Here is another excerpt from Jill Griffin’s Article that was posted a few days ago by the re:member group. The article was originally posted by the Austin Business Journal on February 19, 2000. Jill heads up the Griffin Group, and has written several books on Customer Loyalty.
“Frequent buyer programs, also referred to as loyalty programs and reward programs, have become a critical retention tool for companies searching for unique ways to add value and, in turn, build customer loyalty. For example, estimates show that more than 60 million Americans belong to frequent flier programs. You also can earn points when you shop for groceries, go to the dry cleaner, use the phone or even use an HMO.”
Loyalty Programs can be quite costly to develop (however, the Programs the re:member group develops are not). On the other side of the coin, Loyalty Programs are actually revenue generators once they’re truly burning gas. As Jill mentions above, Members of Loyalty Programs can earn points a host of different ways. This is great to keep your company at the forefront of your Members’ minds. The Programs we develop allow Members to literally do the things they do every day and earn points while doing it. The great thing is that this can actually turn out to be a revenue generator (or at least revenue neutral), because the partners are actually paying you to have your members shop there.
This is a “critical retention tool”, as Jill mentions. Think about it: If I’ve gotten service completed at your dealership, and have earned points for it (which are good only back at your organization), I’m locked. You’ve retained me for my next big purchase. Add to this my ability to earn points at over 400 online merchants through your branded Mall, and now I’m thinking about you every day. That’s advertising you can’t buy. This truly adds value I can sink my teeth into, and in turn builds customer loyalty.
Another unique way we add value is to keep our Customers’ names in their Members’ wallets. We do this by allowing Our Elite Members to receive discounts all over the nation when they show our Customers’ branded membership cards. This is an out-of-the-box way to bring value to your customers’ lives. After all, let’s face it, times are tough and people want to hold onto their money. You’re helping them do this by providing discounts at other establishments. Essentially, we’ve found a way to leverage your customer database to get others to give away free stuff.