Want to give your loyalty program an extra boost? Pay attention to these critical metrics in order to supercharge your customer loyalty program success.

1. Rally the troops: Get employees excited about enrolling new customers.

When it comes to pumping up loyalty program engagement, always look to your front-line employees to garner more customer buy-in. When employees are knowledgeable about the program and actually like it (hint: don’t pick a program that burdens employees with extra work!), they’re more excited about spreading the love. Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged — invested employees make a significant difference in the success of your program enrollment (remember that a 5% increase in retention produces an 80% increase in profitability… an 18% increase in customer retention is a profitability slam dunk).

Effective staff training is a great place to start. Consider adding an extra incentive to excite staff and managers and build more momentum. Closely track location-specific signups, and set goals for your staff to hit. Combined with training, a staff incentive campaign spikes signups by as much as 300%!

Our Merchant Success team wrote about this here, but a few additional ways to incentivize employee engagement could look like:

  • Store competitions: Launch a cross-location enrollment competition. The most effective competitions have merchants giving away monetary and/or team outing awards to winning team members, and generally last for a short time period (<1 month).
  • Employee competitions: Let one of your individual employees shine by recognizing him or her for their ability to personally boost loyalty program enrollment and/or engagement. Remember, every single sign-up represents increased customer lifetime value!

2. Rally the OTHER troops: add a referral marketing component & let customers share the love with their friends.

Nielsen survey found that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.  Loyalty solutions are principally about retaining existing customers, but there is an upside that most merchants miss out on — when customers are happy, they refer their friends.

Referral marketing is a no-brainer not only for catalyzing currently loyal customers, but using their enthusiasm to acquire new customers is a double-whammy. Research shows that consumers acquired through referral methods are significantly more valuable than customers acquired elsewhere: According to Deloitte, customers required through word-of-mouth marketing have a 37% higher retention rate and spend 150% more. This is why referrals are more effective and lucrative than customers acquired through traditional “spray and pray” acquisition methods like Groupon or other deal sites — they’re being targeted by your happiest, most satisfied customers.

Another powerful aspect of this is the Millennial aspect: savvy Millennials, in particular, are more likely to trust a referral from a friend than any other marketing channel, only 1% of millennials report trusting traditional advertising, and 28% say they wouldn’t even venture to try a brand their friends didn’t endorse. To capitalize on this, your loyalty program should include a way for loyal customers to be incentivized and rewarded for spreading the word to their friends and family. Sharing is caring, right?

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