Customer Loyalty Programs: Don’t Forget to Follow Through


Most of us are in some type of customer loyalty program or another. I have more rewards cards jammed in my billfold than David Blaine in a Hold ’em tournament. But here’s an interesting survey revealing that most customers don’t really feel closer to businesses that have these and other customer loyalty programs. I guess the theme is that if you do have one, be sure to go the extra mile and let the customer know you’re grateful.

You’re about to slide your card through the credit card reader when the clerk asks, “Are you a member of our rewards program?”

It’s a simple enough, but determining the value of these customer loyalty programs is not easy.

Do these rewards programs work? That’s what ACI Worldwide sought to answer with a recent study.

In short, no—these programs don’t benefit the consumer and can actually hurt customer loyalty for the retailer.

Here are some takeaways from the study:

  • 44 percent of consumers have had a negative experience from a loyalty program.
  • 27 percent of Americans have received a loyalty program reward or promotion that made them feel valued as a customer.
  • 81 percent of American loyalty program members are enrolled in a program that they don’t completely understand.
  • 85 percent of members report that they haven’t heard a single word from a loyalty program since the day they signed up.

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