Consumers want quality rewards and want to be able to access their rewards quickly when they rate loyalty programs.
There are companies in America that do not need to ask their customers to be loyal, but there are companies that beg for loyalty.
Does begging work?
Bond Brand Loyalty, the former Maritz Loyalty Marketing, released its 2014 Loyalty Report in early June and reports that for some consumers, their loyalty is based solely on the quality of the loyalty program offered by the company. If a retailer has a solid points program for purchases, the consumer tends to stick with that company.
The study interviewed 6,000 people and asked them to rate more than 150 companies in the fields of retail, packaged goods, banking, travel and hospitality, to determine whether their loyalty programs work.
The top drivers of satisfaction in loyalty programs are the quality of rewards, the trustworthiness of the program, the ability to reach levels in a timely manner, the speed with which rewards are processed and customer support.
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In terms of types of companies involved with loyalty programs, the top companies in terms of customer satisfaction are Dove (packaged goods), Papa Johns (dining), AMC Stubs (entertainment), Southwest Airlines (payment card), Kohl’s (retail-department), adidas (retail-apparel), JetBlue (travel-air), and Marriott (travel-hospitality).
According to the report, while 63 percent of all consumers say they love the brand more than they love the loyalty program, 29 percent said they would not be loyal to the brand if it were not for the rewards program.
For the companies, the scary news is that 68 percent of millennials say they would not be loyal to a brand that did not have a loyalty program.
On average, the survey respondents were enrolled in 10.9 loyalty programs, but are only active in 7.8. Eighty percent said loyalty programs “are worth the effort of participating” and 71 percent said the programs are part of their relationship with the company.
The problem with some loyalty programs is the constant barrage of reminders to participate sent to emails or smartphones. However, the Bond Brand Loyalty survey shows that 90 percent of respondents want that contact from the programs in which they are enrolled, even though only 46 percent consider the communication to be relevant.
Among the different program rewards, the most popular was discounts (79 percent), followed by cash back (71 percent), rebates (70 percent), and earned status (62 percent). Only 49 percent valued personalized shopping experience as a preferred reward.
In terms of how reward programs affect shopping decisions, 22 percent said they had made a purchase of something they did not need in order to maintain eligibility for points or benefits, and 35 percent said they modify the brands they buy in order to maximize their benefits in the program.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.