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Tag Archives: Loyalty program

How to Win Loyalty From Other People

by Deepak Chopra -

If you aspire to be successful as an entrepreneur, manager, business owner, or any kind of leader, others must feel loyal to you. Although money is often seen as a prime motivator, ultimately the bonds that hold an enterprise together are psychological. Important data gathered by the indicate that loyalty is one of the top three things that make workers feel satisfied.

Loyalty balances self-interest. It is the willingness to look out for “us” and not just “me.” It’s no secret that the bond of loyalty has frayed at a time of layoffs and the loss of pensions and benefits in the economy. A public image has been built of opposition between management and labor – there is nothing new here – where the advantage has shifted overwhelmingly to management. As long as profits continue to roll in, loyalty is ignored. The assumption is that workers are too desperate for a job to complain or protest.

You have a choice to make in the face of this sad situation. Are you going to join the trend and forget loyalty or are you going to try and rebuild it? The question doesn’t apply simply to managers. Companies develop an atmosphere and a culture. No one works in a vacuum, and your attitude affects the environment you work in, no matter where you fit into the overall scheme.

If you choose to help rebuild loyalty, here are some suggestions:

1. Abstain from disloyalty, which shows up in small but telling ways. Office gossip, back-biting, and spreading rumors show disloyalty, because they degrade the sense of bonding and cooperation.

2. Work on bonding and cooperation. Be sympathetic and open to the people you work with. Support projects that are good for everyone, even if you don’t gain immediate material rewards.

3. Honor the difference between rivals and competitors. The fact that you are competing against others at work doesn’t make them your rivals. Rivalry is hostile; it implies that only one person can win. Competition raises the bar for everyone, so that the whole team can win.

4. Pay attention to personal details. Loyalty runs deep when a person feels cared for and understood. Be alert to these needs. Make an effort to include everyone. When ideas and suggestions are being discussed, make it clear that every suggestion is welcome. If someone’s pet idea is rejected, take time to go to them afterwards and listen respectfully to what lies behind the idea.

5. Share your success. Include your team in the praise and appreciation that comes your way. If possible, make a tangible gesture, as appropriate – throw a party, or other form of celebration, offer bonuses, present a gift as a token of recognition.

6. Don’t keep secrets. As much as possible, make the decision-making process transparent. Open up financial details. In the economic downturn of 2008, some small businesses shared their finances with their workers and thereby won real loyalty. Seeing that the company was strapped, the workers felt an incentive to be part of the solution. This is just one way to close the gap that makes management and workers adversaries, a stance that severely erodes loyalty.

7. Remind yourself every day that there is no “I” without “we.” This allows you to be humble in your successes and provides a community to get through crises.

 

 

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How To Revamp Your CRM In 2013

As 2013 rears its head you may want to start thinking about revamping your loyalty marketing program. Really take the time to see what worked in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction and customer retention. Clearly identify the weak links. Find out what part of your loyalty marketing is making little to no impact on your business. Then take the time to consider what can change. Here are some ways to boost your CRM for the next year.

Social Integration

If you haven’t included social media into your loyalty program, it is time to really evaluate how you can. Find out which social media channels fit into your overall program. Facebook is a great tool for many companies but might not be the right one for yours. It may even do some damage. Really take a look at all the options that will naturally fit your brand by identifying what your core customers already use.

Cleanup Your Look

It is important to balance evolution with consistency in your loyalty program. Don’t stay stagnant for too long because other companies are sure enough changing their look every year. Every year you should polish up your website, add new elements and fine-tune your program’s colors. This can lead to a whole new program for re-engagement and offer you benefits into the next year.

Cut Your Losses

Make the holiday season your last ditch effort to push inactive members to re-activate or reinvest. If you haven’t seen or heard from them by January, cut your losses. Use your time and energy getting new customers who will generate revenue.

Review Your Goals

Take a look at your bottom line and see if your goals are what your company needs. This may involve a huge overhaul in your company’s CRM but will yield terrific results in the next year. Often taking a look at the building blocks of your loyalty program can really help you identify its weaknesses.

Experiment

Although you may have a solid program base where customers know how things work, it may be time to shake thing s up a bit. Experiment with subtle changes to see what really hits a nerve with your customers. It could be anything from a new benefit or a simple “Thank You.” Test on a small group of customers and see what works and what they appreciate. If you get any feedback, negative or positive, you’ll be more aware of what your customers like.

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Article courtesy of customer retention agency, Kobie Marketing.

 

 

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The Evolution of Customer Loyalty Programs

Marketing on many levels has tapped into the success of customer loyalty programs. The idea of building a sense of identity and interest in customers isn’t new, but with electronic data management, it’s become easier to address specific interests and needs. Stamp rewards and exchanges of yesteryear are replaced with everything from gift cards to gasoline discounts in the present. Meanwhile, games continue to provide incentives for customers to affiliate more with one business or another. However, merely offering a program doesn’t assure loyalty.

It’s important to analyze the needs of customers in developing a good loyalty program. A system that provides great rewards is more likely to produce the repeat business that is desired. Meaningless rewards, however, are unlikely to garner positive interest. In fact, poorly chosen loyalty rewards may drive customers away. Meaningful options don’t have to be overly expensive. They just have to provide value to those customers who are being targeted for repeat business.

A contrast can be drawn through consistency. The business that is consistent and dependable in administering customer loyalty programs creates an environment that allows trust to grow between consumers and the company. A customer recognizes that the rules won’t continually change. It’s important to establish guidelines and adhere to them. In doing so, a business creates a sense of stability that attracts repeat interaction on the part of the customer.

It’s especially important to recognize the place that the Internet plays in cultivating customer loyalty. Social media plays a predominant role in providing consumers with updates on special deals, sales and other activities. Integrating these methods into loyalty programs can draw more interest if it’s handled well. It’s important to keep social media interactions simple and concise. It’s also important to understand how different social venues appeal to various customers. Some are image based while others are focused on interaction. Each venue will attract a slightly different demographic, and effective interaction and promotion requires some study of the way in which each venue is used by one’s clientele.

The use of smartphones is causing some transitions in customer loyalty programs as well. These permit more access to information and updates for consumers. However, overdoing it can be a problem for those who are already overloaded with text messages and multiple emails. It’s important to make mobile messages meaningful and simple. Value and simplicity are essential for keeping the interactions positive in the eyes of customers. Knowing how customers use their devices is important so that a good balance can be maintained in an age saturated with electronic information exchanges.

Colloquy is a resource for businesses who wish to gain an edge over their competitors through loyalty Marketing. Look to colloquy.com for publications, cosulting and more in regards to gaining customer loyalty.

 

 

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Top Tips for Ensuring Your Customers Come Back Again and Again

Finding new customers can be an expensive and time consuming process.  You need to figure out where to advertise to reach them, build up brand awareness, and then persuade them to trust you enough that they’ll hand over their money to you.  You could invest in thousands of ad impressions, get a lot of visitors and a fair few calls and emails, but end up seeing only a handful of sales for all your work.  Depressing, isn’t it?

That’s why it’s so important to look after your existing customers.  You’ve already built up brand awareness and trust with them, so they’re much more likely to buy your product, or hire your services again.  What can you do to keep your existing customers happy?

Reward Loyalty

Rewarding loyalty doesn’t have to mean starting your own loyalty card or points scheme, although you could do something like that if you run an online store that attracts a lot of smaller, repeat purchases.  There are other things you can do.  Offer a special discount to people who have purchased from you recently, or give your regular customers some little “added extras” with your next order.  If you have a customer that has been buying from you regularly for a long time, send them a token gift to commemorate their 50th purchase. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you show your customers that you appreciate them.

Prioritize Customer Service

Good customer service should be your top priority from the outset; not only because quality customer service is an important part of crisis prevention, but because the quality of your customer service will be noticed during good times too. People don’t always call customer service with a complaint – sometimes they call with a question, or even to leave a compliment.  You don’t want to sour the tone of a happy customer by having their first interaction with your customer service department be 25 minutes of hold music.

Communicate When Things Go Wrong

No matter how carefully crafted your crisis prevention plan is, it’s inevitable that one day, something will go horribly wrong, and the effectiveness of your business crisis management skills will be tested.  When that day comes, you want to make sure that you win your customers over.  Most people will be understanding when they find out that there’s a problem – as long as you communicate effectively and work with your customer to fix the problem in the best way for both of you.   Be open, honest, and flexible, and you could earn yourself a valuable ally thanks to your communication skills.

Be Human

Dealing with faceless corporations is not pleasant.  The simple act of being human, and treating your customers as humans (rather than entries in a CRM database) will inspire loyalty in a lot of people.  It’s easy to get caught up in paperwork, invoices, spreadsheets, and crisis prevention plans when you’re running a business.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that your customers are real people, and that sometimes a personal touch is appreciated.

This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Insignia who can advise you on crisis prevention and business crisis management. Photo: Victor1558

 

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