It’s surprisingly easy to make loyalty program members feel better about their day, and by association feel more positive about your program’s brand.
In 1987 psychologist Norbert Schwarz (Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan) ran a study to test the power of something positive happening on overall life satisfaction.
He placed a small coin on a photocopier for the next user to find.
He then interviewed the users about their lives.
“Those who found the coin were more happy and more satisfied and wanted to change their lives less than those who didn’t find a coin,” says Schwarz.
It’s not the value of what the subjects found. It’s that something positive happened to them and surprised them.
A similar study by Schwarz, Stracj, Kommer & Wagner found football fans who followed a winning team reported higher levels of life satisfaction than those whose team was consistently losing.
The important learning for loyalty strategy is the power of surprise & delight. While many companies focus large amounts of effort and cost on points or discount programs, they often neglect to take the opportunity to seed the member’s experience with small, low-cost delights. Interestingly, if executed well, these can be significantly more powerful than large points balances.
Why? Because if you meet a member’s expectations, they will be satisfied, and if you exceed their expectations they’ll be slightly more satisfied. But if you delight your members, their satisfaction will be off the charts.
And as demonstrated by Norbert Schwarz’s study, it doesn’t need to be expensive to be highly effective.
Philip Shelper is a specialist loyalty consultant based in Sydney, Australia who obsesses about everything to do with loyalty and rewards. His company Loyalty & Reward Co are a leading loyalty consulting firm.
Let’s connect! https://au.linkedin.com/in/philipshelper