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/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/loyal2_121168.jpgA lot is being said and discussed about customer loyalty programs – what works and what does not.

  • Maggie Starvish in his article titled Customer Loyalty Programs That Work, argues that customer engagement is the key in successful loyalty programs in Retail industry.
  • This interesting Infographic talks about the connection between customer loyalty programs and social media and how they can become a potent combination.
  • In this video, second-generation vintner John Jordan reflects on the creation of Jordan Estate Rewards. Through exclusive, intimate experiences, Jordan Estate Rewards membership creates lasting wine country memories — such as lunch in their dining room, fishing on Jordan lake or a luxurious overnight stay in one of its chateau suites, just to name a few.

Add to this the proliferation of Groupon and its clones and it’s not hard to see that discount offers are everywhere. So, just offering some more of your product/service at a discount or free does not make any loyalty program interesting. In my opinion, it is time for loyalty programs to re-invent themselves. While doing so, some key points that they need to keep in mind could be:

  • Trust: Build trust. This should reflect in the quality of your products/services. You need to find ways to build trust in every transaction that you have with your customers. This is the foundation on which you can build loyal customers.
  • Make it personal: With the proliferation of technology everywhere, the personal interaction is somewhere missing. Use technology to make it more personal and not the otherway round.
  • Offer experiences: People forget products, services or discount offers. They do not forget memorable experiences. Make sure you give them enough opportunity to click pictures and shoot videos. That is your measure of success.
  • Closed community: Do not start selling the loyalty program to everyone. Let your customers earn to be a part of this closed community. It is a fact well-known, that the difficult it is to achieve something, the more we cherish the achievements.
  • Customer focused: Do not use the program to focus on what you want to do with the members. Focus on what the members want to do with you and other members. Be bold; be creative in the activities that you plan.
  • Celebrate: Celebrate your successes with this closed community. Nothing binds people more than celebrating success together.
  • Simple: Make it a very simple program to roll-out, manage and benefit from.

I would definitely love to be a part of such a loyalty program.

Do you know of programs that truly “wow” their members?

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