According to Rosetta Consulting, "highly engaged customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction." With stats like that, it's hard to ignore the fact that customer feedback loops using robust loyalty programs are the best way to nurture a strong relationship with your customers, grow sales, and increase your return on investment.
Sure, it's all about mixing in the right ingredients at the right time but the most common source of new leads are referrals (source: State of Inbound), and it often costs 5 to 25 times more money to acquire new leads (Harvard Business Review) than it does to increase revenue through existing customers. Therefore, you have to keep them happy and talking about your brand.
As part of the recipe, loyalty programs tied to customer feedback loops are an effective way to manage feedback and implement changes. Used to manage and reward customers for their feedback, loyalty programs allow customers to feel valued for participating and they know their comments are being heard and acted upon.
The four components of the customer feedback loop according to Hubspot are simple: Ask, Categorize, Act, and Follow-up. It is the implementation of these components and their connection with loyalty programs that drives the increased return on investment (ROI) your business is looking for. Integrating loyalty programs into your customer feedback loop ensures that your customers are highly engaged and actively participating in your brand's initiatives.
But not all loyalty programs are created equal. And there are definitely key ingredients you should be focusing on to increase the effectiveness of your customer feedback loop. So what are they?
1: FOCUS ON DIGITAL & MOBILE
Yes, these days digital and mobile are practically buzz words, but they're also insanely effective methods for reaching your customers in real time. By focusing on these platforms, you can integrate customer insights and experiences immediately.
2: REDEMPTION OPTIONS ARE KEY
For coalition programs (those that offer incentives to customers of two or more businesses and, in return, collect user data), a full suite of redemption options are key. Ensuring both aspirational rewards and practical, every day redemptions are available provides users with the options that suit their specific needs.
3: CUSTOMIZATION IS A MUST
For proprietary programs, a focus on customization through behavioural data from distribution channels and retail locations is important. If your program is specific to your brand, then your implementation should be too. For the best results, focus on who and where your customers are when they make their purchasing decisions.
4: LOCK THE VAULT
As technology advances, customer security and privacy have become increasingly important and they should be two of the key considerations you make as you implement your loyalty program. Maybe a feature seems really cool on the surface but is detrimental to your customers' security. Look at it from every angle because the loyalty program is here to support and enhance your customer feedback loop, so you want the end result to be a happy, secure customer.
5: GREAT EXPERIENCES ARE ASSETS
Not all of your customers are the same so don't try to treat them the same way. Their experiences will play a significant role in brand differentiation experience becomes a differential asset that should be considered during the implementation phase of your loyalty program.
6: THE END PRIZE IS ENGAGEMENT
At the end of the day, the goal is to engage with your customer; leaving them with a lasting, positive impression of your brand and increasing customer retention.
Adding these essential loyalty program ingredients into your customer feedback loop program will improve user satisfaction, increase sales, and provide you with greater ROI at the end of the day.