Loyalty programs are no longer a choice - they are a necessity. Without loyalty programs, it is difficult to build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Many big brands like Baskin Robbins, Sephora, Grab, and Nike have all long invested in customer loyalty programs.
Baskin Robbins, for example, gives members free ice-cream on their birthday. Sephora allows customers to accumulate points after each transaction.
Nike doesn’t want to just be selling shoes. They want their customers to reach for their goals and make them happen. Their loyalty program includes several apps that encourage customers to run or train.
So you're all pumped up to launch a loyalty program of your own. But how do you get started?
Here are a few things for you to consider when starting a customer rewards program:
What’s your objective?
Before you start your rewards or loyalty program, you need to be clear about your objective.
Do you want to increase customer traffic to your store? Do you want customers to spend more and more each visit?
Do you want them to bring new friends over every time?
Do you want to engage with customers on a more personal level? Organise events and activities for them?
Different objectives will require a different kind of loyalty program. Decide what you want to achieve with a loyalty tool.
Type of membership or loyalty program
The next step is to determine the type of membership you want to implement.
There are many options to choose from. The most basic one would be a single-tier, free loyalty program. This membership is open to all customers. Customers will be able to accumulate points after each transaction.
If you want to take it up a notch, you can go for a tiered loyalty program. You can segment customers according to their spending behaviour.
For example, customers who spend more than RM300 in a single transaction get upgraded to another level. They can stand to receive more perks and rewards compared to members in a lower tier.
You can also opt for a paid membership. This works very well for beauty salons and hotels. Customers can purchase a membership plan to comes with exclusive rewards, invitations to special events, monthly mystery gifts, and so on.
Another important thing to consider is to make the membership sign up process as easy as possible. Having said that, we would advise a digital membership (because it's 2022) and also because it is very likely that customers may lose a physical card.
A digital membership integrated into a web app will make sure customers can access their membership at any given time - and so can you.
How to choose the right tool? Free or paid?
There are many softwares and systems out there that can be purchased to manage your customer loyalty and membership programs. So how do you pick the one that’s best for you?
Again, that goes back to your business goals and what you want to achieve with your customers. If you have a small pool of customers, then perhaps you want a free, open source software with basic functions.
Admidio, for example, is a decent open source software that can be used for general management of customers. However, it doesn’t support payments or auto-renewals.
If you have a big, solid customer base and want to send them monthly curated emails and text messages, birthday surprises, you'd need a more comprehensive software that can do all the work for you.
Especially if you run multiple stores and need to centralise your customer database and keep track of the numbers.
Eber, for example, is an excellent tool that does all the work for you. Eber helps you tailor your customer loyalty program according to your business needs.
Make sure the software comes with customer support in case you run into any problems while running the program.
Most free software does not offer post-sales support, so make sure you have a tech-savvy person in your team before you implement it.
Come up with a catchy name
Your customer probably has three or four membership cards in their purse. On top of that, they have too many emails bombarding them from every corner.
You want to make sure your loyalty program stands out from the rest and leaves a lasting impression. One of the ways to do it is to come up with a catchy name for your loyalty program.
For example, The North Face’s member program is called the VIPeak. Clever right? And memorable too.
Inkbox’s inkfam is another catchy name that also reflects the brand. It’s easy to remember and ‘fam’ has a nice ring to it.
Adidas’ loyalty program is called 3Stripes - which reflects their iconic brand logo.
Pick a name that resonates with your brand, preferably something quirky that’s hard to forget. If you need help, try this brand name generator.
Once you’ve got it – shout it out!
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve with your loyalty program and settled on the right membership platform, you have to let your customers know about it.
First things first, you have to train your employees (the ones who come face to face with your customers) to use the software or program. They must be familiar with the tool and be able to operate it seamlessly.
Next, you can also blast the news through text messages or newsletters. Share the news on your social media pages to gain traction. Come up with an exciting sign-up offer!
Are you ready to start your rewards program? Talk to us and we’ll be happy to help you out!