How To Fix Your Loyalty Program Mistakes

Yours used to be the coolest new loyalty program on the block, but now the popular kids don’t want to play with you anymore because they’ve found someone who’s more fun. Shame.

Thing is, we’re not really sorry for you, because you can (YES, YOU CAN!) get back in the game if you’ll put some time and energy into your tired, old loyalty program now.

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Reviewing Your Loyalty Program

Wondering how you can get back into the loyalty program game? Here’s 3 steps on how you identify and fix the issues:

Step 1: Acknowledge the Problem

The first step to solving any problem, is understanding it. Here are a few big red flags to watch out for when it comes to the health of your loyalty program:

  • Unredeemed points: We know it hurts to hear but if no-one’s redeeming their points: your customers aren’t that into you anymore. They don’t even want your stuff. Your rewards are irrelevant to your target market’s lifestyle and just don’t get people excited anymore.
  • Stuck on low tiers: People used to brag to each other about how many points they’d scored with you, but not anymore. Now they moan about how difficult it is to get to the next tier…if they even mention you.
  • A switch in participation activitySomething BIG has changed, like suddenly your primary shoppers are way older than your target market. This is a BIG HINT that your core market just isn’t that into you anymore.
  • No one gets it:Even your employees are a little fuzzy on exactly how your program works – it’s that difficult.
  • Negative Word of Mouth: No one’s Facebooking each other anymore about how cool your program is. Or Tweeting. It’s just silent out there.
  • Your program is so 80s: Wake up. Your customers are in the 21st century even if you’re still playing your 80s jams. They need lots of new media channels to engage with you – else you’ll soon go the way of the dinosaur. Groovy? Rad.
  • The data is a dud: You’re not scoring with the customers AND you’re not getting the scores on who’s buying what, when, where, how and why? At the very least, your loyalty program should be giving you deep customer insights, and if it isn’t, change it… ‘cos seriously, you’re not doing it for the love of it, are you??

Step 2: Do something about it

You may be in deep regret (or confusion) about your loyalty program and why it’s not working. But don’t panic. Now’s the time to get your act together, see what your rivals are doing and figure out what’s going to work for you.

Here are a few solutions to a few of the problems mentioned above:

  • Offer real rewards: Something is only a good reward if your customers actually wants it. Do a little research into what your customers love and figure out ways of giving those things to them, see what your rivals are giving away, and consider a few different reward types.
  • Make getting great rewards achievable: This all really comes down to experimentation. Try to be as generous as possible without breaking the bank. Have a look at how your customers generally spend and consider how you’d like to influence their buying behavior in a subtle but meaningful way.
  • Ear to the ground: Understanding your customers is easy when you have access to their buying data. You need to regularly review it and look for buying patterns among certain groups.
  • Keep it simple: Keep it simple, or your customers will go where they can understand how to get free stuff, and actually get it. And if your program is already as simple as it can get, you might need to work on your communication. No one wants to read a long, technical email about how to progress to the next level. How about using an infographic or a brief animated video? At the very least, make sure your staff are able to communicate the benefits of your program quickly and easily.
  • Be proactive on social media: Make sure you’re searching for your company’s name online regularly to see what people are saying about you. If you pick up some complaints via social media, take them seriously and address them. It’s all about managing perception, even if you think it’s some crazy guy whining. Remember, on social media, everyone can see every complaint your customers leave on social channels when they mention your name.
  • Explore new media channels: Everyone loves choices; make sure your customers can engage with you in a way that’s easy and fun for them. This will ensure they keep coming back for more. Depending on who your customers are, you might need to do something like introduce a smartphone/tablet app that allows them earn points, check their points balance and even redeem points.
  • Get the data to work for you: Make sure your loyalty program is set up with tools that allow you to gather information on your customers, what they buy, how much they spend, and when they buy.

Step 3: Keep your finger on the pulse

Staying in a good space with your loyalty program doesn’t just happen by itself. Even if you’ve got good tools, you got to make an effort to keep your finger on the pulse by regularly reviewing a variety of metrics that reflect engagement.

We can’t emphasis this enough (so we’re actually going to say it again): a loyalty program is a living thing and needs to be treated as such. If you’ve got it set up right, a great loyalty program will give you complete access to your customer buying data. This is power in your hands that you can use to inform and refine future campaigns. It’s also the data that will warn you if something’s going wrong. It’s your hint to dig deeper.

So, get into the habit of checking your online dashboards regularly to make sure your customers are engaged and involved. And, remember, if things start dipping, don’t wait – repeat steps 1 & 2 and give us a call!

For more info about how to get your own super-effective loyalty program up and running, read more under our “features” section.