Loyalty Program Myths, Busted

  • Written by Jackie Yeo
  • Mon, 16 September 2019
  • 12:00 AM
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Five of the most common myths and misconceptions about loyalty programs that hurt your brand’s chances of growing a loyal following.

By now, you probably know how lucrative customer loyalty programs are. You’re probably here because you’ve been convinced enough to start a program of your own. Or you may already have one in place. Maybe you’re still hesitant to take that plunge. Wherever you are on your loyalty program journey, it’s imperative that you know which loyalty program myths and misconceptions can cost you your strategy and loyal customers. And slice it.  

In this list, we help you separate fact from fiction so you can achieve the best results for your own loyalty program campaigns. We narrowed it down to five of the most common deterrents so you can be guided accordingly.  


Busting five of the most common loyalty program myths 


It is too expensive.

This myth is usually propagated by people who are more familiar with the loyalty programs released by bigger companies. And for small to medium enterprises, it’s easy to be put off by the thought of accrued expenses if you compare yourself with these industry giants. Remember, loyalty program costs widely vary and are usually dependent on the size of your audience and the scope of your intended features.  

And while we’re not outrightly denying that loyalty programs can be expensive, we’re saying that certain types and formats are cheaper to employ than others. Also, keep in mind that the internet is on your side: automating your emails and making necessary adjustments so it reveals your customer’s name instead of the generic “Dear reader,” is more intimate. Or you can send them personalised suggestions based on their purchase history. Simple gestures can go a long way.  

 

The customers don’t want to be bothered. 

This is a common assumption that needs to be nipped in the bud—if you ever want to have a successful loyalty program, that is (which we’re guessing you do, since you’re here). It’s not even “bothered” per se, but rather “engaged”. Customers do want to engage with brands they feel strongly for. There is a rather apprehension with using text messages to update customers, especially if you’re afraid of appearing spammy. That’s why most would rather go the email route. Compelling emails are great vehicles for introducing a brand’s rewards to new customers, or even to refresh existing ones about the value they can get from you.  

Also, you must remember that people are quite receptive to loyalty programs, especially if it’s packaged in a way that provides them great value in exchange for simple, uncomplicated sign-up process. A consumer report says that simple point-based rewards inspire loyalty from people, regardless of age.  


It is difficult to manage. 

This one may be partly true for merchants and retailers who don’t leverage the right tools with their loyalty programs. But technology has really made it easier to track and observe customer’s behaviours and pair these with the right loyalty strategy. Technology gives you a certain edge that allows your brand to maximise the benefits while minimising the time it takes to collect the data you need to keep your loyalty program running.  

Customer tracking softwares and analytics help you build a customer database that gives you an insight into customer preferences, which you can use to plan your loyalty offers accordingly.  


It complicates the payment or checkout process. 

Now this has a shred of truth in it since most widely used loyalty programs came in packaged as loyalty cards. So, yes, there’s that image of rummaging inside your wallets, trying to find the right card to swipe on check-out. Or the stress that comes when you realise that you’ve left it at home. 

But again, as an ode to technology, we are never short of loyalty programs that are built on systems, especially on mobile devices. This mobile integration makes it so convenient to check accrued rewards and use the loyalty system during check-out. Some even makes it easier for you to checkout. Some offer advance collection of rewards which help brands anticipate which rewards the customers will use, conveniently minimising the time it takes for a customer to check out a product or service.  


Loyal customers will forever be loyal to your brand. 

While customers love loyalty programs, their continuous patronage with a brand is not always certain. With loyalty programs, the competition is tight, and if you as much forget to upgrade and offer something new to even your most loyal subscribers, then you may lose them. Continuous investment to innovative loyalty programs, offers that capture exactly your customers’ preferences and changing needs, if key to making sure your loyal customers continue their patronage.  



One of the key defining benefits of loyalty programs is its ability to engage customers and inspire their continuous patronage with a brand. You can’t do that if you’re held back by myths. So, forget about these common loyalty program myths and start working towards sustainable loyalty program features that ensure continuous customer support!