When you offer a premium loyalty program, there is an extra layer of customer service that members expect. After all, they’re paying to be members and they’re your best customers.
Whether you manage your premium loyalty program in-house or work with a loyalty partner, customer service is paramount in retaining members for the long run.
Here are three ways to ensure you’re giving them the best experience.
Make It Easy for Loyalty Program Members to Contact You
When members of a premium loyalty program have any questions or concerns about anything related to their memberships, from benefits to billing, they should be addressed quickly and efficiently.
These are your VIP customers, the best of the best, and they should be treated as such.
The first step, which may appear simple, is perhaps the most important: Make it easy for your members to contact you.
Whether it’s by phone, email, or self-service, members should never have a problem contacting your customer service contact center.
More than 50% of customers across all age groups typically use the phone to reach out to a service team, making it the most used channel for customer service.
But Millennials prefer live chat for customer service over every other communication channel.
That’s why it’s important to offer your loyalty program members various options to contact you.
And the first step in accomplishing that is making it easy for members to contact you.
Make Speed in Response Times a Priority in Your Premium Loyalty Programs
Since the pandemic started, customer service hold times have increased 50%. More than half (53%) of callers waited more than 30 minutes to get a response.
Consumers are most frustrated with long hold times (47%) and lack of clear information from agents (20%). One out of four consumers did not get their questions solved the first time when reaching out to a call center.
That’s why it’s critical to respond quickly. At Clarus, we prioritize speed in responsiveness to the members of our retailer partners’ loyalty programs.
From July 2019 through November 2020, we handled more than 2.5 million calls. During that time, we successfully responded to more than 90% of those calls within 30 seconds, leaving members with very little wait time.
With no IVR (Interactive Voice Response) process, our members are connected to a dedicated representative generally within 14 seconds. In addition to the phone calls, members have access to email with our team, as well as live chat. We respond to member emails quickly, always within 24 hours, and generally within 10 hours.
When your goal is VIP customer service, response time speed is critical and we pride ourselves in this area.
Make Sure Your Customer Service Associates Are Properly Trained
If it’s easy for your members to contact you and your response times are fast across the board, you’re well on your way to providing stellar customer service.
There is one more key ingredient: Training your customer service associates so they can do their jobs efficiently and successfully.
Effectively educating and training your associates is crucial. Investing time with your associates will pay huge dividends in the long run.
As a result, your associates build relationships with customers who will continue to shop and advocate for your brand.
Loyalty is about creating and nurturing relationships, and not just collecting email addresses for your loyalty program.
When we partner with a new retail partner, we assign specific customer service reps to that client exclusively and we train them intensely.
We usually avoid the use of scripts (unless that is specified by the retailer). We want it to be more organic so that when a member calls, they don’t feel like they’re talking to a robot.
Part of that training includes giving the Customer Service Specialist a membership to the specific premium loyalty program.
That way, he or she learns it inside and out and can address any question a member asks.
When our retail clients’ loyalty program members interact with customer service, they receive an awesome experience that reinforces a brand message.
Premium Loyalty Members Deserve the Best
Every now then, your loyalty program members are going to need to reach out to you. The good news is that if the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again after a mistake.
So, whether it’s an issue, or a member just has a question, customer service needs to be a part of your premium loyalty program.
You can see the impact of stellar customer service in the following two statistics:
Ninety-three percent of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
Ninety-four percent of American customers will recommend a company whose service they rate as “very good.”
Premium loyalty program members are your best and most engaged customers.
And that is why they deserve an elevated customer service experience.
These members are telling you they want the best your brand has to offer and they want to engage with you as much as they can.
Part of your brand’s best is exemplary customer service.
Make it simple for your members to contact you. With no IVR process, your members are always speaking with people about their loyalty inquiries.
Your agents build a rapport with these members because they are special and they do engage more. These relationships are crucial to providing that great customer service members want.
Nothing can ever replace a personal touch.
At Clarus, our Customer Service Department lives by that motto every day.