Engaging your loyal customers in a (quick win) gamification campaign
As has been said more than once before, there has never been a better – or more important – time to engage with your existing customers than now. As the economy re-emerges from the Covid 19 pandemic, businesses have seen very different market performance, dependant on their sectors; but one thing holds true: keeping customers - and even getting them to return to you – will make the difference between success and failure.
This is therefore a great time to use some loyalty techniques to re-engage these existing customers and motivate them to return to you, or to retain their spend levels or to spend even more.
If you already have a loyalty programme in place, then there is every chance that it may need a boost to re-engage customers. And if you have no loyalty proposition then this is probably the moment to consider the benefits and re-evaluate. Either way, the objective is to inspire and motivate action.
So how do you do this? Well, one of the most successful techniques is via gamification.
And what, you may well ask, does gamification mean? It is now a term used quite widely to mean (according to Gartner): “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”. Put simply, it is a way to appeal to the human competitive nature and to motivate action – or interaction.
Gamification is often seen at its simplest level in the “Milestone” loyalty programmes – for example, a 10-item stamp card where you are encouraged to buy 10 items and the reward is to receive the 11th item free. This is frequently used (in physical card format) in coffee shops and takeaway outlets to motivate repeat purchasing. However, this can be used as a very good engagement metric (in digital format) to reward behaviour repetition (visiting a store, interacting with a website or app or purchasing a specific item) and could be a great way of encouraging customers to return.
At another level, gamification can be used for instant reward; good examples of which would be spin-to-win games and digital scratchcards. Both can provide instant engagement by presenting the customer with the chance of a larger reward than could usually be earned via any loyalty programme. This gives you the benefit of engagement but without the cost of reward (obviously dependent on the metrics used to determine win probability) and will either add a new dimension to an existing programme or can be used as a stand-alone loyalty campaign.
Another technique for gamifying loyalty is to use a prize draw as a way of motivating behaviours and of also offering a perceived higher value reward to a large number of customers but at a lower actual cost to you. This is a great way of reinvigorating an existing programme and can be a good way of reducing an accrued liability by getting customers to “burn” points as part of the entry criteria. And if you don’t currently have a loyalty programme, then this too can be a good start point to test loyalty at a reasonably low cost.
All the above are just some of the techniques you can use to create quick wins in loyalty but do remember that if you really want to make loyalty a part of your company culture, then it is important to have a longer-term strategy in place.
About the Author
Mark is a thought leader and shaper, and regularly speaks at seminars in different industry sectors on loyalty strategy, customer engagement, channel relationships and overall performance improvement.
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