Building loyalty today means a lot more than handing out points. Meeting customer expectations at every step in the journey is the new mandate for loyalty marketing.
So what exactly are those expectations? And what are marketers doing to meet them? Read on to find out.
1. Loyalty programs are soaring. A study by Accenture found that 77% of consumers participate in a retail loyalty program, 46% have joined a hotel program, and 40% are part of an airline program–up from 72%, 36%, and 31% over the last year, respectively.
2. A study by Wunderman found that the majority (79%) of consumers said brands have to actually demonstrate that they understand and care about them before they are going to consider purchasing.
3. Loyalty marketers that implemented an influencer marketing program in 2016 received $11.69 in earned media value for every $1.00 of spend, on average, which is a 4.4% YoY increase.
4. Customers are enticed by different incentives, according to Accenture. Unlike last year, when the promise of deals most drove loyalty, customers today find financial rewards (61%) and programs highly tailored to their needs (58%) much more enticing.
5. While a typical U.S. household is enrolled in 19 to 29 different loyalty programs, it only actively uses five to 12 of them.
6. Active use of these programs has steadily declined since 2010 at a rate of 2% to 3% per year. Over 50% of accumulated points, with an estimated worth of $50 billion, are never redeemed. Unclaimed rewards create huge financial liability to a company’s balance sheet.
7. When customers are unhappy, they’re much quicker to act, Accenture found. Half quit doing business with a company immediately after a bad sales/marketing experience, one-quarter took to social media, and 54% started engaging with other companies.
8. Nearly 80% of companies spend less than 30% of their time and budget on customer retention-focused messaging and content.
9. Fifty-seven percent of consumers want to engage with their loyalty programs via mobile devices, but 49% don’t know whether there is an app associated with their loyalty program.
10. They’re also not afraid to switch. Accenture found that 54% of customers switched service providers in the past year, citing frustrating customer service as the top reason (64%).
11. Eighty-eight percent of U.S. consumers want to engage with brands that are setting new standards in meeting their expectations, according to Wunderman. Seventy-four percent said brands can do so by providing a higher level of customer service. In addition, 56% said they feel more loyal to brands who “get me” and show a deep understanding of their priorities and preferences. Additionally, 89% are loyal to brands that share their values.
12. Hotel loyalty programs might seem ubiquitous today, but nearly 60% of guests still don’t belong to one.
13. It costs 5x more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer.
14. After building a relationship, customer spend grows alongside trust. Eventually, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.
15. Lack of trust can be a deal-breaker. Forty-three perfect switched providers because they lost trust in the company; 38% said their loyalty to brands is more driven by trust (e.g., personal data security) today, according to Accenture.
BONUS: Accenture study (below) with more loyalty stats.