Building payment loyalty programs into your business

May 13, 2020

Customer loyalty is the foundation of businesses everywhere. Regular, repeat business from returning customers is the clearest sign of a healthy, thriving business. Shoppers return to the same establishments when they’re offered outstanding products and services, at the right time, the right place and the right price.

Customer loyalty also helps build the consistent, predictable cash flows that allow your business to plan, grow and flourish. Customer loyalty is so important that sometimes it needs a little encouragement. Loyalty programs help businesses reward their most loyal customers by providing various incentives, like free products, reduced rates on services or other special offers.

Businesses have used loyalty programs for decades. Early forms of loyalty programs included cereal box tops, airline frequent flyer miles and punch cards of nearly every type. Today, loyalty solutions are more sophisticated, integrated tightly with digital payments and managed simply by the touch of an app or click of a button.

Whatever the technology, the concept remains the same: give customers more of what they want, reward them for repeat business, and they’ll keep coming back. Though the technology is more sophisticated, building loyalty solutions into existing payment solutions is easier than you might think.

Why are loyalty programs so important?

Customer retention is a challenge for every business, and competitive pressures to draw away your hard-earned customers away are relentless. Loyalty solutions help cement emotional bonds and put you on the same side of the table with your best customers.

Loyalty programs are critical because repeat customers tend to spend more than first-time or occasional shoppers, both in total and per visit. Loyalty programs help reduce churn, reduce the cost of customer acquisition and boost lifetime customer value. They help you attract and retain customers who tend to spend more, and buy more frequently. The right loyalty programs show your customers that you value their repeat business. Well-defined loyalty solutions help set your business apart from the competition by showing your appreciation for customers in concrete ways.

How to create a loyalty solution that works

Loyalty programs that work are convenient, consistent, individualized and secure.

Loyalty programs should be convenient to use. A reward shouldn’t be work. Your loyalty program should integrate seamlessly with payment experiences that are fast, easy and safe. Loyalty programs that work prioritize ease and convenience for the shopper. That takes work behind the scenes, but the right partner can make that easier than ever.

Loyalty programs should be consistent. Customers should enjoy the same ease of experience with their loyalty program, regardless of how they’re shopping. Whether your customers are shopping online, on a mobile app or purchasing from your brick and mortar store, they want a consistent and intuitive experience.

Loyalty programs should be individualized. Successful businesses know their audience, and they know even more about their most loyal customers. Loyalty programs are an ideal tool to gain insight into your shoppers' preferences and to leverage that knowledge to serve their individual needs. Loyalty programs help propel a virtuous cycle of satisfaction between you and your best customers.

Loyalty programs must be secure. You’ve earned customer loyalty through hard work, determination, and offering relevant products and services at the right price. Your customers have entrusted you with private and personally identifying data. Keeping your loyalty program secure means protecting the trust they've placed in you.

That bond between your business and your customers can be broken in an instant, so your loyalty solutions need to be seamless, safe and secure. Working with a leading payments partner can help you navigate the complexity and ease the burden of setting up a new loyalty program.