Avoid these common mistakes to create real customer loyalty

Achille Traore

In this exclusive guest article, Achille Traore, the CEO at White Label Loyalty, discusses some common mistakes you can avoid to create real loyalty from your customers.

With no shortage of businesses competing for consumer attention, brand loyalty is the holy grail. Loyalty programs are on the rise now that companies are recognizing the power and value of repeat customers. But many businesses are making the same mistakes. Loyalty programs are not a fast-track solution, but rather a way to build lasting relationships. It is vital to take a strategic approach, starting with an end goal in mind: emotional loyalty.

Emotional loyalty is created when customers receive something they cannot get anywhere else. It’s not all about the product or service you sell – it’s about the experience you create. When you strive for emotional loyalty, you foster customers who are willing to pay more and stick with your brand, even if there is a cheaper alternative. These are the customers who will refer your business to others. Plus, emotionally-loyal customers are less likely to leave if things go wrong.

So, how do you create emotional loyalty? You need to avoid the same mistakes many businesses make when creating a loyalty program…

Mistake #1 – Only rewarding transactions

Remember that loyalty is about more than just transactions. To earn the trust of your customers and stand out from competitors, a loyalty program should reward any kind of behaviour. For example, reward customers for writing positive product reviews or referring friends. When you reward them, they develop a positive association with interacting with your brand. From our own research, one of the key reasons that 75% of loyalty programs fail is that they are only transaction-based.

Mistake #2 – Treating all customers the same

One of the core benefits of a loyalty program is access to detailed customer data. But data is useless if you cannot derive actionable insights. Brands should be able to use customer data to create targeted marketing campaigns. When customers receive personalised communications, recommendations, and services, they are more likely to become loyal at an emotional level. Don’t put customers off by treating them all the same.

Mistake #3 – Over-complicating things

Many businesses want to create a loyalty program or app that stands out. Whilst this is important, most companies run into the trap of complexity. If a rewards scheme is at all confusing or difficult to use, engagement will drop. Keep your rules straightforward and explain them clearly. Customers shouldn’t have to jump through multiple hoops to collect a reward. A clear, user-friendly interface will keep engagement high and lead to loyal customers.

Mistake #4 – Mediocre rewards

There’s no one-size-fits-all reward. You need a variety of valuable rewards to please your customers. Even better, use the customer data you collect via a loyalty program to personalise rewards. Customers understand the value of their data. They expect you to use that data in a positive way – to deliver a better service to them. Rewards can range from products, discounts or vouchers, third-party gifts and so much more. Get creative!

Mistake #5 – No ‘surprise and delight’

With so many loyalty apps out there, how do you create one that people actually want to use? Integrate surprise and delight. This is a marketing approach that aims to offer customers unexpected rewards. When you give out an occasional reward without making customers do anything to attain it, you exceed their expectations. Having a positive experience with your brand adds to the likelihood of building an emotional bond.

Loyal customers with emotional connections

Businesses are striving to create loyal customers with emotional connections. But many end up creating loyalty schemes that miss the mark. This is why it is important to choose loyalty technology with a flexible, event-based approach. An event-based system can go beyond transactions and reward any kind of customer behaviour. This level of flexibility will help you create a bespoke rewards program with high customer engagement and satisfaction.

If you cannot create an emotional bond with your customers, you will eventually lose them to a competitor. But if you can avoid the above common mistakes, you are on your way to winning their business and their hearts.