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COLLOQUY-Satisfaction-With-Loyalty-Program-Features-Dec2013US loyalty program memberships are on the rise, but loyalty program features appear to be falling short of consumers’ expectations. Recent data from indicates that only a minority of US survey respondents are satisfied with the quality of the overall program features they consider to be most important. The same pattern applied to respondents in other countries, too: fewer than half of the respondents in Brazil, India, Turkey and Singapore voiced their satisfaction with loyalty program benefits.

As an example, the study looks at one benefit: earning rewards points and/or miles quickly. While roughly 6 in 10 respondents across the 5 markets consider this to be an important feature in the program they participate in most often, satisfaction with this benefit tended to fall into the minority, at 46% among American respondents.

So what are consumers’ favorite loyalty program benefits? A recent study from Nielsen reveals that global consumers – by a large margin – favor the discounted or free products offered by loyalty programs. But loyalty program providers should be wary: the study authors warn that such short-term rewards will engender a response from consumers, they ultimately encourage the opposite behavior than loyalty, as “consumers will hunt for the best discounts, shop with the retailer that provides the best deal at the moment, and then abandon a program if rewards take too long to materialize.”

The researchers recommend a careful focus on loyalty’s 4 principles:

  • Reward: “provide meaningful value to members;”
  • Recognize: “test rewarding non-transactional behaviors, like web visits or referrals;”
  • Relevance: “engage customers with messages that are as personalized as possible;” and
  • Relationship: “replacing a transaction-only model with an engagement-driven model.”

For further reference, consumers’ favorite loyalty program benefits and biggest turn-offs, as discovered by Nielsen, can be found here.

About the Data: The 2013 Global Loyalty Attitudes Study was conducted between August 7 and August 19, 2013 among approximately 1,000 respondents in each of the five markets surveyed; Brazil, India, Singapore, United States and Turkey. The survey is representative of the general population ages 18-64 in the United States and representative of urban adult population 18-64 in Brazil, India, Turkey and Singapore. Margin of error ranges from +/-3 to +/-3.26 between the five regions, all at a 95% confidence interval.

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