Customer Loyalty: The Lost World

Customer loyalty isn’t lost, but it has diversified. In a world where your competitors are only a click away, customer loyalty is really dynamic marketing. Today’s customers have access to an endless amount of information about your business. The question is: Are they willing to stop searching and stay with companies who go above and beyond to create a lasting customer experience?

According to Interline’s “Have you spiffed lately?” blog, the answer is YES! In essence, it affirms that spiffs can help products rise to the top and can prevent such competitive situations.

Consider Starbucks®. Besides a coffee fix, customers often return to earn stars with their purchases, with opportunities to double their rewards certain days of the month and graduate to tiers of loyalty. All you need is a Starbucks gift card or a smartphone. This rewards program also helps Starbucks get to know their customers better by storing all their order and payment information in the app—they personalize the experience and tailor it to their customer (isn’t it nice to never have your name misspelled on your Starbucks cup again?). The coffee as well as the personalized experience keeps them coming back.

Can your B2B business create the same effect in this world where customers have more access and have more options than ever before? Loyalty or spiff programs can be an effective way to encourage repeat purchasers and start fostering customer loyalty. According to Access, a surprising 50% of Americans say their loyalty depends on the brand or product/service. And over time the loyal customer will spend 67% more than new customers. So, make it worth their while to stick around.

Take the steps needed to optimize product loyalty programs for desired outcomes. Our “Optimizing Spiff Programs” blog points out that the program should be built to have immediacy (reward needs to follow quickly) and little administrative burden, and presents some best practices in SPIFF program management.

Building customer loyalty isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. Winning back lost customers, keeping customers loyal and helping to impact future spending decisions are all strong factors in why loyalty programs are influential to customers… and important for businesses to have. It is not a lost concept, nor is it likely to disappear anytime soon.

MarketNet can help identify the existing strengths of your business, as well as identifying the existing weaknesses, and help you identify a loyalty program that may be right for you. Find out more, call us at 847.358.6884. For additional references, here are some blogs on spiffs that you might be interested in reading:

  • The Human Side of the Spiff” discusses offers a counter point to a recent major media outlet guest editorial entitled “Have spiffs run their course?” It was written by Jeff MacDowell, the director of the Luxury Products Group, LLC (LPG). He argued that if you are selling luxury products, you are naturally going to be anti-spiff. His point of view misleads the reader to a dangerous, incorrect belief: spiffs should be eliminated.
  • Cash Isn’t King…Yea Right” offers you a counterpoint to Leo Jakobson’s article, which presented results of a “major new study” that said “four-fifths of program participants actually would prefer non-cash awards as part of a ’Total Award Experience.’” It brings in MarketNet’s research to demonstrate the viability and sustainability of case as an incentive.