Service is key to winning loyalty

“The prize is right” (MW September 4) was an interesting look at the returning enthusiasm for premiums and incentives.

But while singing the praise-worthy merits of the various schemes, one of the most valid opening points was not explored.

That “first-in-market” schemes create an uplift that is then hindered by the subsequent introduction of copycat schemes.

What is required of an effec tive loyalty scheme is a point of difference.

By all means deliver, reward and incentivise the customer – preferably with something of value to them – but remember if it’s the same offer as all the other retailers/manufacturers then what’s to stop the customer ad-libbing?

One of the best differentiating factors in the retail sector is service. If the service a customer receives from one outlet is sufficiently be-spoke and personal, then that is the nearest thing to a unique relationship the retailer will have with that customer. And what this can effectively achieve is an additional barrier to prevent other retailers poaching that customer.

It’s one-to-one marketing. And if Peppers Woolf & Peters are to be believed, it works.

Sheena Horgan



London SE24

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