Case Study: Confusion Kills

As I mentioned in the article regarding the Top 3 Ways To close YOUR Engagement gap, one of the loyalty programs I belong to is my local drug store. In our area, there are two dominating drug store options, and both have loyalty programs. One started their program years ahead of the curve and is super successful, easy to earn, easy to redeem, and has plenty of unique offers. The other started years later, has gone through some iterations, and it’s not nearly as user friendly.

Here’s an example: Check out the email below, which I received to notify me of my birthday reward. After I read this, there were 2 (well, 3) major problems that jumped out at me. Can you spot them?

Here’s the first: “Make sure you activate your $5 birthday gift before the last day of your birthday month, so you don’t miss out on your reward.” Pardon? I need to activate it? And the second: “Don’t know how to activate your birthday gift? Watch our step-by-step video here.” Yes, this process is SO confusing for their customers, they’ve created a VIDEO to show the activation process.

And finally, although I must give them credit for having the offer displayed prominently as their headline, considering the amount I spend there each year, the offer is weak.

I do shop here often, and as of today I have been there 3 times this month and each time I’m angry that I can’t just redeem this $5. The ONLY reason I eventually took the time to activate it was to benefit this article, which I planned to share with you. At first, I thought that PERHAPS they were driving me to log into the account online to provide some information that was missing from my account, or survey me, or require something else that would be of value to them, but No. They just required me to go through the ridiculous step of activating this reward.

I imagine activation rates are extremely low. In fact, until I shared this with our staff, one team member had no idea these rewards needed to be activated, rather they just kept shopping assuming they would automatically be rewarded.

The lesson? Don’t irritate your loyal Reward Members with confusing program requirements. As soon as people are irritated and/or confused – they do nothing. With Royalty Rewards® on your side, we make sure your program campaigns are easy to redeem, but there are still things you can do to help. Here are a few things you can consider. 

Keep Disclaimers SIMPLE. Not only do complicated disclaimers frustrate customers, but they can also devalue your offer, and in many cases be perceived as an attempt to hide information or be less than transparent. This will erode trust and diminish response.

Support Multiple Redemption Options. Go to where your customers are, not where you want them to be. Some prefer using their app, some like to print out emails, others want tangible direct mail.  Make it easy for customers to take action on their terms.

Provide a Variety of Valuable Offers. Cater to different customer preferences with a variety of $ Off Certificates, free products, or even charitable donations. Your Coach can help you get creative.

Act on Constructive Feedback. Review the responses to your membership survey regularly, respond when warranted, and make changes when you see constructive feedback.