How many times have you shuffled through a supermarket checkout to be quizzed by a subdued attendant, ‘Do you have a Flybuys card?’
I’d guess hundreds of times over the years? If you’re anything like most, you respond by awkwardly looking at your feet and mumbling, ‘No thanks.’ In most cases you’ll notice the attendant politely retreat and pretend they didn’t even ask the question, as they casually scan your shopping items past the register.
I’m curious, have you ever heard a checkout attendant passionately respond with, ‘Oh-my-goodness! OK, we need to fix that for you, right away!’
Dramatic? Yes. My point? If you are going to ask for something as valuable as a person’s loyalty, at the very least demonstrate a true commitment in asking for it. This blog is in part observation, and part feedback for loyalty program managers. Here’s some candid advice to help your loyalty team drive customer engagement.
Firstly, I cannot emphasise enough, the need to continually invest-in and educate your team on how to communicate the (tangible) benefits of your loyalty program. They need to know the finer details and 100% believe in the program benefits. If they don’t, they should not be presenting the program or asking that seemingly simple question ‘Do you have a Fly Buys card?
When you genuinely believe in and know how to tailor the program benefits to your customers’ desires, you become almost irresistible. Equally, when you can outline specifically what a patron is missing out on without the ‘card’, you genuinely demonstrate your ‘duty for care’ as well as providing valid reason for responding to common objections.
Secondly, a willingness to personalise the conversation is critical. I call this ‘digging for drivers’ and ‘making it personal’. If your membership team is seeing the same loyal customers regularly, yet they fail to acknowledge them by name and get to know them better each time — this will begin to lose their loyalty and your influencing position over time. .
In short, acknowledge the customer as a person, not just a ‘sign up’ target. This will go a long way towards them listening when you have something important to say, such as:
‘Sue, I know you’re not currently a loyalty card member, but I’m curious to know why not? You’re in here so often and could be saving hundreds of dollars! You could be putting all these points towards that end of year holiday you’re always talking about.’
There is always a better way to say something, a smarter more genuine way to communicate. Crafting and refining your message frequently will determine its impact and influence on others. If you ask the same question in the same way, with the same care factor, time and time again, at best you’re training customers to ignore you, at worst, you annoy them and push them away.
We all know the vast majority of businesses are screaming for more loyal customers! And we all understand how competitive the market conditions are — meaning customer loyalty is critical to your survival. The reality is, customers want to be loyal when they have a good reason to be, and you’re genuinely rewarding them to be loyal, so work hard to give them every reason to be your # 1 fan.