Loyalty Program Defection Increases When Rewards Are Slow Maritz Loyalty Marketing Reveals Top Reasons Customers Leave and Recommends

Strategies to Keep Them



    ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- When consumers leave a loyalty/rewards
 program, most (70 percent) cite the length of time it takes to build up points
 as the primary reason, according to a Maritz Poll commissioned by Maritz
 Loyalty Marketing.  The number jumps to 79 percent in the critical 18 - 24 age
 group.
     "Marketers need to provide consumers with realistic and achievable goals,"
 said Gail Sneed, market development director at Maritz Loyalty Marketing.
 "Particularly with the crucial college-age demographic, it's the chance to win
 or lose a lifelong customer."
     The Maritz Poll also found that customer defection resulted from other
 perceived problems with rewards programs, such as: "not being rewarded
 properly" (23 percent), "disliked the fee" (22 percent), "disliked the reward
 options" (20 percent ), "program rules kept changing" (17 percent), "poor
 customer service" (16 percent) and "other programs seemed better"
 (18 percent).
     High-income individuals ($125,000+) spend money and collect points at a
 faster rate, but they are particularly choosy and likely to comparison shop.
 More than a quarter (27 percent) of this demographic left a rewards program
 because "another company's program seemed better" or they didn't like the
 reward options.
     Says Sneed, "The customer has to be able to believe that they can earn an
 appealing reward in a reasonable amount of time.  Effective loyalty programs
 use analysis and modeling tools to ensure the right rewards are offered to the
 right customers and are achievable within a reasonable length of time."  She
 adds, "Programs that customize potential rewards based on the individual
 customer's hobbies and interests hugely increase reward program satisfaction."
     The Maritz survey also revealed the importance of the Internet as a
 communication tool.  When asked, most people prefer to be updated about their
 rewards programs through the Internet (58 percent), and some (9 percent) state
 that they have even stopped participating in a rewards program because they
 receive too much mail from the company.  This trend is even more common among
 customers in the 18 - 24 age group:  65 percent say they prefer communication
 about rewards programs via the Internet and 13 percent have stopped
 participating in a rewards program because they received too much mail from
 the company.
     "A robust loyalty program will include a link on the company's Web site
 where customers can immediately access their reward points, easily determine
 required point values, and redeem points with the click of a mouse," said
 Sneed.  According to Sneed, when companies make the extra effort to determine
 what customers really want and how to communicate with them, "both parties
 win."
     The survey was conducted earlier this year by Maritz Research to gauge
 attitudes and behaviors related to rewards/loyalty programs for retailers,
 hotels, airlines, credit cards and restaurants.  The data is based on
 1047 interviews with randomly selected adult participants in an online panel.
 Total group comparisons have a confidence interval of +/- 3 percent.
 
     About Maritz Loyalty Marketing
     Maritz Loyalty Marketing is the nation's leading provider of full-service
 loyalty marketing solutions, including rewards-based loyalty programs and
 one-to-one communications programs.  A unit of Maritz Inc., Maritz Loyalty
 Marketing deploys all of the strategic, operational, technology,
 communications, rewards and fulfillment services that support their client's
 customer loyalty programs nationwide.  Based in St. Louis, Maritz Inc.
 provides market and customer research, communications, learning solutions,
 incentive initiatives, meetings and event management, rewards and recognition,
 travel management services, and customer loyalty programs.  Maritz has a
 presence in 42 countries, with key offices in the United States, Canada, the
 United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain.  For more information, visit
 http://www.maritz.com .
 
     About Maritz Poll
     Maritz Poll is a national consumer opinion survey conducted periodically
 by Maritz Research.  The survey findings are taken from a larger survey
 conducted in March 2004 by Maritz Research to gauge attitudes and behaviors
 related to rewards/loyalty programs for retailers, hotels, airlines, credit
 cards and restaurants.  The data is based on 1,047 interviews with randomly
 selected adult participants in an online panel.  Total group comparisons have
 a confidence interval of +/- 3%.  Results of the poll may be used in print or
 broadcast media, provided credit is given to the Maritz Poll and/or Maritz
 Research Inc.  For more information on Maritz Poll, visit the Web site at
 http://www.maritzpoll.com .
 
 

SOURCE Maritz Inc.

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