Loyalty Marketing Programs: How CX Insights Can Inform Incentives

It’s easy to confuse loyalty marketing programs with customer experience (CX) programs; both seek to drive positive customer relationships and retention. But it’s crucial to define each individually before we parse out how a CX mindset can inform what incentives your business should provide customers. 

The Difference Between Loyalty Marketing Programs and Customer Experience

Loyalty marketing uses a traditional company-wide approach to grow and retain customers by selling them more. Selling them more aptly summarizes the loyalty marketing mindset. It focuses on selling through incentives. 

On the other hand, customer experience invests more in the ongoing conversation through the customer journey. And the goal of that process is to drive a deeper sense of loyalty.

There is clearly some overlap between both programs, so how can brands utilize one to inform the other? Here are three specific ways that the insights you gain from your CX program can—and should—help inform the incentives you choose for your loyalty marketing program:

Insight #1: Customers Are Less Likely to Share Without the Right Incentives

Organizations have to first understand what’s at stake when the right incentives aren’t given. The biggest drawback is that you risk losing a loyal customer. If a customer isn’t satisfied with the proposed exchange your loyalty program offers, they won’t buy in.

For example, according to our CX Trends report, customers are less likely to share their info when a program only offers to make interactions easier, more efficient, or to deliver personalized recommendations. What we can learn about this is that customers value their personal info highly. The thing is, loyalty programs almost always ask for customers to share that data.

Insight #2: Customers Want VIP Treatment

So the question is, what incentives do customers really want? In Microsoft’s study, The Consumer Data Value Exchange, 99.6% of those surveyed said they would give information if there’s a cash reward and 89.3% would if a discount is involved.  

To truly drive brand loyalty, you need to promise substantial VIP benefits. Because if you expect customers to invest in a loyalty program, you need to show that you will invest in them as well. The more your program raises its value, the more it will raise customers’ view of your brand and willingness to share data.

Insight #3: Find Out What Really Drives Participation for Your Loyalty Marketing Program

Of course, incentives can differ greatly depending on the industry and individual organization. The best practice is to find out from your own customers what would incentivize them to participate in your loyalty program. And that begins with listening capabilities.

By listening to the Voice of Customer (VoC) with a CX platform, your business can find the golden nuggets in collected data and analyze them to find out what customers truly desire from you. Don’t let other brands within your industry narrow the range of what your perks can be. And neither should you expand your perks beyond what’s relevant to your customers. Keep your incentives specific to who your customers are.

A CX mindset can be a game-changer for how to incentivize your loyalty program and these three insights are just to get you started. Read this paper to learn how a CX mindset can transform your entire loyalty marketing program to one that cultivates strong customer relationships.

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