Brands understand traditional loyalty. They’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s what they know. At one time, it may have been effective, but that’s no longer the case. And yet, some brands seem to be ignoring all the tell-tale signs that they need to rethink their approach. In this blog post we’re calling out some of the most common loyalty mistakes and challenges brands face and talking about what to do instead. Keep reading to learn more!

Rewards are generic

Many brands treat loyalty like a box that needs to be checked rather than leveraging strategies to actually motivate customers to pledge allegiance to their brand over a competitor’s. Customers aren’t moved by generic, one-size-fits-all loyalty tactics. Mass discounts merely train customers to wait for sales.

Rather than sending customers discounts that aren’t relevant to them or sending too many discounts for items that a customer would have bought full price, brands need to start thinking about how they can show their loyalty to customers, not the other way around.

The level of personalization customers are looking for requires marketers to leverage data to deliver relevant recommendations, offers and rewards. Most brands are already collecting this data at all customer touchpoints; however, they don’t have the ability to unlock it in real time, unify and gain insight about what will drive customers to purchase more frequently.

With a 360-degree view of the customer, brands can create a tailored loyalty program based on individual behaviors that drives incremental high-value behaviors, frequency and spend.

Rewards aren’t delivered at the moment of impact

Marketers need the ability to seize the moment when it really matters, but many brands lack the ability to engage customers with relevant rewards at the moment of impact.

An effective loyalty strategy depends on delivering great engagements at the right time (and of course, on the right channel). For example: when a customer enters a store, send a personalized message to the member’s phone. Maybe it’s a push message reminding the person to redeem a reward by placing a mobile order. The member then makes a mobile order and pays for the purchase while at the store.

For brands whose business premise is based on speed, like quick service and fast casual restaurants, delivering rewards too late is a big problem because in order to motivate a recent guest to return, the person needs to be rewarded immediately so that he associates the reward with the previous visit.

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Rewards are only based on transactional behaviors

Rewards aren’t the only thing that’s generic about most loyalty programs. Many organizations only choose or have the ability to reward customers for how much money they spend. These brands are missing out on the opportunity to differentiate their program from their competitors’ and increase their base of frequent, repeat customers.

In addition to spend-based rewards, brands should incentivize and reward customers for behaviors such as visiting the storefront again, exploring a new product offering, or something else that might indicate a high likelihood of sales down the road.

Customer service lacks insight into loyalty metrics

At many organizations, service agents lack insight into each customer’s preferences and level of brand engagement, and as a result, cannot respond appropriately in a timely manner.

Brands can overcome this by unifying loyalty data and customer information into one view. With an enriched 360-degree view, customer service reps gain the ability to award points for purchases, manage a reward store, encourage status and tiering, manage closed loop offers and run refer-a-friend programs.

This view also enables customer service agents access to real-time customer information, including points balance, tier and status and recent customer actions.

Overcoming these challenges requires marketers to buy into a new loyalty philosophy -- one based on a fair value exchange between brands and customers. When customers give brands access to their information (preferences, habits, behaviors, etc.) they expect brands to leverage that information to create better, more personalized experiences. Sounds great, right? And it is, but here’s the disclaimer: achieving this evolved loyalty paradigm is not possible without unified, actionable data.

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