Fostering customer loyalty in this fierce industry competition has become one of the most significant topics in the current business era, especially when it comes to enhancing customer retention. Customer loyalty cards as distinctive instruments of loyalty program enable brands to deliver a seamless loyalty program participation experience to customers. In this blog post, we will take a comprehensive overview of customer loyalty cards to understand what makes them special.
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What is A Customer Loyalty Card?
A Customer Loyalty Card is typically a plastic card that enables the members of a loyalty program to earn points, and thereby easily avail the wide set of benefits the program offers. The loyalty rewards card usually comes with magnetic strip coding to record every purchase/transaction the customer makes with the brand.
Another variant of the loyalty rewards card comes with barcode and the third variant includes both magnetic strip and barcode. It completely depends on the brand which specific card variant or type it opts for.
Custom loyalty cards go a long way in delivering your intended message to your customers of how special they are for a brand like yours.
“Customer loyalty cards often serve as a sort of souvenir in some way, as these remind the customers of being acknowledged due to their loyal association with your brand”.
Getting custom loyalty cards designed for distribution among your loyalty program members is thus another area to considerably focus upon. You would want the loyalty card to be unique in all respects; however, this requires customizing the card with the most appealing theme and design in sync with your brand.
How Customer Loyalty Cards Work?
The basic fundamental mode of operation of a customer loyalty card involves swiping the plastic card against a card reader device or the POS system. The action authorizes the card reader to scan the available customer data, calculate the points the customer earns and finally update the points to the member’s account for redeeming at a later stage. It essentially requires the customer to present the card at the time of making a purchase/transaction. Several brands have though substituted these rather easy-to-carry cards by a suitable app that allows the program members to avail the same convenience/benefits as offered by the plastic card, but this time by using their favorite companion – the mobile.
Top Benefits of Customer Loyalty Cards for Brands
Brands gain considerably by having a loyalty card in place for their customers who are active members of the loyalty program. Some of the benefits customer loyalty cards bring along for businesses include –
Gaining the Competitive Edge
With loads of offers to choose from, it may be easy for your customers to get drawn to a better offer if you don’t offer them exciting enough to stay engaged. However, when your customers carry your loyalty card, they are enthusiastic enough to keep building points on that card in an endeavor to attain more amazing rewards by redeeming them. Brands thus have a mammoth challenge to avoid disappointing the customers by keeping the offer as enticing as possible.
Opting for loyalty card printing rather than going for the digital options available turns out to be a much inexpensive endeavor for a brand. Even brands have the option to leverage the wide range of loyalty card design templates that are available for free online. All they require is to customize the available template and get a print to save both time & resources considerably.
Foster Brand Advocacy
When customers experience a sense of positivity with your brand, they are more likely to spread the same to their peers by using different channels, and predominantly via word-of-mouth. This further encourages your customers to make frequent purchases and use the loyalty card at regular intervals to earn rewards so as to stay more connected to your brand.
Loyalty Cards or Mobile App – The Debate Continues…
Plastic loyalty cards entail few downsides that tend to make them slightly unimpressive for a specific number of customers. In an age where customers are looking for sheer convenience and agility, physical loyalty cards tend to slow them down. Firstly carrying the card always becomes a hassle for several customers who already have a heap of cards already in their wallet. Secondly, losing the card also tends to be frustrating for some customers when it comes to reissuing the card.
A number of Smartphone apps enable customers to use the loyalty cards more conveniently. So, how is that made possible? Nowadays, customers can download a single mobile app to act as their digital wallet for storing all their loyalty cards.
The customer just needs to download the app and scan all the loyalty cards using the app to allow the app to access information of all scanned cards. The app produces a unique barcode for each added loyalty card and the customer needs to present this barcode to the salesperson at the store during purchase. As the salesperson scans the barcode, the earned rewards get updated in the customer’s account.
Customers have options for downloading such apps for free from app marketplaces in order to enjoy a more convenient way of using loyalty cards. So, even if brands spend a lot of time & effort in designing the perfect loyalty card for their customers, customers always have the choice to leave the card back home and use the app rather. It thus becomes crucial for brands to lay more emphasis on the structure of their loyalty rewards program than the look & feel of the loyalty program cards.
A Customer Loyalty Card Is Crafted to Benefit Everyone Involved
As mentioned before, customer loyalty cards remind the customers of their loyal association with your brand. So, irrespective of the fact that options are available for customers to adopt a contactless approach to using the loyalty cards, several customers will always want these cards to accompany them during purchases.
Whether customers prefer using the app or your custom designed loyalty card, it largely depends on the strength of emotional bond they establish with your brand.
Also as loyalty program cards create benefic opportunities for both the brand and its customers, participation is mandate from both ends in order to make the endeavor succeed. While brands need to constantly work to create the best rewards structure for the customers to be encouraged enough to make repeat purchases, customers need to actively participate in the program to ensure using the loyalty card and deriving benefits from it.
At the end of the day, a unique & exciting rewards structure is what you require to support your customer retention initiatives. Lack of expertise in creating a high-performance loyalty program may fade your dream of gaining the competitive advantage. So, connecting with the experts in this domain can actually work wonders for boosting your customer retention strategy. Annex Cloud brings its vast expertise in loyalty program creation & implementation to fuel improved customer retention and revenue generation for your brand. Contact our experts now!