It’s a social world out there! And loyalty programs are firmly embracing the concept of social loyalty, an extension of loyalty programs that supports customers’ actions on social channels. As a marketing and incentive engagement company, are you including a social loyalty component in your loyalty program offerings?
Loyalty360 recently released Understanding Customer Engagement: The Opportunities & Challenges Marketers Face Today. The report goes into depth about defining exactly what customer engagement is and the importance it has for today’s marketers. Depending on the organization or company, customer engagement can come in a variety of forms but one consistent thread needs to be addressed and acknowledged: look at customer engagement as a two-way street, a constant dialogue between a company and its customers. In the report Marc Glazerm, VP Brand Loyalty from Kobie Marketing discusses the stages of moving the customer across the “engagement continuum.” Glazerm explains that, “The overarching goal of course is to move someone into the Advocacy stage, where they've grown so much, earned so many points/status, claimed their winnings and rewards and now believe so fervently in the brand and its wares that they can’t wait to tell the world about it and share the benefits with friends and family, in turn creating new members with their own customized life cycle.” Without rewards, engagement can take a hard hit. Giving customers the gift of choice and flexibility, with rewards such as gift cards, can increase traffic to your brand or service and in turn raise engagement levels. To learn more from other leading marketers in the industry check out Loyalty360’s full report here.
Do you remember that Customer Loyalty Program your company has in place? Oh that’s right I think Bob’s looking into that every other Thursday. Well it’s time to take it to the next level, it could be the difference between having a successful year that’s one for the books and barely making it through. Entrepreneur released an article explaining the importance of a Customer Loyalty Program and how it is more valuable than ever “in this age of social connectivity.” Word-of-mouth has gone to a whole new level…and spreads like wildfire. It’s important to invest financial resources into making your current customers feel appreciated, after all they could end up being a spokesperson for your company or for your competitor. The article highlights 5 ways to improve your Customer Loyalty Program. Here’s a couple that caught our eye: Refresh the ‘Thank You’- Give your 'Thank You’ a facelift, after all it’s seen by all of your customers. Entrepreneur states, “…ideas for improvement include lacing in a promotion to instigate immediate action…” Why not offer gift cards to new customers to show that you appreciate their business, whether it’s to SUBWAY for a healthy lunch or family night at Boston Market they're sure to be grateful. Improve your feedback channel- Most company’s don’t realize how critical your customer feedback can be. Make sure that you are getting relevant information and turning it around to give your customers the best experience they can have. *Tip: Maybe you understand the importance of customer feedback and find it hard to pry it out of your customers? I smell an incentive. Try rewarding them with gift cards to their favorite restaurant or clothing store! To find out more ways to kick start your Customer Engagement Program check out 5 Ways to Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Levelhere.
Retail TouchPoints (RTP) is an excellent source for retail executives to stay apprised of insightful content around the latest in customer-facing technologies and the development of critical customer loyalty strategies to compete in today’s retail environment. In RTP’s Top 20 Articles of 2011; they outline top 20 most viewed articles of last year and review the top trends across those most read stories. They noted that the majority of the most viewed articles were case studies with success stories from leading retailers, highlighting that “retail executives are looking to learn from their peers….two of the hot-button topics in 2011 were mobile technology and social commerce.” I hesitate to simply lead you to the list. First, I must note that the top article is 10 Innovative Solutions In The First Annual Next-Gen Retail Awards Report; an important composition of innovative solutions highlighted at the 2011 National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention. The innovations profiled in the report included 10 categories like: social media; in-store marketing; inventory management; store intelligence; mobile technology; customer engagement; POS, and cross-channel. “In a challenging economy retailers are struggling to turn shoppers into brand advocates. With that in mind, customer loyalty was a hot topic in 2011.” Visit the full list of Top 20 Retail TouchPoints articles and you can also access the actual articles, insights, case studies and more to start your own innovative approaches.
Although our industry trend reports are typically focused on B2B gift card topics and industry events; we thought that “Turning Negativity into Engagement" is a particularly important topic as our clients and customers enter into an uncertain holiday season. At this year’s MoShow we were reminded of some valuable lessons in listening and reacting. We’re happy to share with you a presentation around embracing technology to listen to your customers, to bring your brand and brand programs closer to enlightenment. Are you willing to accept social media and online networks as listening tools, to assess your customers’ opinions and react? Many believe that adopting these technologies could back-fire on a brand in an all-too-public forum. But consider that negative conversations about your brand are happening online, whether you are present or not…how you listen and address them could be the difference between a proactive leader and a tarnished reputation. Some really great advice and answers to these nagging concerns come to us in a presentation given at the MoShow’s Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) meeting. This presentation, by Mike McDonnell, Vice President, Product Management & Client Solutions at Affinion Loyalty Group, offers fresh perspectives and real-world examples of how to turn negativity into opportunities for engagement in The Bright Side of Negative Engagement. This presentation will help you determine a critical response to a negative customer experience and help you answer the important question,”What’s Your White Chocolate Mickey?” Click here to read the rest of GCP’s Industry Trend Report
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