<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='27675'>De the loyalty à empathy

Loyalty... Loyal customers aren't always the best treated, not by a long chalk!

The press has often set a (bad) example by being more generous to its prospective subscribers - by multiplying gifts to new subscribers - than to its longest-standing subscribers.

The insurance industry also follows a similar practice, offering one or more months free to new customers ... but nothing to existing customers. The latter feel particularly aggrieved when they receive these tempting offers in their mailbox, as their service providers obviously do not take the trouble to delete their address when sending large numbers.

Fortunately, many companies know how to reward customer loyalty.

The best gift is the one you receive unsolicited: a little while ago, I received a USB stick from the daily newspaper to which I've long subscribed, just to say thank you - a very pleasant surprise.

The individual and personalised dimension also plays an important role in reinforcing the feeling of recognition. Similarly, the ability to be generous and to offer varied, attractive and accessible operations were revealed in our latest study on loyalty.

But most of the time, you have to solicit recognition and sign up to so-called loyalty programmes ... and then you move on from simple liberality to commercial negotiation.

A common blunder is to inform the customer ... that there are much better customers than him, a common practice in air or rail travel: you will be "Silver or "Gold, "The Great Traveller or "Grand Voyageur Plusknowing that you will never be "Club or "Platinum.

But does the businessman who accumulates miles on the cards of different airlines deserve greater recognition than the private individual who always chooses the same airline, without listening to the sirens of low cost?

The other mistake lies in setting up complex programmes: not only does Air France not reward its different statuses at the same level (the same euro spent earns 4 or 8 miles, depending on whether you are a "Explore or "Platinum) but the formula includes a carrier overload " not very comprehensible!

If loyalty is not always well rewarded, neither is the choice of how the loyalty programme is run. In the retail sector, shoppers often prefer an immediate discount to the slow build-up of a pot of money: at Carrefour, having a store card means you can benefit from substantial immediate discounts.

However, this doesn't stop the distributor from being thoughtful at times. "customers who take advantage of Carrefour's wine fair are surprised to receive a nice thank-you message in their mailbox after visiting the shop".reminds lineaires.com.

Finally, some brands and chains send a small gift to their customers for their birthday; but here again, it's better to play up the surprise than to announce at the outset that subscribing to your loyalty programme will be rewarded in this way, because then you move from an oblative approach to a simple contractual offer...

The best loyalty programmes will always be the simplest, and above all the ones that lead to tangible rewards; they will always create a stronger bond if, in addition to contractual rewards, they are backed up by small gestures.

A true loyalty programme is not based solely on contractual relationships that are essentially financial; on the contrary, it must go beyond the transactional relationship by creating empathy between the brand and its customers... in other words, something that cannot be measured by simple, immediate financial indicators.

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