Smart business owners have started to seek predictions and opinions from several business experts to know which loyalty program trends they should focus on in 2021 to have more clear expectations of the diversified customers’ behavior.
After 2020 – a plan-aborting pandemic year, business owners have learned a vital lesson to know the importance of diversification. Companies are now learning new effective ways of engaging their customers when business plans become impotent due to some unforeseen marketplace disasters like the Covid 19 pandemic.
Recently, there have been many dependencies on the IT sector, but most businesses are not paying attention to the implications in the few years to come.
Companies need to stay focused on loyalty program trends for 2021 to prepare for the still coming unknown calamities that may threaten customer engagement or limit nosiness operations.
After the pandemic shock of the previous, 2021 is expected to be a year that many businesses would follow the projections of loyalty programs to give more value to their esteemed customers. While most people believe that the pandemic’s effects would be more elaborate in 2021, being consistent with a loyalty and reward program will give companies an edge no matter what comes around later in the year.
Loyalty and reward programs help companies to have better customer engagement and deliver an improved customer experience. This article contains invaluable loyalty program trends for the year 2021. Meanwhile, many of these trends are not new, but we trust that they will fly in 2021.
1. Increased customer-oriented approach
One of the ultimate goals of most loyalty and reward programs is to help companies meet their customer’s needs to their utmost satisfaction. This is the drive behind digital transformation. The increased IT dependence allows companies to make their goods or services available to their esteemed customers where and when they demand.
Customers are becoming more discerning and more observant about how they have been loyal to treat them. They are much more concerned about the tools the company uses to deliver value. This became more evident to them at the time the pandemic was hitting the hardest.
Despite the threat to business interactions due to the sudden social distancing rule, some companies still find a way to continue meeting their customers’ needs.
Customers are now switching to companies that know their needs, have some information about them, understand their challenges, and deliver to their expectations no matter what.
Being committed to loyalty programs means that:
- You put your customers at the center of your business. Loyalty programs give customers a sense of recognition and esteem.
- You are more concerned about delivering value-added services than providing products and services.
- You are deliberate about increasing your customer base and creating new opportunities to improve our customer’s experience.
- You have the right tools to make customers’ insight expressible.
Leveraging on loyalty marketing programs allows you to create the right impression of your business from your loyal customers’ perspective. Loyalty marketing remains of the oldest methods through which companies build a strong and direct relationship with their customers.
Customers feel great being rewarded for their loyal patronage, which encourages them to keep coming to you for more. Loyalty marketing is a reliable means of getting your customers’ attention. It also helps you know the right time to invest in getting betters returns.
Any company that is not consistent with these loyalty program trends for 2021 will frustrate its customers.
2. Enhancing loyalty program economics
Many companies were unable to get much patronage in the past couple of years, mostly when the pandemic was striking because they demystify the value of loyalty programs. In 2020, most companies cannot provide what their customers wanted when the traditional means of service delivery changed.
In 2021, businesses will be paying more attention to enhancing the loyalty program economics by:
- Getting rewards at a more considerable cost
- Enabling AI to automate business operations
- Allowing more customer self-service
- Giving more resources to more valued customers
- Diversifying revenue streams
- Increasing points based on margin and more.
Put together all the above listed will enable businesses to improve their customers’ satisfaction and deliver more value. It will create better customer engagement, having known their benefits in participating in loyalty and rewards programs.
Most customers want to be sure they can achieve meaningful rewards before joining or participating in a loyalty program. Practically, any customer who cannot earn up to $25 a year from a loyalty program will leave the program.
Meanwhile, if customers earn only 1% of the purchase as points, that means a customer will spend $2500 for a company in a year. With that estimation, it might be somewhat challenging for a customer to get $25 at the end of the year.
Therefore, there is an expectation of more collaborations between companies so that customers can get the loyalty value they expect across their sundry purchases.
3. System upgrade
In the past few years, upgrading might mean spending excess money, but recently loyalty programs have made business owners realize that upgrading can reduce operating costs by up to 60 – 70%.
The pandemic in 2020 exposed some companies’ weaknesses in terms of customer relations. Most companies find it difficult to share how they are coping with the pandemic. Most companies discovered that they only have about 30% of their customers’ data having no means to communicate with the remaining 60%.
Having discovered this weakness, many companies have started to consider how they can upgrade their system to increase agility and reduce costs. In 2021, companies will cease to operate solo. There will be more collaborations with complementary businesses to build a system where customers can spend up to 70% of the income.
Upgrading the system will reduce costs and enhance productivity giving brands edges to remain in the cycle even when customers switch.
2021 is a year that companies will step up to claim whatever loss they recorded throughout the past eight months through the effective establishment of loyalty marketing programs. Before the end of 2021, different entrepreneurs will sit in conferences and tell stories about how they have gained control over their loyalty and rewards programs.