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Does Your Customer Loyalty Program Reach Its Full Potential?

Right now, I have nine different punch cards in my wallet from local merchants that track and reward my loyalty. My favorite is a vintage loyalty card from my local coffee shop. The rules of that program dictated that when all ten holes were punched, I received a free cup of coffee. I could also write my name and telephone number of the back of the fully punched card and leave it in a jar for a $50 gift card drawing. They used to put such trust in their customers that they would leave a hole punch next to the cash register for self-service. Admittedly, I didn’t always remember to punch my card and sometimes just couldn’t be bothered to fish it out of my wallet if I was in a rush. But I liked the idea behind the program and always held out hopes of winning that elusive gift card.

Customer loyalty programs have been in existence for decades and can be found everywhere from my local coffee shop to major airlines. In addition to the rewards they can provide your customers, they can also help your business personalize shopping experiences by gathering data during repeat visits. Using the example of my coffee shop, my data went no further than the name or email address that I chose to share on the back of the card. However, when you introduce a digital commerce layer to capture this information and use it to enhance future customer experiences, loyalty programs can create a new layer of value for your business.

Which brings me back to my coffee shop. Six months ago, they adopted a new point-of-sale system that has the loyalty program built in to their software. So instead of fumbling around for my card with a long line of angry commuters behind me, I now just give my phone number to get my credits. The woman that I’ve seen almost every weekday morning for the past four years now knows my name and how addicted I am to caffeine. She continues to enter me into the gift card drawing, but still no luck.

Research published by Forbes Insights suggests that 62% of consumers are willing to provide their personal information as a means to receive personalized offers, incentives, and discounts.1 If a loyalty program is valuable for your business, consider how adding a digital commerce layer can help facilitate management of the program and personalization of the customer experience. We can help you uncover software options best tailored to the needs of your business.

 1 Forbes Insights, http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/promise_of_privacy/, 2013.

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