Implement a Loyalty Program in 5 Easy Steps

Customer loyalty is evolving as online platforms now provide business owners with all the tools they need to manage their own program setup and management. This has made it quicker and easier than ever to implement a loyalty program.

In the past, loyalty programs were rigid and unable to adapt to the specific needs of each client. This meant retailers couldn’t differentiate their loyalty programs with unique rewards and customer earning models.

These days, you can set up any type of loyalty program online (including cashback, rewards, discounts, gift cards, etc.) with just one service. And with software services, you can automate the process of sending out targeted promotional messages to specific sets of buyers based on buy frequency, products bought and amount spent.

But before you jump into a loyalty solution, there are a few essentials that you need to have covered. This post will explore 5 actionable steps to launching a loyalty program that’ll dramatically increase repeat visits to your store.

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Step 1 – Planning

Planning is the first step towards success. And there are plenty of variables to consider when looking to reward your customers. Depending on your business, you may want to move forward with a few loyalty programs focused at different groups, or have one general rewards offering for all clients.

The main focus of planning should be the program scope and business requirements. At this stage you should ask questions like:

  • Who are our most valuable customers?
  • How can we make our loyalty program interesting and exciting to these customers?
  • How much do we want to give away? (the sweet spot when it comes to cashback programs is generally around 5%)
  • Can we easily train our staff to mention our loyalty program to every customer who walks through the door?
  • How can we design a program that’s simple to understand so customers get it?

Always remember, your loyalty program should always be based on your clients and their needs.

 

Step 2 – Setup

Once you’ve decided on the type of program you want, and which customers will benefit most from a program, it’s time to start setting everything up online.

During the setup stage, you’ll create program types, rules, store locations and more. You’ll also have the option of automating promotional messaging.

For example, if a frequent client has not been in for two weeks, he/she will receive a discount or coupon for what he/she normally buys.

 

Step 3 – Design

While your staff are ultimately the ones who will be responsible for telling people about your loyalty program, you need to cover your bases in case they don’t.

This involves designing signage to be placed in your shop windows and on countertops explaining your program and its benefits. You always want to use a professional designer for this so that your program looks enticing.

Another piece of design you’ll need is signup forms, these can either be branded or templated if you’re short on budget. Great signup forms that are easily accessible can have a huge impact on the uptake (and ultimately success) of your loyalty program.

The only other design work you’ll need done is the cards themselves if you opt to move forward with physical cards. You always want to make sure the design on your cards reinforces the brand messaging, colours and feel.

 

Step 4 – Training

Business owners need to make sure that every single employee understands the business’s loyalty program and is able to explain it quickly and easily.

Aside from telling people about it, your staff are the ones who need to actually use the system, help customers earn points, redeem points and check their balances.

Being the face of your business, employees can often give you feedback that can help improve the system or your rules based on what customers tell them. Their feedback is another reason it is important to ensure proper training and tools are made available to them.

 

Step 5 – Refinement

Now that your program’s up and running and your staff are signing people up and helping them earn points, you have access to a whole new world of customer buying data.

This data can help you refine your promotions, rewards and product specials. And the more your promotions will change, the more you can contact your specific groups with communications that are relevant to them.

This is how strong relationships are built, and how customers become loyal to brands over extended periods of time.

 

Conclusion

By following the above steps, you’ll be able to set up and continually enhance loyalty programs that work. The Loyalty Box is one of the few customer loyalty software platforms that gives you everything you need to set up and refine every aspect of your loyalty programs.

With complete access to your customer buying data and the ability to automate the sending of relevant promotional messages, you have a powerful direct marketing strategy at your disposal.

Visit www.theloyaltybox.com now to find out how your retail business can massively increase customer retention, build deeper relationships with the customers that matter most, and get to you know your customers based on how, what and when they buy.