No matter what industry you’re in or what product or service you sell, you rely on your employees to be the “face” of your company. Even if all they ever do is talk with a customer over the phone or behind an instant message screen, they represent your brand with their every word. They’re out there on the front lines, bringing your offerings to the masses and helping to deliver experiences that keep customers coming back for more.
But are your employees the “face” of your loyalty program, too? Do they understand the ins and outs of your program and feel they have a role to play in its success? Are they maximizing its potential by singing its praises and helping customers engage with its tools to their hearts’ content? Are they actively helping to create loyal customers and brand advocates via the program you’ve invested in to do just that? They really should be.
When your employees can articulate the finer points of your loyalty program and “work it” with the same flair they bring to your core products and services, imagine how much more success you’ll have with campaigns, promotions, conversions, sales, and more. Here’s what it takes to get there.
Building Relationships with Loyal Customers and Brand Advocates
Most companies provide extensive training to ensure customer-facing employees are educated on everything they need to know about their offerings’ features and benefits as well as sales incentives and other marketing initiatives. Employees also receive hands-on training so they’re comfortable interacting with customers, fielding questions, escalating issues, and otherwise simply keeping business moving along.
This training approach applies perfectly to loyalty programs, too—but takes things one step further: Employees need to learn how to turn customers into repeat customers who feel personally connected to their brand and what it stands for. Today, as consumer expectations are continuously rising and brands bring out their competitive claws, employees are essential to managing the customer experience.
Bringing Your Loyalty Program To Life Through Your Employees
When it comes to training employees on your loyalty program, follow these three best practices:
1. Share the reasons behind your loyalty program.You’re not providing a mobile app and allowing customers to earn points (for example) just because you can. Your organization has made an investment in a program that enables a level of relationship building that results in delighted customers, increased market share, higher revenues, etc. These goals are shared by everyone across the company, and employees who work with customers are in the best position to promote the program—so get them excited about it.
2. Make them experts on the program itself.If they’re going to promote your loyalty program amongst customers, they need to know its nuts and bolts: how it’s structured, how it benefits your customers, how customers can maximize their rewards, and what new features and campaigns are being added to keep the program exciting and fresh. They should also be trained on how to use and navigate the technology platform or tools that power your program in case they need to access it to help a customer.
3. Tell them to get talking!Your employees should be having conversations about your loyalty program with each customer they come in contact with—especially at the point of sale. Aside from recruiting new participants for the program, they should also make sure that each customer who is part of the program is getting the most out of it. “Oh I see you’re a participant in our loyalty program,” they might say at the POS. “Did you know you have a BOGO coupon you can use today?” This helps increase engagement with your program and provides a great experience—a real win-win.
If you’ve invested in a loyalty program and are eager to start seeing results, don’t leave out the important step of getting your customer-facing employees on board and part of the plan to make every experience successful. And if your brand is implementing a loyalty program but you aren’t sure how to approach it, you can download a free version of our whitepaper, Turn Guests Into Customers For Life With A Modern Loyalty Program, which provides a roadmap for brands on how to develop a strategy for building a custom loyalty program, how to architect that program and ultimately how to execute a program that is unique to your brand.