Loyalty programs are a proven way to cultivate customer relationships and improve conversion rates. Consequently, the market is flooded with customer loyalty programs for businesses. A quick Google search might leave you overwhelmed at the variety of solutions available. However, not every loyalty program is created equal. Partnering with the wrong loyalty provider can be harmful, especially of you operate a small business. Here are some mistakes businesses make when choosing their loyalty program and program provider.
Mistake #1 – Avoid New Loyalty Program Providers
How long has this loyalty program been around? You want to go with an established solution that has a proven track record. Loyalty program providers are constantly emerging, but that doesn’t mean they have staying power and will continue to support your business for the long run. In today’s data-rich world, you should be able to quickly gain insight into the history of the company, where they are based, and how long they have been in business. It is also important to look at customer reviews from reputable, third-party sites like Serchen, SourceForge and Capterra.
Mistake #2 – Avoid Loyalty Programs with Limited Features
Think about what you want to accomplish with your loyalty program. The right customer loyalty program will be able to support your goals and be effortless to setup, monitor and operate. Look for solutions that offer extensive marketing capabilities and diverse ways to enhance and elevate your loyalty program. How often is the loyalty program updated and how often are new features introduced? Your loyalty program should be working hard to keep up with changing market conditions and customer behaviors.
Mistake #3 – Avoid Loyalty Programs with Limited Data Options
Data is at the heart of marketing and customer loyalty programs. It is important that you have full ownership of the loyalty data and are able to take that data with you if you decide to switch to a different loyalty provider. There shouldn’t be any limitations or restrictions on your control of the loyalty data.
In addition, data integrity is key. Garbage in, garbage out! For example, e-mail addresses should be validated at the point of capture and certainly before attempting to deliver marketing communications to them. A good system will auto-correct common data entry mistakes as well. This will increase your overall deliverability by reducing bounce-back rates and increasing your sender reputation with various email providers, like Google and AOL. Not focusing on data integrity is a mistake businesses often make, rendering their loyalty program data useless!
Finally, make sure that you are able to capture customer data that goes beyond basic contact information. Data related to past purchase history is invaluable in targeted marketing and you want to ensure you are able to leverage your customer behavior information.
The good news is, with a little research, you can avoid the mistake of choosing the wrong loyalty program for your business! There are cutting-edge and proven customer loyalty programs out there, committed to employing best practices and retaining your business. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, especially when it comes to pricing, then it probably is just that. Be on the lookout for these red flags, to help you avoid less than impressive solutions that won’t be worth your time or money. You may also contact the experts at Preferred Patron to gain insights and get answers to your loyalty program questions.