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By Nikolas Hatz

Unlock Customer Lifetime Value Potential

Virtual Screen showing unlock your potentialCustomer-loyalty programs have become the standard in most industries, but do customers really feel appropriately recognized through such programs? Most companies fail to recognize returning customers and do not make them feel valued for their loyalty. Why, then, should customers choose your brand over the competition? Many factors lead to poor loyalty recognition, e.g., incomplete databases, outdated IT, lack of internal communication, and, of course, poorly trained or unmotivated staff.

Make It Easy To Identify As A Loyal Customer

woman with surrounding question marksTen years ago, customers who were members of loyalty programs had to carry their loyalty cards and present them at all points of sale. When customers did not have their cards, they had to go through a complicated process to claim their points/airline miles retroactively. Allow your customers to identify themselves as loyal customers as simply as possible. It’s not about what suits you best, but what suits your customers best! Do not expect your customers to remember their 20-digit loyalty-card numbers by heart or carry their loyalty cards all the time. How about an email address, date of birth, or mobile phone number as easy-to-remember loyalty identifiers?

Consolidate Offline And Online Purchases

Smiling with a credit cardIf your company offers services and products for purchase online and offline, ensure that all customers’ purchases are credited to their accounts, regardless of distribution channels. If customers buy your services and products, but do not provide loyalty identifiers, check them out with a sophisticated IT system with an automatic data-reconciliation process in place to compare credit-card numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, etc., to identify loyal customers. Once a match is made with an existing data set, you can make customers feel more valued straight away and even surprise them with your knowledge about who they are.

Acknowledge Loyalty And Highlight Benefits and Privileges

Members only written on a wallNothing is more frustrating for loyal customers than not being recognized. Why should customers buy from you if their patronage goes unnoticed? Customer loyalty should be acknowledged whenever possible, and loyal customers should, whenever possible, benefit from preferential treatment, while maintaining necessary discretion, of course. Companies should use all touchpoints with customers to thank them for their loyalty. However, in a hospitality setting, for instance, most hotels only feature a priority check-in experience at the front desk for loyal customers, but limiting such preferential treatment to only one touchpoint highlights the huge untapped potential in this area. Why not recognize loyalty at all touchpoints? Preferred seating in restaurants, discounts on food and beverages, little “thank you for your loyalty” signs on tables, and branded coasters for drinks at the bar according to status level are just a few examples. Airlines, for instance, have guidelines in place for greeting frequent fliers onboard, but very few airlines truly practice such onboard loyalty recognition, creating a disappointing experience for many of their loyal customers and leaving much room for improvement.

Exploring Customer Lifetime Value

sign showing first class on an airport Granting benefits and privileges to loyal customers will make others who are not yet enrolled in your loyalty program curious and excited about joining, and it could even motivate those who have not yet reached a higher status to do more business with your company if they witness the benefits and privileges that customers enjoy on higher loyalty levels. Motivating new customers to become loyal and reinforcing existing customers’ loyalty will help you more easily monetize customer lifetime value. Studies have shown that retaining loyal customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones, loyal customers are more willing to buy related products, and loyal customers refer more customers to your brand than others. So, don’t hesitate to praise customers for their loyalty – it will pay off!

Get Professional Advice

Excellent ideaHappy to Help: HatzConsult is entirely at your disposal to help you create loyalty-recognition programs and train your staff accordingly. We also show you how to recognize loyal customers effectively, make them feel valued, and use their lifetime value’s full potential. See our complete service offer and contact us for further information and to receive your customized consulting offer.

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