What’s In It for Me? Finding the Loyalty Program for You

Dec 15, 2011

Lately it seems no matter where I go I’m offered an opportunity to participate in a loyalty program in some form or another. Recently, due to the overabundance of rewards cards in my wallet and a plethora of emails in my inbox, I have become more selective of the programs I choose to enroll. From Panera to PetsMart and everywhere in between, it’s becoming more difficult to differentiate between the Busts and the Musts. I have determined my own criteria for enrolling in these programs. So, ask yourself, are you Loyalty Program worthy?

Registration Complication

If a program demands an elaborate registration process I immediately question the usability of the program. Ease-of-use is a key determiner of program participation and it should be centered around achieving a good customer experience. If I can’t seem to remember to take the card home and plug in every detail from my receipt into the online portal, then I’ll probably pass on the opportunity knowing that, for me, no free annual chips and salsa coupon is worth this much of my time.

What’s in it for me?

As consumers and business folk it’s natural for us to ask What’s-in-it-for-me (WIFM), an acronym that is prevalent in sales seminars and Business school courses to guide us on our quest to target customers’ needs and for customers to measure the value of any product or service.

Being a loyalty nerd of sorts, I start by asking some basic questions, “What’s the earn rate?” or “How much do I have to spend before I receive a reward?” “How many points do I need before I can redeem and what do it get?” “Is there a cost involved and is it justified?” Based on the answers to these questions, I can determine the value of a program and whether or not I want to invest my time and, sometimes, even my money.

Another way to measure value is the frequency in which you will actually purchase from that particular merchant, especially if there is a cost involved. If I am offered a program at a store I almost never go to, I kindly decline and move on. Think of your enrollment as an exchange between you and said merchant.  In exchange for awesome rewards and perks, you are giving that particular merchant more transactions and purchases, data, free feedback and possibly additional business through referrals.

So the next time you’re in the check-out line and the cashier asks if you’d like to join their loyalty program, think about what’s in it for you and if the perceived value is in line with your expectations before you enroll.

Kobie can help you optimize your loyalty program and draw in more customers. Email us at info@kobie.com for more information on how we can help.