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Customer Loyalty – If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It

When you are looking to develop more loyalty in your business, what are the the first things you have to ask yourself?

What does loyalty mean to you? What signals should you be looking for if it improves? How and what do you track?​

It’s a management philosophy that I subscribe to as well: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

To me, this philosophy is partially business advice and partially loyalty advice.

It’s one of the first questions I like to ask my team–especially when they come to me with a problem. If we want to solve the problem, we must quantify it.


How This Philosophy Applies to Customer Loyalty

When you talk about creating and maintaining a successful loyalty program, it can’t come with a set it and forget it approach.

It’s not even just about continual optimization.

Velocity of features must be combined with what measurable impact those features are having on the core KPIs of your business.

Creating this velocity leads to momentum in your KPIs and this momentum leads to greater loyalty from your customers. That means loyalty internally from your employees and loyalty from members of your loyalty program.

In the Age of the Customer, consumers are in control, so an effective loyalty program must exceed their expectations at every touch point and engage them with relevant content.

Make sure you’re reinforcing your brand messaging at each of these touch points, which collectively comprise a series of loyalty moments. Loyalty is made up of separate, but engaging moments that follow a seamless journey.

It may not seem fair, but it’s way easier to destroy loyalty than it is to create it. Which is why tracking is so important–you must identify where you’re creating momentum AND destroying it.

Companies that are serious about making their loyalty programs uniquely identifiable need to make sure they are tracking exactly what they want to measure. It might sound simple, but making sure you’re tracking the right things is extremely important. It will always keep you on the most optimum path to success.


Visuals Help the Tracking Process

Now that we understand the impact of tracking the items you want to change, what’s the most effective way of achieving that? The easy approach is to throw your tracking into some document someplace–which is a great way for things to end up lost. However, I believe that tracking a problem visually only helps your case.

Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so nothing highlights a problem better than a simple line graph going the wrong direction.

People only remember 10 percent of what they hear after three days, but if a relevant image is paired with that same information, retention goes up to 65 percent.

When we can tie our loyalty metrics to visual images, it makes the whole process smoother and simpler.

Data visualization tools help bring transparency to internal reviews and the measurement process. The use of charts or graphs enhances the visualization process and helps identify areas that need improvement better than trying to analyze reports or spreadsheets.

Don’t underestimate the impact of having that 30,000-foot view on what’s important. It can ensure you’re headed in the right direction.


Listening To Customers Impacts Program Features

Listening to your customers is the best way to find out what’s important to them, what you should track and measure, and what will lead to sustained loyalty and brand advocacy.

Ask the right questions. Survey your members and utilize user testing tools to get information from your demographic.

User interface, core message, call to actions, trust symbols, graphics, program price, level of commitment needed, and benefit value all impact performance and should be tested. Find out what loyalty means to you and looks like from your customers’ perspective.

This information will lead to the understanding of making the tweaks to your programs that will lead to the biggest move in your KPIs.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.


Getting on the Same Page

Make sure you track the right things. This critical piece of the customer loyalty paradigm will always keep you on the fastest route to creating momentum toward success.

Data visualization tools greatly augment internal reviews and the measurement process. When everyone in the company is on the same page from a tracking and measurement perspective, momentum is created and continues to build. Being able to make changes on the fly to seamlessly improve your loyalty program attracts and retains customers.

To me it all comes back to this philosophy management question: How can you improve it if you can’t measure it?

Tyler Haskins

As the EVP, Marketing of Clarus Commerce, Tyler sets the vision across all our direct-to-consumer and business-to-business efforts. Since coming onboard in 2010, he has driven the development of the consumer value and demand strategy for our premium loyalty products. Tyler is a seasoned professional with close to 20 years of experience in customer acquisition, product strategy, partner development, creative and consumer engagement.

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