Almost any store, hotel, airline, or other service you use nowadays has a customer loyalty program. But do these loyalty programs really help the business? We’ll take a look at what benefits customer loyalty management services provide for the vendor as well as the customer.
There are four main reasons every business should consider adopting a loyalty program solution. However, some of these reasons didn’t exist back when the loyalty program was first conceived.
In the 80s, when airlines and hotels began recognizing the benefits of enrolling their customers in these programs, it was all about retaining and growing a customer base, which translated into retaining and growing market share in a highly competitive business sector.
Businesses had been offering special bonuses and collectibles to their customers since the late 1700s that they could collect and trade in for prizes and discounts. But it wasn’t until the 21st century, when eCommerce and digital transactions became commonplace, that the actual value of loyalty programs was realized. The programs spread to encompass all types of retail and service businesses and are a regular feature of commerce today.
Building and Retaining a Customer Base
When the idea of “frequent flyer clubs” was first dreamed up in the early 80s, the idea was to offer an incentive for customers to continue using the vendor’s services. Accruing air miles every time you flew that could be used for future flights was an instant hit. Tie-ins soon began as more brands wanted to hop on the loyalty program bandwagon, allowing customers to accrue air miles by using a particular credit card, for example.
The idea was to ‘lock in’ a customer to using a vendor’s services exclusively and focus the customer on the brand name as well as the service. The ongoing success of the programs, particularly in the hospitality and travel industries, is solid proof that loyalty program solutions are effective at building and retaining a customer base.
Building a Community
Many people want to feel like they are part of a brand or service they admire or feel particularly comfortable with. Loyalty programs feed this desire by making customers card-carrying members of a hotel or store chain, airline, or car rental brand. They know they can expect to receive special treatment or discounts and be well taken care of when they pull out their membership card at these establishments.
By instilling this community feeling in their customers, brands can inspire loyalty beyond measurable financial benefits. Customers know what to expect from the brands in unfamiliar cities around the world, and it gives them a sense of belonging.
Leveraging Customer Data and Input
As the business world entered the digital age in the early 21st century, loyalty program solutions saw an increase in their value as brands realized the wealth of information that could be obtained from them.
One of the best aspects of this new value realization was that it was completely passive and customer-driven. The brands didn’t have to conduct marketing surveys or launch expensive campaigns to get the information they needed to improve their products and services. Their customers’ purchases, buying habits, location, and other data could all be tracked through their membership.
By continuously analyzing the data from loyalty programs, marketing departments could stay on top of the trends and desires of their customers and respond to them. Satisfied customers have also been known to sing the praises of loyalty programs on social media, doing the marketer’s work for them.
Reducing Acquisition Costs
Retaining your customer base effectively through a loyalty program reduces your need to acquire new customers, meaning you spend less on acquisition.
The discounts and benefits offered as part of a customer’s loyalty membership may cost you money. However, that money is less than you would spend acquiring new customers. Customer acquisition is expensive and takes up valuable time. You first have to make the new customer aware of your brand, then introduce them to your range of products, and inspire trust and give them a reason to use your products and services.
BUZZEBEES’ Loyalty Program Solutions
BUZZEBEES is a loyalty program solution provider. We can create a loyalty program for your business that communicates with customers through an app, via LINE OA, or via SMS. Setting up an effective and comprehensive loyalty program doesn’t have to be a chore. and joining a loyalty program should always be a simple effort that doesn’t scare customers away.
Contact BUZZEBEES to learn more about our loyalty program solutions today!