A loyalty program – a structured, long-term marketing effort designed to encourage customer behaviors with rewards – can provide a business with many benefits. Increased sales, improved customer engagement, strengthened brand identity, and the ability to begin gathering valuable first-party data are typical results of a well-conceived, properly-implemented loyalty program.
Burger King launched an incredibly successful campaign through its loyalty program with a goal of increasing sales. In the end, it resulted in a 100% increase in purchases by program members, a 74% increase in purchase amount, and a 500% increase in loyalty program enrollment.
However, many organizations may not consider the critical part that employees play in the success of a customer loyalty program. Front-line employees are the face of your business to the customer, and their enthusiasm for a loyalty or rewards program is a critical component of program success.
Not only does employee engagement increase productivity and reduce turnover, but it also has a direct effect on customer satisfaction. A recent study found that engaged employees accounted for a 10% improvement in customer metrics overall, and a 20% increase in sales .
Employees are on the front lines of the loyalty program: introducing customers to the program, answering questions, and ensuring that customers are informed and excited about the potential rewards of a loyalty program. Because of this, employee engagement at the outset of a loyalty program is critical: the beginning stages are when a customer has the most questions about joining and may be reticent to provide the personal information or take the time to enroll. An enthusiastic supporter of the program can be the deciding factor in that choice.
To ensure that your employees are champions of a new program, it is critical that employers take the following steps for success:
1. Provide training. Employees must understand the program in-depth to respond effectively to any customer questions that may arise. Training should also include information regarding the ways that the program can benefit customers and the company so that employees understand their place in the big picture, and how their efforts can translate into measurable advantages for the customer, employee, and company as a whole.
2. Encourage practice. Allow employees to practice loyalty program introductions and enrollments during on-the-job simulations. The more training they have in addressing customer concerns – at checkout, on the floor, during busy periods – the more confident they will feel in promoting loyalty programs to real customers.
3. Launch internal contests. Creating a contest for employees is a great way to maintain engagement after the initial launch of a loyalty program, especially if it includes rewards for the best results. Contest ideas include:
- Most enrollments by employee
- Most enrollments by location
- Most redemptions processed
- Best score on a knowledge quiz
4. Provide updates. Loyalty programs benefit from continuous updates – new promotions, seasonal offers, targeted campaigns; and every time a change occurs, employees must be informed ahead of time and in detail. Again, employees will be on-the-spot with customers to promote, process, and explain rewards to customers. If employees are engaged and informed, they can respond to customer inquiries with knowledge and enthusiasm, increasing customer enthusiasm for the program.
Como Sense, an innovative customer engagement suite that enables you to delight your customer with rich and flexible loyalty programs as well as highly targeted incentives based on profile, purchase history, and preferences, already integrates with 80+ POS systems worldwide. Start gathering actionable customer insights to help you bring them back while increasing their spend.
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