There is no doubt that customer loyalty programs benefit businesses in many ways. But in order to be successful, a loyalty program needs to be developed and implemented with extreme care.
One of the questions that need to be addressed is how to implement or integrate the program into your company’s organizational structure.
There are three main options when it comes to customer loyalty program management and implementation. You can manage the loyalty program yourself and integrate it into an existing department, you can find a totally independent company to manage the loyalty program or outsource the entire program management to an outside agency. Whichever option you choose, there
Here are 4 things you need to consider when implementing your loyalty program.
- Loyalty business model
Loyalty is not a sole responsibility of the marketing department. You should put together a project team made of people from different departments (marketing, sales, IT, research, finance etc.) and management levels.
Make sure you include and engage different departments in the team so that not only that every department´s view will have been included, but also ensure that everyone understands that loyalty is a company-wide responsibility.
After deciding on your people, you are ready to define the main features of your program, set the goals and KPIs and design the loyalty model.
Your loyalty business model which is the first stage should be carefully designed by the team as it is the stage where your loyalty program comes to life.
- The technology factor
To succeed, you need to find the right tool to help your brand focus on your most important customers. You need a loyalty customer management platform that enables you effectively reach customers, provides a wealth of customer insights and support every stage of the loyalty program; from registration and reward to redeem and customer support.
The selection and implementation of technical platform is key, so it is essential to identify and decide on the loyalty management vendor. Whether it is your team or an external partner that is going to use the platform, you have to ensure that the system both meets all the functional requirements and is user friendly.
You also need to ensure that the loyalty platform is a secure place for all your customer data, demographics, transactions, current vs. past points, vouchers received, history of complaints, promos and more, so you can make the most out of them.
- The marketing factor
During the implementation phase of your program you need to prepare the in-store loyalty marketing materials. A well-designed rewards program and an omnichannel communications strategy for your website, social media, radio and billboards will not be likely to succeed unless the program is not effectively promoted where and when it matters most – in the store. Make sure to set up the print loyalty marketing material in your store (sign up forms, posters, cards, welcome kits etc.) and train your personnel (sales assistants and cashiers) to promote your loyalty scheme at the time the customer reaches the cash desk.
Another important step of this phase is testing. The registration process of the loyalty program needs to be setup and tested for user experience.
Last but not least at this phase, is the loyalty communications plan. Schedule your loyalty marketing campaigns on all channels to announce the launch of your program to boost engagement and get the maximum results.
Related: Download the award-winning case study of INGLOT and learn how the famous cosmetics brand manages to keep members engaged and loyal through its rewards program. Get the case study here
- Loyalty operations
Set the right processes from the start. To be successful you need to prepare and train your teams in order to be able to operate daily tasks, properly handle each request and resolve member’s issues in the most effective way.
Customer support teams are important assets with great impact to the success of your loyalty program. Through the loyalty management platform, they ensure data quality and validation which is a demanding process and is impossible without focus and experience. So, system users and operators need to be educated on all loyalty processes and be prepared from the very early stages of the implementation.
Follow these steps for a seamless customer loyalty program implementation and integration. Designing and setting up your customer loyalty program right from the start enables the long-term success of the business.
Do you have questions regarding the loyalty program implementation? Contact our loyalty experts to find the right answers to your questions.