Implementing Loyalty Programs

Implementing Loyalty Programs

“Secret loyalty programs don’t work.”

That may sound obvious, but it’s one of our favorite mantras at SparkBase. When we see tell tale signs of a loyalty rewards program in distress one of the first things we review is the marketing and in-store loyalty program implementation.

A loyalty program implementation plan should include everything from marketing your loyalty rewards program, to training staff and secret shopping.

Loyalty software alone does not guarantee a high preforming loyalty rewards program. At SparkBase, our professional services, marketing and client support teams are dedicated to helping businesses properly implement their loyalty program to gain the best return on investment.

Here are SparkBase’s 10 tips for in-store loyalty program implementation.

  1. Keep your loyalty rewards program simple. Your loyalty program should be easy to understand. If the program is too complex it will be hard to explain to staff, hard for staff to explain to a customer, and hard for the customer to see the value. If you need a 8.5” x 11” flier to explain all the ways to earn points in your loyalty program, it’s too complicated.
  2. Create loyalty program scripts for your staff. It is important to have a standard way of describing your loyalty program. Scripts should include the value to the customer and end with staff asking the customer to enroll. Trust us, we’ve seen what happens when hourly staff are left to their own devices and it’s not pretty. Create a script.
  3. Train staff on your loyalty software. Whether enrolling a customer, issuing a reward or redeeming a reward, your staff should know exactly how to operate your loyalty software. Untrained staff leads to customer confusion and longer lines at the register.
  4. Secret shop your loyalty program. Once training is complete, task someone from corporate or have actual customer secret shop your loyalty program. It’s the best way to understand how well employees are trained and if there are areas of your loyalty program implementation that need improvement.
  5. Run a staff contest to fuel loyalty program enrollment. Create a good-natured competition that rewards employees for enrolling customers in your loyalty rewards program. Cash is always the strongest incentive, but you can also use gift cards or merchandise to reward top-performing employees.
  6. Implement loyalty program enrollment requirements. In addition to running a contest, it can be useful to implement a minimum loyalty program enrollment requirement for employees when you begin a loyalty program. Consider it a component of their employee evaluation.
  7. Market your loyalty program at the point of sale. Leveraging email and social media to market your loyalty program is important, but when it comes to loyalty, nearly all of your customers will enroll at the point of sale. Approach marketing your loyalty program with the same gusto that you would a new product or service. After all, your loyalty rewards program has the opportunity to increase sales by 6% and that deserves some TLC.
  8. Market your loyalty program on your website. Customer are deciding if they want to shop, eat or visit you long before they walk in your doors by researching you online. So, tell them about the rewards you offer on your website. You can also add a section where customers can check their reward or gift card balance.
  9. Order plenty of gift cards and loyalty cards. Nothing kills momentum in a loyalty program like running out of cards during a contest, or in the first several months of a program. If you don’t want to order a large quantity to start, figure out about how many you go through in a week and then place a second order. Keep in mind that gift cards and loyalty cards generally require 10-15 days to print and ship, so plan ahead.
  10. Listen to customer feedback on your loyalty rewards program. After all, you implemented your loyalty rewards program to create loyal customers who spend more and shop more, so listen to what they want when it comes to rewards. Remember, it’s not a reward unless the customer actually wants it. Overstocked inventory and old products need not apply.

To view the original article at Loyalty360, please click here.