In today’s challenging business environment where consumers are choice-rich and brand promiscuity is rife, unlocking the loyalty code requires a deeper understanding of your customers on an individual and personal level.
With digital advancements accelerating a shift in consumer behaviours and motivations, modern customers expect brands to know them, value them and be present where they are, when they want. Because of this, organisations now face the added challenge of delivering enhanced experiences, over and above the products and services they already deliver.
Recent Collinson-commissioned research where 350 Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore-based organisations were surveyed on their views towards the future of loyalty, revealed that 91% of respondents agreed that loyalty programmes, particularly in the travel sector, need to evolve beyond transactional rewards. Today, leading organisations are delivering ‘segment-of-one’ timely and specific experiences that both align to a customer’s personal values while enhancing their life in meaningful ways that makes them feel understood and valued.
This is hugely important, as when a customer feels that their personal interests and needs are being recognised, an emotional bond is formed. This in turn generates a deeper brand connection and starts that customer on the road towards life-long loyalty with a brand.
Experience is everything. While rewards in the form of discounts may drive repeat purchases, they do not create customer loyalty.
Finding the sweet spot
Loyalty programmes need to be a carefully created and calibrated value exchange between a brand and its customers.
Loyalty is a two-way street. Brands need to see value from running a loyalty programme as much as customers need to believe they are gaining from its benefits – both rational and emotional benefits. Rational benefits are important as they put a tangible, perceived value to the programme rewards and with emotional benefits, it motivates behaviours and creates greater lifetime value.
With the growing digitisation of customer interactions, brands can leverage technology to enable real-time collection, analysis, and activation of customer data; thereby creating micro-interaction-moments. These highly-personalised, appreciated moments encourage customers to release more personal data, in turn allowing brands to get to know customers’ wants, needs, preferences and expectations on an increasing basis – further building bonds required for loyalty.
In a highly competitive landscape where loyalty can be fickle, it is important for brands to view it as a long-term strategy – one that is complex, integrated and a bespoke fit that is aligned to and led by the values customers hold.
Download our complimentary eBook – Beyond Points and Rewards: Why Status-enhancing, Value-aligned Experiences Win Hearts and Minds – to learn more about the steps brands can take to raise the bar to win loyalty in today’s world of choice-rich consumers.