12 Top Tips to make your Loyalty Program a success

Written by Pete Howroyd 

Feb 2020

Tip 1 - Exceed Customer Expectations

Customers are looking for reassurance – whether that be a reliable delivery proposition, or an issue-free returns policy. If you are looking to bring your customers back, you need to exceed expectations. Don’t over-promise and then under-deliver.


Tip 2 - Loyalty is not about discounts

Discounts and vouchers do not build loyalty – they are simply behaviour motivators and will only encourage price sensitivity. True loyalty is hard-earned – it’s about more than discounts. Luxury retailers have the highest percentage of loyal customers and they do not discount at all.... what does that teach us?

Tip 3 - Make use of technology

Use technology to adapt quickly to change. Mobile apps are a great replacement for a physical loyalty card. If a particular promotion isn’t providing a strong enough return on investment, it could simply be updated or removed through the mobile app – saving you time and money and letting your customers know that you know them! Providing users with mobile exclusive offers and discounts is the top mobile strategy marketers use in 2019.


Tip 4 - Get Personal

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. Cutting through the noise is essential and those that have developed longer-term relationships with customers will win out. Make sure you know your customer and are only delivering relevant, personalised messaging at the right time.



Tip 5 - The Importance of Customer Service

Whether online or offline, customer service is paramount. Shoppers can be stressed but many are also more focused. The process has to be pain-free. If customers can find what they want easily, buy it and have it delivered on time with minimal fuss, they will keep coming back. If their shopping experience is poor, 69% of shoppers will never shop with the same store again.


Tip 6 - Know your Customers

A pair of turtledoves is an ultimate example of true love. The bond between them is not unlike the relationship between a devoted shopper and their fail-safe eCommerce site. Although a large portion of your new customers this holiday season will be shopping for gifts, they may find something they like for themselves as well. Now is the time to establish a solid relationship with new shoppers by engaging them and encouraging their return.


Tip 7 - KISS

Okay, so we’re not actually suggesting you kiss your customers, our tip here is K.I.S.S.!

Keep it Simple Stupid!

76% of consumers will be more likely to join a loyalty program that requires only their name and phone number to be shared. Make sure you offer full transparency on why they’re sharing their details and how you intend to contact them.



Tip 8 - Customer Retention 

Whilst 4 out of 5 companies agree that retaining loyal customers is cheaper than acquiring new prospects, only 32% of executives have customer retention as a priority.

The probability of successfully selling products to existing customer is far higher (60%) than to a new prospect (20%). Bringing new prospects up to the same level of a loyal customer can cost 16 times more. Also don’t forget that loyal customers are 5 times more likely to repurchase, 5 times more likely to forgive, 4 times more likely to refer, and 7 times more likely to try a new offering. So, retaining your loyal customers should be your priority!



Half of shoppers who enjoyed their experience will use the company even more frequently. Gamification is becoming a successful trend with 56% of loyalty programs now using game mechanics to encourage customers to have fun whilst they shop.

So, what are you waiting for?? Make it FUN!


Tip 10 - Build a Loyal Community

34% of customers say that they wouldn’t be loyal to a certain business if it weren’t for their loyalty program. The two main motivators for customers to join loyalty programs are: ability to earn points on purchases, and discounted offers on purchases. Contrarily, the top main reasons in refusing to join loyalty programs are; no offers that interests the customer and the difficulty to earn points. You need to understand which camp each of your customers sits in so that you can give them what they want! By building a community where loyalty program customers can engage and share their experiences with one another in an organic and unpressured way will help you to understand what your customers want.



Tip 11 - Give Mindful Gifts & Rewards

Rewards program encourages 83% of loyalty program members to continue doing business with a company. 63% of retail shoppers in the UK want instant rewards and discounts, 52% want surprise rewards, and 39% want personalised rewards – which they’re willing to share their shopping activities and behaviour in exchange for... it’s a no brainer for retailers!

However, 3 out of 5 customers don’t think that brands to which they’re most loyal to are doing enough to reward them... why is that?

Remember, when giving gifts (or rewards), give mindfully! A small gift that shows the receiver how well you know and care for them, is infinitely better than a big gift given just for the sake of it.


Tip 12- Be true to your brand values

Our last tip for you this is simply to BE YOURSELF and stay LOYAL to your brand values.

Brands which live, breathe and stay true to their brand values are those who’s customers come back again and again.


Here are our 12 top tips for you again in case you missed any....

1. Exceed customer expectations

2. Loyalty is not about discounts

3. Make use of technology

4. Get personal

5. Remember the importance of customer service

6. Know your customer

7. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

8. Don’t forget customer retention

9. Make it fun

10. Build a loyal community

11. Get mindful with gifts and rewards

12. Be true to your brand values

Pete is the founder of The loyalty People and has directed and grown many well-known loyalty programs across department stores, fashion, pharma, and luxury retail. Known within the industry as a thought leader and expert in his field, Pete has a passion for unlocking the value of customer data. Pete founded The Loyalty People to allow businesses to build and accelerate customer loyalty.


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