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Have you seen our Loyalty Statistics: the Ultimate Collection page lately?

If not, you should. It’s ballooned to a jaw-dropping 1000+ statistics curated from across the web over the last 5 years. And it’s still growing.

They come from studies run by industry leaders and top firms across the nation. Organizations and businesses have used it for research, presentations and to influence member benefit strategies. It has become a trusted resource for a host of companies worldwide as they navigate the complex and sometimes confusing notion of “loyalty.”

As obsessed as we are about all things member loyalty and member benefits, we recognize that no one statistic tells the full story. Still, we’ve dedicated this entire blog to exploring every nuance of customer and member loyalty – and as we’ve organized the statistics, a few interesting trends have emerged.

 

#1 - More Loyalty Programs Competing for Attention — and Failing

Attracting people to your loyalty program is a massive undertaking, and nothing is more frustrating than seeing membership numbers rise while usage stays stagnant. After all, what’s the point of having a loyalty program if people aren’t finding value in it?

It was only a few centuries ago (a short time in the grand scale of humanity) that a shopper’s only option was the town’s General Store. It doesn’t take much to earn a person’s loyalty if you’re the only option available.

But now the market is flooded with options. So much so that 63% of Millennials and Gen Z agree they have so many choices, a brand has to show them loyalty in order to gain their business — not the other way around.

The same argument applies to loyalty programs. 65% of consumers reported they actively engage with fewer than half of their loyalty programs and 41% with fewer than a quarter of them. Americans collectively hold 3.8 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs. Consider then, that Millennials report maxing out with activity in 4.2 loyalty programs, and only 3.9 programs for all consumers.

The reality is, your loyalty program might get ignored simply because members are engaged in too many others. And with that kind of competition, you can’t skimp on the value.

The statistics have clearly identified the issue plaguing loyalty platforms everywhere. If you need some ideas, click to view strategies for standing out from the crowd

 

#2 - Losing Loyalty Can Happen Fast, But Winning it Back Still Possible 

Loyalty is hard-won in the first place, so the best-case scenario obviously is to never lose it. However, bad experiences happen. Employees have off days, products are sometimes faulty, benefits sometimes fail to live up to expectations.

And the statistics are showing just what it takes to convince customers to switch away from a brand to which they were previously loyal.

The answer? Not much.

Consumers reported it takes anywhere from 1 (19%) to 3 (58%) bad experiences before they take their business elsewhere. Millennials reported that prices 10% to 15% better at a competitor could get them to switch. And fully half (50%) reported they simply found someone else who better meets their needs.

It may seem discouraging to see how increasingly easy it is to lose once loyal customers to other brands. But don’t throw in the towel. You can actually win them back. They’ve said so themselves.

When brands develop a history of transparency, about 90% of consumers said they are more willing to give brands a second chance after a bad experience.

This means before the bad experience even takes place, people want companies to have a strong social media presence that makes them feel more human. Then, once they’ve built this platform of trust, it’s the perfect forum for making things right. After all, when people see you making things right with one member, it can deepen their trust in you, even when they’re not directly involved.

Plus, it’s important to remember that customer engagement is a cumulative experience. And one bad day will seem so much less important if it’s drowning in a flood of positive ones. 

 

#3 - The Key to Getting Valuable Customer Personal Data? Trust and Value

Data is king. Many companies are hungry for data about their members and customers. After all, armed with valuable demographics, organizations could start segmenting their marketing plans and really delivering up the best value to each individual.

The problem is, most organizations don’t know quite how to get it.

The statistics show that 34% of Millennials won’t join a membership program because the enrollment process is too long. At the end of the day, members aren’t going to give up personal details for nothing.

I myself have joined a group or 2 with the information: First name = Me, Last name = Me, email address = Me@me.com. Why? Well I couldn’t tell if it would be worth my while without signing up first. And I didn’t want them bugging me if it wasn’t.

Trust has to come first. Trust that their membership will bring them value. Trust that you will use their information with care. So what does that mean for organizations? Try asking for the bare minimum of information to help them get in the door. After you’ve developed that trust, you can ask for more detailed information.

Luckily, the statistics also show that the vast majority of people are more than willing to share their information… as long as you make it worth their while. In fact, 90% of consumers are okay with brands knowing more about them if it helps deliver a more rewarding and satisfying shopping experience.

So what will members trade their personal data for? Well, statistics show they are most interested in exclusive deals (60%), the ability to gain points and rewards (56%) or for a more personalized experience (55% of Millennials).

So, if incentives and personalized value will get you the data you’re looking for, make sure that value is present in your loyalty program.

 

Let's Learn Together

There’s a lot more stats where those came from, and a lot more conclusions to be drawn from them. Take a look for yourself. If you notice any trends, we'd love to hear from you. Comment below.

We’ve discussed often on this blog how customer engagement begins with employee engagement. In fact, we strongly believe the best path to happy customers is to start internally.

It’s why we invest so much of our heart into making sure our own employees feel valued.

The fourth quarter here at Access has been both rewarding and humbling. That’s because our employees have honored us in return.

As we’ve been evaluated for end-of year recognition by a variety of organizations, they’ve examined our benefits, work-life balance, company culture and more. More importantly, they surveyed the employees themselves to anonymously learn how they feel about working here.

And what do you know, we even won a few awards.

Most recently, Access Development was named one of Utah’s best companies to work for by Utah Business Magazine.

During the survey process, employees reported, “The culture at Access is more like an extended family than a workplace. We value each other for their personalities and their skills to work together to accomplish a common goal. Our company also emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance and believe that the employees are the most important part of the company. The general feeling here makes me want to come to work everyday and focus to get my job done the best I can.”

Access has also received recognition from 4 other diverse organizations in the last year.

“We owe it all to our excellent employees,” said Lisa Oyler, HR director at Access Development. “If we’ve done anything right here at Access, it’s been to hire the most amazing people who bring energy and talent to our workplace.” 

Speaking of amazing employees, we’re looking for a few more “A” players to add to the team. So if you know someone looking for a more satisfying job, try nudging them toward one of these available positions.

Ever walked away from a brand you love with a sour taste in your mouth after joining their loyalty program? It’s telling that while consumers belong to an average of thirteen loyalty programs, they are only active in about six of those. Clearly, a large percentage of programs are dropping the ball when it comes to connecting with their members.

So then, what is it members expect from their loyalty programs? Well, for starters how about valuable rewards (not a logo’d beer koozy) that are easily redeemable (not points that expire or take forever to accrue before they can even be used).

Let’s take a look at what the world’s best loyalty programs have in common. If you examine the most successful programs – and probably the ones you are active with – they’ll have these four common traits:

Whose job is it to create member / customer loyalty for your organization?

Account managers? Customer service reps? Maybe YOURS?

You may even have a team in your organization dedicated to the client experience, like we do.

According to our VP of Client Success, Emily Hayes, EVERY SINGLE employee is an important player in the member retention and satisfaction game. From web designers to shipping clerks to payroll representatives, each employee should understand how their efforts contribute to happy members.

Because when organizations get it right, and members are loyal, the payoff can be huge. Research shows that 81% of emotionally connected consumers will not only promote the brand among their family and friends, but they will also spend more.

And we’re not talking pennies.

Repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones, according to one study.

So…member retention, engagement and loyalty are clearly a big deal.

But what about the employees at your organization… the ones expected to create engagement-invoking, loyalty-inducing experiences for your members?

What about THEIR retention, engagement and loyalty? Does THAT matter?

Human resource departments are typically tasked with keeping workers happy. And in the tightest labor market the U.S. has seen in 5 decades, HR professionals are learning that it absolutely matters.

A lot.

Engaged Employees Lead to Engaged Customers

Studies show that if you are looking to engage customers, the best place to start is with engaged employees. In fact, a study conducted at Cornell University linked companies on Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For with higher customer satisfaction scores.

The payoff comes in both retention and revenue. One report suggests companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue.

We’ve written before about how engaged employees = engaged customers, but it’s never been more evident than it is today.

See the Slideshow

The unemployment rate recently descended to 3.7% - the lowest it’s been since 1969 when millions of men were pulled out of the workforce by the Vietnam War Draft. The Fed considers the “natural” rate of unemployment to be between 4.5% and 5%. So at a rate this low, there are more open jobs than workers to fill them.

And, frankly, it’s impacting the customer experience.

I’ll never forget how tiny my daughter was when she learned to say “thank you.” If you gave her a marshmallow, you were guaranteed an enthusiastic “thank you.” So people kept giving her marshmallow after marshmallow after marshmallow…

The 2018 holiday season is officially here, and you can bet your bottom dollar that consumers everywhere are preparing for it.

The question is: are you?

Whether you're in the business of customer loyalty, employee engagement, or member retention, the holidays represent a major opportunity to strengthen the relationships you value most.

Here at Access, we want to help you get ready. After all, 91% of consumers say they plan to "celebrate the season" this year, giving you a chance to fill a stocking with goodwill. Read on to learn more about how (and why) a little extra care and consideration can go a long way during the holidays.

Holiday Spending: Bigger Than Ever

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, people are feeling pressure to stay on top of their holiday shopping. 18% of U.S. consumers started their yuletide spending as early as September, with another 21% beginning before November and 60% before Thanksgiving.

There's no intention of slowing down the festive spending this year as retail holiday sales in the U.S. are predicted to grow between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017, with Americans projected to spend up to $720.89 billion this year. Last year, 58 of the 60 shopping days in November and December resulted in over $1 billion sales ALONE.

It's no secret people are spending larger-than-usual sums of money to get ready for the holidays. So what exactly are they spending their hard earned dollars on this time of year?

Consumers plan to spend a total of $1,007 on average for items like decorations, candy and gifts. When buying gifts for others, the most popular purchases are gift cards/certificates (54%), clothing (53%), toys/games (46%), books (43%) and food/liquor (39%). And many consumers, 78% to be exact, are looking simply to shop for themselves. When they do treat themselves, 42% say they'll choose food/liquor, 40% clothing, 26% shoes, 22% books and 21% cosmetics/fragrances/health & beauty.