Your loyalty program should be a differentiating factor that sets your brand apart from the competition.
That’s why billions of dollars are spent on loyalty programs every year. From rewards and benefits like discounts and free shipping to members-only access and sweepstakes, brands put a lot of effort into offering programs that their best customers love.
But one aspect that isn’t often discussed is customer service. In fact, according to the 2021 Loyalty Program Benchmark Report, customer service is one area that is lacking when it comes to loyalty programs.
So, is VIP customer service something you should include for your members?
That depends on your brand, but these 3 questions will point you in the right direction.
What Types of Customers Do You Have?
Figuring out your customer type and their expectations and desires goes a long way toward determining if elevated customer service is a good fit for your brand.
For example, if your brand sells commodity or discounted items, then it may not make sense to offer elevated or VIP customer service to loyalty program members.
If you are offering a premium loyalty tier where your top customers are paying to be members of the program, they expect a heightened level of service.
But VIP customer service doesn’t necessarily need to be tied to premium loyalty.
If you sell high-end, high-touch products (jewelry, sporting equipment, high-end audio, etc.), then it could make sense to offer elevated customer service.
It really boils down to your product, its price point, and if there is technical expertise required to use it.
How Important is Personalized Service to Your Customers?
For brands offering more luxury or high-end products, offering personalized services can be a way to provide an exclusive service and show appreciation for customers.
The more 1-to-1 interactions you have, the more customer rapport you can build as a brand.
It’s especially important to implement personalized services to generate increased trust because, as we know, it cost more to acquire a new customer than to retain a new customer.
Customers are looking for companies to prioritize their needs and to provide an experience that is convenient to their needs.
So how important is personalized service to your customers?
Ninety-four percent of American customers will recommend a company whose service they rate as “very good.”
Consumers want brands to know them and speak to them directly. They want to receive real value from your product and customer service.
The loyalty stakes are high for retailers. Every brand with a loyalty program wants to stand out from its competitors.
You can do that with elevated, personalized customer service. In turn, your loyalty program members will gain greater trust in you and engage more with your brand.
Do You Have the Resources To Do It?
Most consumers expect to reach customer service via email, chat, phone, in-person. Do you have the resources or is it something a loyalty provider can help you with?
Since the pandemic started, customer service hold times have increased 50%. And more than half (53%) of callers waited more than 30 minutes to get a response.
Consumers are most frustrated with long hold times (47%) and a lack of clear information from agents (20%). One out of four consumers did not get their questions solved the first time when reaching out to a call center.
That’s why it’s critical to respond quickly. At Clarus, we prioritize speed in responsiveness to the members of our retail partners’ loyalty programs.
From July 2019 through November 2020, we handled more than 2.5 million calls. During that time, we successfully responded to more than 90% of those calls within 30 seconds, leaving members with little wait time.
With no IVR (Interactive Voice Response) process, our members are connected to a dedicated representative generally within 14 seconds. In addition to the phone calls, members have access to email with our team, as well as live chat. We respond to member emails quickly, always within 24 hours, and within 10 hours.
When your goal is VIP customer service, response time speed is critical and we pride ourselves in this area.
Customer service is all about serving the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible.
True Customer Service Is Not Just About Fixing a Problem
So, should you offer elevated customer service to your loyalty program members?
Well, that depends on the type of customers you have, how important personalized customer service is to them, and if you have the resources.
If you’d like to chat more about customer service as it relates to your loyalty program, contact us here.