Chapter 9

Building a Customer Loyalty and Advocacy Program

In This Chapter

  • Understanding how loyalty programs have evolved
  • Discovering customer advocates
  • Uncovering your customer's true behavior
  • Communicating effectively with influencers
  • Valuing your customers

Customer loyalty has always been a key factor in the health of any business. Without loyal customers, business owners would constantly be reinventing and changing their products to find ones that generate steady revenue.

If you think loyalty programs are old school, you might be envisioning programs like the trading stamps or S&H Green Stamps programs that started in the late 1890s and became very popular in the 1950s and '60s. These programs issued stamps with each purchase and a stamp book to paste them in.

When you filled up your book, you would take a trip to the local redemption center to pick out your prizes — mostly things like small appliances and toys for the kids. Families would enjoy these outings and come home with a small reward. This motivated them to keep coming back for more. For a while, this worked really well.

A variety of different programs gained and fell out of favor in the years that followed, but if you think loyalty programs aren't in favor now, consider this report from Jupiter Research: “Approximately 75 percent of consumers have at least one loyalty card and the number of people with two or more is estimated to be one-third of the shopping population.”

The nature of customer loyalty itself ...

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