From Silence to Buzz: How to turn your struggling Loyalty Program into Real Customer Engagement

Jun 18, 2024

Let’s be real for a moment. Imagine you’ve just bought a top-of-the-line mountain bike, a sleek new espresso machine, or even a state-of-the-art smartphone. You’re on cloud nine, raving about your purchase to anyone who’ll listen. Then, a few weeks later, you get an email: “Join our loyalty program for 10% off your next purchase!”

Cue the collective groan.

For marketers dealing with high-consideration, non-FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) products, loyalty programs often feel like throwing a party that nobody shows up to. The truth is, engaging fans of high-involvement products frequently and meaningfully is tough. But here’s where the plot thickens – and gets a whole lot more exciting.

The Loyalty Program Dilemma

High-consideration products, like premium electronics or specialized sports gear, require significant thought before purchase. Customers aren’t buying these every week – they’re making big decisions and, as a result, don’t interact with the brand as often as FMCG consumers. Let’s break down why traditional loyalty programs often flop in this space:

1. Infrequent Purchases

High-involvement products like electronics and automobiles are bought infrequently. This infrequency significantly limits the brand's opportunities to engage with the customer. The lack of regular interaction means that loyalty programs, which often rely on points or discounts, are less effective.

Customers are less motivated by points accumulation or discount offers when their next purchase might be several years away. As a result, brands of high-involvement products must find alternative ways to keep customers engaged and loyal over long periods, making this task more challenging compared to FMCG brands.

2. Inherent Customer Characteristics

Customers of high-involvement products tend to be more discerning and demanding by nature. The significant financial investment and higher stakes involved mean that these customers are more likely to conduct extensive research and have higher expectations for quality, performance, and service. This critical mindset makes them harder to please and less forgiving of any shortcomings.

Additionally, generic loyalty emails and broad marketing messages fail to spark joy or maintain interest among these customers. Building loyalty with such customers necessitates a long-term commitment to exceptional quality and personalized service, significantly raising the bar for high-involvement brands.

3. No Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities

Upselling high-involvement products is considerably more difficult. The high cost and significant commitment required for these purchases mean that customers need to perceive substantial added value before considering an upsell. Cross-selling related products, such as accessories for electronics, involves convincing the customer of their necessity and compatibility, adding to the complexity of the sale. The longer time between purchases further complicates the process, as brands must keep customers engaged and interested over extended periods.

So, how do we crack this code? Enter the game-changer: Social Reviews.

The Power of Social Reviews

  1. Customers Don’t Want to Be Marketed To

    We’ve all been there – opening our inbox to a slew of brand emails, only to sigh and hit delete. Newsletters, no matter how high their open rates, don’t equate to genuine engagement. Social reviews, however, flip the script. They offer a platform for customers to share their experiences in a way that feels natural and unforced.

  2. Customers Aren’t Salespeople

    Referral and ambassador programs often fall flat because most customers don’t want to become your sales reps. They love your product, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to pitch it to everyone they meet. Social reviews, though, are different. They’re about sharing personal stories, not sales pitches.

  3. People Love Sharing Their Passions

    Think about the last time you bought something you were truly excited about. Chances are, you told your friends, posted about it online, or jumped into a forum to gush about your new toy. Take the biking community, for example. Brands like Rad Power Bikes have a fan base that loves talking about their latest rides, sharing trail tips, and showcasing epic journeys. Similarly, Apple fans revel in discussing the latest features, apps, and hacks.

  4. Genuine Engagement with Like-Minded People

    Here’s the magic. When you give customers a platform to share their genuine stories and connect with others who have questions, you foster natural engagement. It’s not about retention targets; it’s about building a community.

Discover Experify's Social Reviews

Experify’s Social Reviews tap into this desire for connection. They facilitate direct interactions between shoppers and existing customers. This dialogue helps build a community around a product, enhancing trust and credibility without overt brand interference.

It gives your customers the opportunity to tell their story and how your product benefits their everyday life, with likeminded people. Just like they would with friends and family. By tapping into this desire of customers to connect around the product and hobby they are excited about, you create engagement of customers - not just with other customers but also with your brand. A genuine, non-salesy engagement.

Riding the Engagement Wave

Once you’ve established this authentic connection, the possibilities are endless. Through Experify's native reward program, or through community events, surveys, and dedicated chat rooms, you can further enhance this engagement. The key is to start with that simple, genuine connection – giving customers the chance to share their stories without feeling like they’re being marketed to.

How to Get Started

Ready to dive in? Start by gathering social reviews. Experify makes it easy to collect and display these reviews, creating a rich, engaging platform for your brand. And then engage with your most loyal customers.

For more information on how to add social reviews, check out this overview.

In the end, it’s about making your customers feel heard, valued, and part of something bigger. With social reviews, you’re not just building a loyalty program – you’re building a community.

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