Mala Raj, Lead Consultant and Practice Head- Loyalty Consulting, is a Bangalore University rank holder and hold a PGDM from IIM Bangalore and has had over been with Cartesian Consulting for over years. In this informative write-up, she gives us a 10-point checklist that will determine whether your organisation is loyalty-ready. Give it a try!
Planning for Loyalty- A 10-point Checklist
Few organisations debate the importance of building loyalty with customers. When it comes to actually planning for an ongoing loyalty initiative however, it becomes a whole new ball game.
Here is a quick reference check-list to see if your organisation is ‘loyalty-ready’:
- Is your industry category - high value, high involvement, high frequency - or a combination of these? These are the categories where loyalty initiatives work best.
- Are you clear about your loyalty objective? Does it fit in with the overall marketing strategy and business objectives of the organisation? Loyalty cannot be in isolation of the overall business strategy and vision. Typical loyalty objectives would be to grow the value of the existing customer base (by increasing width or depth of usage) or minimise churn/attrition of the existing customer base. Never have more than one or two sharply defined objectives in mind.
- How will you measure the success of any loyalty initiative? What are the clear metrics that you will employ to define whether your program is working for you or not? Normally, you would need to have a well-balanced mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics
- What time-frames for results is your organisation looking at? Loyalty is not a quick-fix initiative. It also cannot fix a broken business model. It takes time, effort and consistency , have a two- three year time-frame in mind before you look for a pay-back.
- Loyalty initiatives must necessarily involve data. Do you have customer-level transaction data? Or, if you don’t, do you foresee a simple way of collecting the same on an ongoing basis? Not all organisations start-off with ready customer data. One of the biggest off-shoots of a loyalty initiative is, in fact, the vast amounts of customer-level behaviour data it will throw up. However, you need to put in place a system that will begin to collect the same if you don’t already have it in place.
- What technology infrastructure do you already have? And how easy will it be to overlay any required loyalty software on it? Be ready for some level of infrastructure outlay. Loyalty programs on excel work in the short-term -- not in the long run!
- What does your customer think? Of you, of your competition, of loyalty initiatives. It’s good to get live feedback from the horse’s mouth before you venture.
- Who will drive the loyalty initiative? While it will originate from Marketing, it is always better to have a cross-functional group that is made responsible for implementing loyalty across the organisation. Loyalty works only when it is implemented across all touchpoints with the customer
- What is the deadline for implementation? You need to plan at least three months in advance so that you have enough time to work on a robust program design. A good program construct typically takes 6-8 weeks to develop. Give yourself that time -- good design leads to better results.
- Finally, do you have a good loyalty partner in mind? You ideally need an end-to-end partner who will design your program, implement and manage it and also handle fulfilment and rewards. Visit www.direxions.com for more details!
If you wish to get in touch with Mala Raj, send in an email to email@example.com.
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