The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing a Customer Appreciation Program

by Natasha Ambavle |

The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing a Customer Appreciation Program

Customer appreciation can be explained with a simple concept of planting a seed and nurturing it. Without constant care and support, you cannot expect it to grow and flourish. The same goes for any relationship be it friendship or customer-brand equation. In this article, we give you a list of do’s and don’ts you need to consider before modeling your customer appreciation program and strategy.

Do: Design a Program After Careful Customer Analysis

Don’t: Follow Your Competitor Blindly

Your customer is the prime audience of your program. Before you begin strategizing your customer appreciation program, you need to get a good understanding of your audience. Study your customer’s purchase patterns, analyze their reviews and feedback to understand their needs and expectations from your brand. You could also conduct quick surveys or take audience polls; this will give you great insights on your customer and design programs that address their needs and appeals to their taste.

Do: Design a Program According to Your Brand Guidelines

Don’t: Deviate from Your Brand Persona

Your brand image and persona distinguish you from others and that is why it is crucial to design strategies, programs, and campaigns that resonate with your brand aesthetics. Your loyalty program should be an extension of your brand persona, it will help in increasing brand reach and brand recall value in the long run.  A good loyalty partner like Annex Cloud will help you design a program that reflects your brand image, while also appealing to your audience’s taste and preference, click here for a free consultation.

Do: Pay Attention to Your Marketing and Business Objectives

Don’t: Just Simply Follow Trends

While formulating your loyalty and customer appreciation strategies it is important to remember why you are doing it in the first place? Many marketers get carried away by the latest trends and technology and create a program that simply does not help their business. Have clear and predefined marketing objectives, once you are aware of your goal, it becomes easier to design a program that helps you achieve your purpose. For example, if strengthening your social media presence is your goal, then you could design a program that rewards customers for creating user-generated content and social sharing. The idea is to keep your marketing objectives as a focal point of your loyalty strategies to yield better returns.

Do: Reward Handsomely

Don’t: Hold Back on Rewards

Rewards are the most important part of your loyalty program. If the rewards aren’t exciting enough, even the best loyalty strategies will fall short. As more and more brands are adopting loyalty and rewards programs, holding back on rewards can prove to be highly risky for your program. Offer rewards that add value to the customer’s life and make their journey with your brand more valuable. Invest in aspirational and experiential rewards. Rewarding customers with experiences and good memories can significantly increase brand affinity. Customers are more appreciative of meaningful rewards and it helps in strengthening the ties between your brand and them.

Do: Select the Right Loyalty Partner

Don’t: Undermine Their Expertise

Your choice of loyalty partner can make or break your customer appreciation program. It is a complex strategy that requires resources, expertise and experience and it is best to render the services of a loyalty partner to ensure smooth planning and execution. Annex Cloud is a market leader in the American loyalty circuit, recognized by Forrester for its Omnichannel Loyalty and the Rewards and Incentive Engine. It has the technological prowess and expertise to design the best-suited loyalty strategy for your business that increases customer retention rate and positively impacts sales and revenue. For a free consultation, connect with our Loyalty Experience Manager.

Do: Focus on Overall Customer Experience

Don’t: Mistake it Only for Customer Support

If you don’t know already, customer experience is the new marketing. Gone are the days of advertisements and commercials, today customer experience markets and sells a brand. However, most marketers make the grave mistake of limiting customer experience to just customer support. Even with a strong program, you need the backing of all your departments. From on-boarding to off-boarding and support, everything is a part of the customer experience. It can be the determining factor that influences purchase decisions. According to Watermark Consulting, brands that focus on customer experience perform 3x better than others in terms of stock performance. Hence, make sure that you provide a seamless experience to your customers to ensure high participation and customer satisfaction rate.

Do: Create a Customer-Centric Business and Marketing Approach

Don’t: Make it a short-term plan or campaign

Customer appreciation isn’t limited to just rewards or loyalty programs. To truly appreciate your customers, you need to develop a customer-centric business and marketing approach. Keep your customers at the heart of everything you do. Customers are smart and observant, small acts of appreciation, surprise and delight elements, meaningful rewards and great customer experience are key ingredients to building a loyal base of customers. A one-off campaign or short-term loyalty programs are no good in developing a strong customer-brand relationship. An intuitive approach that anticipates customers’ needs will amplify the efficiency of your customer appreciation program and can go a long way in building genuine brand loyalty.

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