them. Even worse, many who sign up forget to use them at checkout. According to Inmar, 43 percent of shoppers miss out on savings because they forget to redeem them at check out. All sales staff should be reminded to discuss loyalty rewards options with customers, tell them of the benefits of joining, and even remind them to use them at checkout.
Consumers will go the extra mile with a brand if they know they are paying attention to their purchase history. A survey by LoyaltyOne revealed that 76 percent of customers felt that receiving personalized discount offers based on their purchase history was important. If customers are continuing to buy a particular good or service from you, offer them a VIP program that provides discounts, or perks for purchasing the same item over a period of time.
Most modern e-commerce, point of sale, and CRM systems are built to help companies track customer behavior, purchase histories, and web interactions with the brand. If your software doesn’t track customer behavior and promote personalization, maybe it’s time to upgrade.
A great way to show your customers how much you care is to involve an element in your VIP program where a percentage of their money goes to a charitable cause that could be important to them. According to Merkle and Levo, 57 percent of millennial women say their purchasing decisions are driven by the brand’s values and stance on issues important to them. Therefore, it makes sense for companies to include a charitable edge that allows customers to contribute to a nonprofit while making a purchase.
The easier to sign up the better! Only gather the personal information you need for the VIP program to work, and skip the rest of the details until you need them. Many companies just ask for a name and email to get the ball rolling. Include sign-ups everywhere you interact with customers whether it be on an app, website, and at the checkout (physical or digital). Give them every chance possible to get (and stay) involved.
How much are customers saving on average when they use your VIP program? Can they review it so others can see the benefits? Are the benefits clearly defined for those who may be interested in getting involved? Do not be vague about the offerings. Customers should know exactly what they are getting into, and why they should sign up. For example, the Capital One Venture card allows customers to review their experiences with the card on the website so that customers can feel confident in signing up.
When done right, a VIP or loyalty program can make customers feel like companies are going the extra mile to provide them with more. A loyalty program should not only encourage customers to be loyal, but it should make customers feel that companies are committed to providing them with an excellent experience. If the program accomplishes what it is meant to do, customers should want to spend more and even tell their friends. A well-run VIP program can cause customers to choose your brand over someone else’s. So, take time to hone and develop it for success.
Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.