Customer Loyalty in Six Simple Steps

Six steps to enhance your customer loyalty and retention program

Customer Loyalty and Retention in Six Simple Steps

Creating a robust loyalty and retention program from scratch can seem like a gargantuan task. As you might have heard it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain current customers. Wrestling data, compiling rewards and following customer, behavior can be so daunting that marketers often scale down their loyalty ambitions before they even get started.

But this is the era of software as a service, where data can be wrangled with the push of a button, making loyalty programs more approachable and dynamic than ever.

Customer success is something all companies aspire towards. The point of starting a for-profit company is to attract and keep happy customers who buy your products or services to drive revenue. According to Thanx, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones. These customers also tell their friends and colleagues about those brands, too which drives referral traffic and word-of-mouth marketing.

Customer loyalty builds a strong sense of trust between your brand and customers. When customers choose to frequently return to your company, the customer lifetime value they’re getting out of the relationship outweighs the potential benefits they’d get from one of your competitors. A key differentiator for measuring customer success and loyalty, customer experience is essential.

Since we know it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer, the prospect of mobilizing and activating your loyal customers to recruit new ones . The importance of developing a community that your customers have a free space to communicate is key.

But how do you do it? How do you generate happy, satisfied customers into loyal brand evangelists? How can you incorporate reviews, tweets, and Instagram mentions to accelerate your brand’s growth and social voice?

Well, we have a few ideas.

Follow these six simple steps to get your loyalty and retention program off the ground and running, and converting fickle shoppers into brand loyalists that maximize your customer retention rates.

Make it Mission-Driven

Only 30% of consumers say their satisfied with their loyalty program’s website experience. (Bond)

More than ever customers care about what’s behind the product. They want to know what a company believes. They care about the social ethic and Fair Trade sourcing of a Starbucks, or the philanthropic mission of TOMS Shoes. Make your mission a central theme of your loyalty program, whether it is giving customers the opportunity to donate loyalty points to philanthropy or simply driving home the company mission with each loyalty reward.

Give it Personality

Brands that use the principles of one-to-one marketing to deliver outstanding individual customer experiences see a 20% lift in business value, according to Gartner. Use the digital space to give your program personality. Whether it is color, characters, witty writing or humor, you should never be afraid to have fun and be entertaining. Let your personality shine and your customers will thank you for taking a lifeless loyalty experience and making it lighthearted and engaging.

Reward More Than Purchases

60% of customers say unexpected rewards are the biggest reason they’ll stay loyal to a brand. (SAP)

There are many things that brands want from customers. Typically repeat purchases get put at the top of the list. But powerful actions that spread a brand’s message can be equally as valuable. Reward customers who share your content on social media amplify your message to a new audience. Loyalty programs need to expand to other powerful consumer actions by looking beyond simple sales.

Segment, Segment, Segment

Your audience is diverse, and your rewards should be equally varied. Don’t apply blanket, cookie-cutter rewards across all customer types — segment your customers into different audiences and reward them according to their unique demographics, psychographics and behaviors habits. They will thank you for treating them as individuals.

Call for Enrollment

Once your loyalty program is off the ground, you have to get your customers involved. Use your website, your newsletter, and your in-store interactions to fill the loyalty funnel and enroll customers. Make the enrollment process simple and painless, and the enroll callouts clear and direct. And don’t be afraid to offer your first rewards for sign-ups.

Close the Loop

80% of American customers are satisfied with the customer service currently provided by their businesses (American Express).

In the age of e-commerce, loyalty can become its own digital ecosystem. But try to close the loop with personal interactions that will cement your relationships with customers. This can be in-store event invitations, or in-store greetings and perks, but make a digital interaction eventually lead to a personal interaction. While customers love the ease of frictionless digital commerce, they still build relationships through physical meetings.

Get started with enhancing your loyalty and retention

ActionIQ and our industry-leading customer data platform (CDP) can help you plan and execute a one-to-one marketing plan that builds a lasting competitive advantage. For a consultation with one of our experts, contact ActionIQ today.


George Phipps
George Phipps
Director of Product Marketing
George is dedicated to educating enterprise businesses about the impact on customer experience and organizational performance enabled by centralizing customer data. He works closely with creative and prolific engineers, UX designers, marketers to help design and enhance technologies that improve access to customers' data.
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