Gingerbread men and women shaped biscuits with pink icing representing loyal customers
During 2020, the pandemic inspired new approaches to customer loyalty schemes. As businesses turned to technology due to the disruption in traditional sales channels, they needed to implement and test plenty of new ideas. 
technology is helping many businesses to understand their market segments 
personalisation through relevant offers is valued by customers 
rewarding existing customers based on their value to your business is more effective than looking for new customers. 

What differences will we see in 2021 

An alternative is needed to customer loyalty cards that must be presented in person. Although shops, restaurants, cafés, gyms, and entertainment venues are reopening, customers are now accustomed to digital interactions. 
Finding different ways to deliver the right offers and rewards to the right people at just the right moment is becoming a valuable skill. 
Your customers are looking for positive experiences and relatively small purchases that will give them a boost, so businesses need to tap in to personal and emotional responses as well as delivering practical solutions to real-world problems. 
In fact, maintaining contact with your customers in between purchases with free offers, engagement activities, and virtual experiences could be the key to success. 

What your customers like 

Another interesting development is a growing focus on the value of feedback you can obtain through your loyalty and engagement activities. Whatever you plan during the year, it will be important to include some measurement and testing so that you increase your knowledge and understand what works best. 
While it might be tempting to try all your offers across all your channels at the same time, a more structured and measured approach will show you what works best and where. If you aren’t already connected with your customers via email or on social media then why not invite them to special online events, launches or simply have some fun? 

Cross channel opportunities 

If you have lost track of your local customers during the pandemic then Pulse magazine is the ideal way to reach out to them. 
If you are re-launching, updating your products, or completely reinventing yourself, we would really like to hear what you’re doing. 
You can take advantage of the fact that many people are continuing to work from home. Whether you’re reaching out to businesses or consumers, you can share your story with some editorial content and attract their attention with a well-designed advertisement
You can tell them about extra-special offers they can redeem with a printed code. It’s easy to track and could bring back many of your missing customers or attract new ones. 
If they were once on your contact list, be honest and tell them that you miss them. Tempt them back with a bonus offer when they respond. Alternatively, offer them something special if they reconnect with your social media channel or subscribe to your newsletter. 
Start a conversation in print about something that is important to you and your customers and carry it on through your social media channels. Take up a cause and ask people to join you. Strangely, you don’t even need to sell anything to build new links with old customers. All you need to do is make them feel valued and welcomed. 
Please get in touch if you would like to win back loyal customers and make them feel special in 2021. 
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