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Loyalty Quick Wins: How to Increase Customer Engagement With Minimal Investment

There’s a common misconception that amazing, experiential benefits and differentiating strategies are complicated and expensive.

Believe it or not, you may already have the foundation for a loyalty Quick Wins approach sitting right under your nose. By thinking strategically and defining clear objectives, you can create a customer experience with minimal investment through a Quick Wins approach.

Some of the most successful loyalty programs offer members benefits that require a small investment or impact to revenue, yet still make customers feel good about their purchase.


Beyond the Transaction

It’s true that customers are enticed by free shipping and discounts, but let’s really try to go beyond those transactional perks. Let’s create a unique experience by leveraging existing assets that cost virtually nothing to the brand, but have a high perceived value.

Think back to some of your favorite loyalty programs and the perks they offer:

  • Upgrades on popcorn or drinks
  • Member only access to sales, events and content
  • Partner discounts or offers
  • Customer service or support
  • Express member-only lane for check-in, checkout, or entry
  • Member pricing

Now think about how much this will cost the brand. Not much really, right? The perception, however, of the value is high. Members are offered convenience, a feeling of gaining a status and a level of appreciation they would not have if they were not a member of the program.


Defining Objectives & Inventorying Assets

Incentivizing customers should first begin with defining objectives for the brand to accomplish. Brick-and-mortar retailers may want to increase foot traffic and acquire new members while online ecommerce brands may want to increase frequency.

How the experience will be presented is dependent upon internal alignment, defining metrics for measuring success, and operational execution.

Many brands have highly unrepresented and unadvertised services that customers may know nothing about.

  • Free design services
  • Free gift wrapping
  • Free consultation
  • Free alterations
  • Member-only content (derived from social media, blogs, tips, etc.)
  • Partnerships
  • Community

Bringing those services to the forefront of the program and positioning them as perks allows brands to cross-sell and upsell while offering customers a value.


A Unique Experience

Now that we have clear goals, let’s envision ways we might increase foot traffic and acquire new members by making our store a destination across various verticals and categories. Some examples may include:

  • Bring your friend/family to the exclusive member only shop night
  • Scan your card/identify yourself as a member in store and receive a free (low cost) treat
  • Attend our member-only sip and shop sponsored by wine/beer distributors who would love to host a wine tasting to sell their products in a unique setting
  • For being a loyalty member, we’re offering 5 percent off with our partners or brands who would provide that service for the benefit of their own customer acquisition strategy
  • Priority member access for grooming and boarding services
  • Free engagement photo session with our photography services partner for buying your wedding day jewelry with us


Operational Execution

Execution and training in-store operations is crucial to the overall customer experience. Don’t put the responsibility on the customer to discover their benefits.

Thank them for being a loyal member and share with them the value of the program. Additionally, employees that are permitted to participate in the program make great advocates and they can speak passionately about the benefits firsthand.

For example: “Thank you Mrs. Smith for continuing to be a loyal member of our program. Did you know as a preferred member you receive free gift wrapping? These candles make such a great gift and I’d be happy to wrap one up for you if you would like to buy one for a friend.”

Instant upsell, affirmation of status and appreciation, and additional brand awareness. We’re engaging our members and communicating the value that is unique to them, not other customers.


Hire a Professional

I believe clients are absolutely the experts of their brand, but sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective to discover those hidden gems that will create additional revenue and engagement for your brand.

One of the ways we collaborate with clients is through workshops, which is a great environment for idea sharing, learning about obstacles the brand is facing, and how various department objectives can impact each other. Ensuring stakeholders are aligned at the start of the engagement is key to creating a cohesive strategy while working efficiently.

As strategic partners and loyalty industry experts, we can help brands clearly map out a Quick Wins approach with sound program recommendations and an execution plan.

A Quick Wins engagement plan is also a great test and learn environment for new strategies, a way to cost effectively pilot new tiers, or to simply have an immediate, yet significant impact on the customer experience.

In a Quick Wins engagement, everyone wins!

Carlos Dunlap-Beard

Carlos has spent the past 25 years cultivating a rich background in B2C/B2B engagement strategies, direct marketing, business development, customer acquisition, customer loyalty, data analysis and strategic marketing through several key posts within Loyalty Marketing agencies. A proven marketing strategist and consumer engagement thought leader, Carlos has authored dozens of articles, blogs, and webinars on various topics focused around program design, customer experience, member engagement and loyalty marketing best practices. He has also been featured in numerous publications and spoken at many conferences and events. In his free time, Carlos likes to play golf whenever the weather allows, travel with his lovely bride Alicia (occasionally with some or all of their 4 girls), read, write, hang out at the gym, cook/grill for his family and drink bourbon.

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ebbo™ is an all-in-one loyalty company. With our data driven strategy, full-service approach, and the unwavering support of the people behind the platform, our dedicated team will work with you to understand your loyalty goals, innovate solutions and help you build customer engagement on repeat.

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