The Loyalty Program Toolkit: Lessons Learned & Best Practices Enabling Break-Away Competitive Advantage

The content of this blog is a customer loyalty toolkit containing a host of loyalty program development ‘how to knowledge’ including best practices, project plan, business case, pros/cons, customer loyalty definition, customer loyalty benefits, loyalty program communications plan, loyalty program change drivers and loyalty program development lessons learned.

Sample Blog Content

                                                               Sample Blog Content

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The market is currently saturated with customer loyalty programs that are either marginally effective or that actually represent an inconvenience to the very customers they are trying to retain. If you are even thinking of launching a loyalty program, consider the Ten Commandments of Loyalty Programs listed below.

Ten Commandments of Loyalty Programs:

  1. The rewards of the loyalty program must be so compelling that customers are actually driven to defect from your competitors and organically refer other customers to your program
  2. The rewards from the loyalty program must be so super-simple to redeem, the customer can do it without any unnatural and inconvenient steps: finding their card, remembering their rewards number, etc.
  3. The rewards from the loyalty program maximize customer choice for redemption: Cash back, points with cash payments, merchandise, travel, buy points, donate points, transfer points, etc.
  4. Company employees are empowered to distribute points to customers based on need such as distributing points to make up for a customer service issue or for a customer’s good will toward the company
  5. Top Tier Customer loyalty achievers for each year are recognized in special ways: Meet with company CxOs to get their feedback; special in-person awards ceremonies, extra unannounced super-perks the following year, etc.
  6. The pre-launch company rewards program is designed such that rewards programs rating agencies (Freddie Awards, Flyertalk), pre-determine the program to be top in class prior to launch based on the design concepts, rewards program content, etc. Ongoing reviews ensure top program billing following the program launch
  7. Rewards program acquisition strategy must include conversion of a customer’s competitor points to join your company’s rewards program at the same level as your competitor(s). (a.k.a. a lateral join)
  8. Any loyalty program should not even be considered without first leveraging Advanced Predictive Modeling Techniques (APMTs) to determine an overall program cost estimate. These APMTs tend to be much more responsive and accurate, quickly reflecting the impacts of all available information on the program liability. Without this APMT component, the program must be cost prohibitive and drive your product/services costs up to unsustainable levels.
  9. The loyalty program must enable communications with its members via the member’s communication channel of choice without burdening members will annoying and redundant member information requests. 
  10. The loyalty program should encourage family company loyalty to the extent of top market leaders (USAA insurance for military service members) such that rewards can be transferred to family members, left to family members after death, allow entry at preferred reward program loyalty levels for select family members of top earners, etc.
Loyalty Program Strategic Drivers & Levers

Loyalty Program Strategic Drivers & Levers

Any world-class loyalty programs that I have helped establish and/or evolve at Macy’s, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Starwood, Marriott, and American Airlines ALL contain (at least, as a common denominator) the above seven (7) strategic levers as part of their loyalty program. 

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Loyalty Program Levers

Reasons People Leave Companies

Reasons People Leave Companies

 The Relationship Between Customers Treatment & Retention

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 Benefits of Customer Loyalty

Benefits Of Customer Loyalty

Benefits Of Customer Loyalty

Company Benefits of Customer Loyalty

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Loyalty Definition

What Is Customer Loyalty

What Is Customer Loyalty

A Good Definition for Customer Loyalty

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 Change Drivers for Loyalty Programs

Change Drivers For Customer Loyalty Programs

Change Drivers For Customer Loyalty Programs

Drivers (Reasons) for Creating a Customer Loyalty Program

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Objectives & Desired Behavior Of A Loyalty Program

Objectives & Desired Behavior Of A Loyalty Program

Loyalty Program Corporate Objectives

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Loyalty Program Approach

                                Loyalty Program Approach

Customer Loyalty Program Approach

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Positioning The Loyalty Program

Positioning The Loyalty Program

Customer Loyalty Program Requirements Development

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Loyalty Program Type & Content Examples

Loyalty Program Type & Content Examples

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Loyalty Program - Balancing Benefits With Company Costs

Loyalty Program – Balancing Benefits With Company Costs

Loyalty Program Customer Benefits & Company Costs

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Loyalty Program Business Case

                            Loyalty Program Business Case

Loyalty Program Business Case and Reward Financial Model

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Loyalty Program Communications Plan

Loyalty Program Communications Plan

Customer Loyalty Program Communication Plan Structure

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Loyalty Program Point Collection Simulator

Loyalty Program Point Collection Simulator

Customer Loyalty Program Reward Point Redemption Simulator

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Loyalty Program Point Redemption Calculator

Loyalty Program Point Redemption Calculator

Loyalty Program Reward Category Point Redemption Volume Estimates

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Loyalty Program Business Case & Project Plan

Loyalty Program Business Case & Project Plan

Loyalty Program Business Case & Project Plan

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Loyalty Program Pros and Cons

Loyalty Program Pros and Cons

Customer Loyalty Program Pros & Cons

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Loyalty Program Lessons Learned - 1 of 3

Loyalty Program Lessons Learned – 1 of 3

Customer Loyalty Program Lessons Learned & Best Practices (1 of 3)

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Loyalty Program Lessons Learned - 2 of 3

Loyalty Program Lessons Learned – 2 of 3

Customer Loyalty Program Lessons Learned & Best Practices (2 of 3)

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Loyalty Program Lessons Learned - 3 of 3

Loyalty Program Lessons Learned – 3 of 3

Customer Loyalty Program Lessons Learned & Best Practices (3 of 3)

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Bottom Line: If you are ever considering implementing a customer loyalty program, please take the above lessons learned and best practices into account as these were all developed after having successfully implemented several of these loyalty programs at Fortune 500 companies across the globe.

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About StevenJeffes
About Steve Jeffes: Steven Jeffes is a thought leader in developing world-class corporate innovation, CRM, marketing, social media, loyalty, customer retention and customer experience programs. The recipient of many awards (http://www.stevenjeffes.com/stevenjeffes_awards.html), Steve is expert marketing strategy design & optimization: design, development and launch of world-class and best practice marketing and social media programs; change management organizational design and process excellence in marketing, sales, customer service, engineering, product management; and development of successful sales and sales management programs for Fortune 100 companies and government entities. He holds dual B.B.A. degrees in Computer Science and Finance from Temple University and a Master’s in Organizational Design and Excellence from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton. Steve can be e-mailed at stevenjeffes@gmail.com or contacted via phone at 518-339-5857.

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