Loyalty Programs Gone Bad: When Loyal Customers Become Your Biggest Detractors

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Consumer meets brand.

Consumer becomes customer.

Brand offers to “go steady” with the creation of a loyalty program.

Love blossoms.

As romantics are apt to do, brand makes grand loyalty program promise.

Customers swoon.

But then, brand promises fail to meet expectations.

Customers revolt.

It’s a story that’s been repeated for as long as brands and loyalty programs have existed. Few doubt the effectiveness of loyalty programs, but there’s a dark side to them, and to the modern “loyal” customer in general.

It’s a good reminder, or more of a warning: A brand’s most loyal customers can turn into it’s loudest detractors when their trust is abused by the brand.

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Topics: points programs, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

Why Amazon Prime Day Was a Loyalty Program Win

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jul 16, 2015 5:30:00 AM

Yesterday Amazon Prime Day brought the world to a screeching halt, as people fought virtual tooth and nail for cut rate deals on otherwise unattainable products.

Or not.

I’m sure there were plenty of people who jumped out of their shoes to get that Adam Sandler Blu-Ray four pack.

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Topics: loyalty programs

The Growing Problem of Unengaged Loyalty Program Junkies (and How to Solve It)

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 18, 2015 10:34:00 AM

Hi, my name is Brandon and I’m addicted to loyalty programs.

That thought occurred to me this weekend as I was trying to set up (another) mobile wallet. One of the options this particular solution offers is “loyalty programs,” or the ability to add all (or most) of my various loyalty cards in virtual form.

Between national programs, aggregators, and punch cards, I had well over 50 memberships.

If you had asked me how many loyalty programs I was a member of point blank, with no time to dig for accuracy, I would’ve said 15, maybe 20.

50 wouldn’t have entered my mind. Which also means many of the brands providing those programs wouldn’t have entered my mind, either.

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Topics: consumer engagement, loyalty programs

Four Common Traits of Successful Loyalty Programs

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 15, 2015 11:06:47 AM

Have you ever joined a loyalty program that actually spoiled the brand for you? Considering the typical consumer is a member of 10+ programs (which seems low) and only active in seven (which seems high), there are clearly quite a few programs that are simply failing to connect with members.

“I THINK this company is trying to reward me, but I’m not sure.”

We’ve all found ourselves saying that at least once, right? Usually while trying to redeem points before a tight deadline will make them magically disappear into thin air. Or while holding a logo’d beer koozy and thinking, “This is how they reward me?”

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Topics: Customer Engagement, loyalty programs

6 Engagement Metrics that Reveal Customer Loyalty

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 8, 2015 8:30:00 AM

There’s a lot of ongoing discussion about the idea of measuring customer loyalty. It’s a worthy endeavor, but for many, a painstaking and often fruitless one.

Here’s an experiment: The next time you run into a business owner or manager, ask them what customer loyalty means to them.

Some will say a customer that returns over and over again. Others will say “loyalty” means “the customer buys (insert product here) from my business and ONLY my business. A few will probably even respond that it’s an advocate, someone who engages with the brand online and shares with friends, regardless of how much the advocate actually spends.

The point is “loyalty” takes on many different interpretations. Just like “value,” it’s in the eyes of the beholder.

Combine this lack of a universal definition with the fickle, rapid way consumer behavior shifts, and “customer loyalty” becomes a constantly evolving moving target that cannot be hit with a magic bullet.

So how does one measure loyalty? How can a business distinguish the trees from the forest, so to speak, and replicate the events that led to a loyal relationship?

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Topics: Customer Engagement, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

The Customer Engagement Recap – December 12

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 12, 2014 1:36:11 AM

Finish off this week with the news (and news you may have missed) that's going to impact your customers in the coming weeks and months.

In this week's customer engagement recap:

  • Retail sales in the US hit 8-month high in November. Will holiday spending soar?
  • Survey: 4-In-5 Consumers Say They Won’t Be Spending More This Holiday Season
  • The Risks and Rewards of Corporate Holiday Gifts
  • New cord cutting data spells trouble for traditional TV
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Topics: Rewards Programs, Customer Engagement, Customer Incentives, Ongoing Incentive Programs, Viewpoints, Weekly Recaps, employee incentives, loyalty programs, customer loyalty, holiday shopping

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