Do: Get personal

A one-size-fits-all approach in loyalty or customer experience is long gone. One-to-one personalization is the goal, acknowledging that no two customers are alike. Predictive tools and data analytics allow for hyper-personalized relationships.

Don’t: Be a stick in the mud

Are you having fun? Are your members? Games, videos, interactive content, cartoons, funny social campaigns—there’s a whole world of ways to make loyalty more fun.

Do: Mobile-ize

For most of us, smartphones are practically an appendage. Every aspect of loyalty should be optimized for mobile. Many programs integrate mobile some places—points notification or redemption, perhaps—but fall short in others.

Don’t: Assume silence is golden

In fact, dissatisfied customers who don’t speak up can cost a business dearly in loyalty and money. Recent research found that a typical retailer puts 16 percent of revenue at risk from customer experience (CX) problems, and disgruntled consumers often stew in silence and exact their toll, like not coming back or badmouthing the company, later.

Do: Dig deeper

Not all customer experience problems are equal, and just because a problem occurs more frequently does not mean it has the biggest impact. Some issues have a higher correlation to loyalty behaviors. Put processes in place to better understand customers’ pain points, then measure and monitor risks.

Don’t: Forget old reliable

Stop acquiring loyalty members; you have enough, and chances are good you’re not creating meaningful relationships with them. Driving long-term retention of loyal members will lower your overall investment. And, surprise, you’ll acquire new members through reputation—not costly incentives.

Do: Keep exploring social media

Sure, it’s a veritable tsunami of content, but the opportunity to connect with customers and build loyalty and sales growth is unbeatable.

Don’t: Go it alone

Partnerships (co-branded credit cards, teaming up with complementary companies for short-term promotions, joining a formal coalition program) are the best way to create long-term, differentiated and meaningful value for customers.

Do: Court the mighty millennial

You were once their age, but millennials aren’t simply you in a time warp. It’s crucial that marketers understand the needs of those born roughly between 1981 and 1997, a unique breed with dramatically different ideas about consumerism and loyalty than other demographics.

Do: Keep it dynamic

Consider sending targeted offers to shoppers’ smartphones right in the aisle. Paired with iBeacon technology, these private offers allow on-the-fly adjustments based on demand, inventory, time of day, customer value and more.

Don’t: Forget, "keep it simple, stupid"

Getting loyalty right can be complicated, but everything needs to be seamless on the customer’s end.