"We are making too many decisions that tax our cognitive bank account. We dole it out on important things and not on things that are already operating well."— Susan Menke, Behavioral Economist
Interviewed as part of Humanizing Loyalty
For some programs, the best way to stand out is by being the most practical and easy to use. The easier it is for customers to understand why they should join your program and to start racking up points, the sooner they’ll be able to share those rewards. The outcome: your customer receives recognition from you, and you receive participation and praise from the customer.
Starbucks is known for its user-friendly loyalty program, accessible via its mobile application. With the My Starbucks Rewards app, customers are able to access their points without digging through their wallet or undergoing the hassle of signing in. The ability to scan account info right from a mobile phone allows for a quick, trouble-free transaction (and keeps everyone happy!).
3. Send a signal to your customer with shared values.
Your customer is more likely to choose and remain loyal to your program if your values align. Ninety percent of customers want brands to “live up to [your] promises.” More recently, brands have been aligning their business to a defined purpose and set values. But more critical than articulating that purpose is living up to it through authentic and tangible actions.
Apple, for example, has spent $2.5 billion towards environmental initiatives, including powering its global facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. For like-minded customers, this sends a powerful signal that Apple’s values are a reflection of their own. And that can create a more enduring relationship.
Big, bold efforts like Apple’s may grab headlines, but smaller and more local initiatives are just as impactful. In fact, it can be even more meaningful when the customer can direct where the funding goes—to their kids’ school or sports team, a favorite local charity or national non-profit. Offer to match your customers’ donations of their points or rewards, and support your customer in making a difference in the community.
Putting it all together
Making the customer feel good is obviously a benefit to the customer, but it will also benefit your company. The better your loyalty program makes your customer feel, the more likely they are to become loyal and keep coming back.
By showing your customers that you appreciate them, empathize with them and share their values, you not only confirm they made the right choice but also set your program up for success. Everyone loves a good hero, and in this case, it’s the customer.
To learn more about the drivers of emotional loyalty, download our Humanizing Loyalty report.