Why Your Loyalty Program is Missing the Mark, and How to Change That

Loyal customers are the Holy Grail for any business. That’s why marketers, account executives, sales representatives and customer support teams all have a shared goal of positive interactions that increase loyalty.

One of the best customer retention strategies your business can adopt is a loyalty program. Loyalty programs can help you build a strong customer base with low turnover, and it’s typically not expensive. Loyalty programs also improve customer retention because they provide a feedback loop to help you continually meet changing customer demands.

Unfortunately, some of the best customer retention practices overlook loyalty programs and miss the benefits that come with them. Here’s why you should capitalize on loyalty programs, especially if your competition doesn’t have a comparable offering.

Most organizations have loyalty programs, only those doing it right can call it customer retention

According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of converting an existing customer is 60-70 percent (vs. 5 to 20 percent of new prospects). However, most companies fail to manage customer retention because they either don’t engage through the customer journey, they don’t personalize offers or they haven’t implemented loyalty programs when many of their competitors have.

Loyalty programs are a proven way to grow business. Depending on the study, average growth will range from roughly 8% to 12%, with just the basics. A few online retailers have seen growth rates increase by more than 100% in incremental shares.

Loyalty programs have become a proven model to not only increase return visitors and sales, but also to grow new sales. It’s a platform that provides lead conversion with a message you don’t have to adjust for most viewers.

Loyalty programs for customer retention have also become a hit with millennials, as nearly half say they are willing to go out of their way to use a website or shop at a store where they receive benefits from a frequent-buyer program. The great part about targeting millennials is that they have little distinction between online brands and traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores.

This means you can implement loyalty program best practices and capture the millennial market. Millennials continue to play an important role in B2B decision making, and their influence is only expected to increase. By implementing a loyalty program today, you’re providing your business with a future strategy that’s already proven to work.

What great customer retention looks like

Now that you know why loyalty programs are proven to work, let’s look at customer engagement and retention tips to help you engage with existing customers as if they could be big buyers again:

  • Segmenting your existing customer base and creating personalized digital engagement programs based on predictive pathways is key to breeding loyalty. Identifying influential customers to develop as evangelists and enabling them to promote products is a great way to do this.
  • Executing Omni-channel campaigns is the best way to capture online and offline data of your best customers and predict the next logical offer to keep customers coming for more of your product or service.
  • Routing to Account Management Teams when the time is right is important. Package the data insights you’ve collected and the content recommendations you’ve gathered and pass to your Account Executives to up-sell, cross-sell, and delight your customers.

Make Yourself Discoverable

A key customer retention technique that’s often overlooked is search engine optimization. At first glance, SEO doesn’t seem like it would have a large role in loyalty programs and customer retention. After all, what do your keywords mean for securing customers you already have?

Keywords actually improve discoverability, helping your potential and existing customers find your business and your loyalty programs. Customer retention is also about driving customers back to your site, and you need to show up in their search queries in order to draw them back.

Matching your most popular keywords to your loyalty programs improves the likelihood that someone will sign up to start getting a reward. It works if you’re a restaurant and you build an SEO strategy around the name of your business and the word “coupon” — or even a software vendor who ties a product name to a key problem-solving feature. The best customer retention strategies include a loyalty program that you can offer to your customers and can be found by potential customers, giving you leverage over your competition.

Make sure your SEO and customer retention strategies promote loyalty among your customers. Contact us today to learn more about how MarketBridge can help.