Five Powerful Ways to Train Staff About Your Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs have become an essential part of many businesses' customer retention strategies. They offer a way to incentivize customers to continue shopping or using a company's services, which can lead to increased revenue and long-term customer loyalty. However, the success of a loyalty program isn't solely dependent on the program's structure and rewards. The effectiveness of the program is also heavily influenced by the staff who implement and manage it.
In this blog post, we'll discuss why staff training is critical for the success of loyalty programs and five powerful ways to do it.
Why is it Important to Train Your Staff on Loyalty Programs?
It’s a given, especially in today’s age, that customer service is crucial to your brand’s success. The feeling of shopping with your brand, the experience, and the people who represent it all work together to create your brand image. Your brand’s identity has a significant impact on consumer behavior and brand loyalty.
Your staff play an important role in selling your loyalty program to customers. 72% of people view rewards as an integral part of their relationship with your brand, so they expect something from you. Training your staff on your loyalty program helps to increase sign-ups, convey your program’s value, and ensure that your brand is being well-represented.
Five Powerful Ways to Train Staff About Your Loyalty Program
But first, staff need to understand how the loyalty program works so they can be confident telling customers about it. Here are five ways to train staff about a loyalty program.
1. Incentivize Staff
A common method to train staff is to incentivise them (rewards work for employees too!).
Research suggests that incentivizing staff (such as via competitions) increases physiological and psychological activation, which prepares the body and mind for increased effort and enables a higher level of performance.
Setting up a competition and rewarding staff who get the most registrations is a great way to give employees motivation to learn about the loyalty program you’re offering customers.
A 2023 study has found that 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace. This means that employees are lacking the drive and emotional attachment, so make something fun to get them excited!
Loyalty programs are built on engaging with customers, so applying that to your staff too is a no-brainer.
Common ways to build staff momentum around your loyalty program are:
Competitions - this can involve setting a target for the amount of sign-ups (or other relevant sales metric, such as acquisition or upselling) in which staff members compete individually to reach it. Competitions can also be done on a team level, which would split your staff into groups to work together to achieve the goal. A visual leaderboard is a great way to track everyone’s progress and help you get a better idea of how well staff are ‘selling’ the program.
Bonuses - bonuses are a great way to build excitement around learning your loyalty program. Bonuses can come in the form of discounted items, special events, or holiday time off, not just cash! Whatever you think your staff would want can become a bonus to be earned from learning about your loyalty program.
Recognition - if tracking or applying bonuses is not an option, staff who are making an effort to learn about the loyalty program and talk to customers about it could simply be recognized, such as naming them a ‘loyalty star of the month’ or other special shout-out. Everyone likes a nice shout-out as recognition of their hard work. This could be a social media post, a picture on the staff board, or even just a ‘loyalty star of the week’ badge.
2. Training sessions
Another obvious but effective way to train staff is through training sessions. These training sessions can come in one or a combination of the following forms:
- During onboarding: as part of your hiring protocol, make new starters aware of your loyalty program and talk them through how it works. Importantly, spend time suggesting how they can work the loyalty program into transactions with customers, organically and conversationally. This ensures that you don’t compromise the customer experience in order to communicate about your loyalty program.
- Scheduled regular training sessions: organizing group training sessions around your loyalty program, especially when an influx of new staff start, is a great way to refresh older staff on how it works and educate the new ones.
- Ad-hoc training sessions: if there is a new version of your loyalty program platform or you’ve made any structural changes, a quick update session is also a great way to keep staff informed and on top of your evolving customer retention tool.
Although the future is moving more and more digital, The Wise Marketer reported that 75% of customers prefer to communicate with humans rather than bots or automated machines. This means that customers are still interested in interacting with a person, who can empathize with their needs. Training sessions ensure that your staff are equipped with the information they need and are prepared for any scenario or question a customer may have.
3. Role-playing scenarios
Scenario-based training gives your staff real-world context about your loyalty program and prepares them for realistic situations. They also test quick thinking and problem solving abilities. Confidence looks good; customers will respond well to employees with well-rounded knowledge.
Role playing is also motivational for your workers. By presenting material in a realistic and interactive way, learners are more likely to be interested in the training (which ordinarily, is quite hard to achieve via traditional methods, like simply reading).
Potential scenario questions could be:
“I’m having difficulty logging into my account, what should I do?”
“What do I need to do to get a stamp/point/star?”
“A customer doesn’t understand the benefits of a loyalty program. What do you say?”
“A customer you see a few times every day has no idea about your loyalty program. Where do you begin?”
4. Encourage staff to give it a go
To understand the actual loyalty program inside out, it’s only natural that employees should try the program themselves, so they can better explain and assist with customers who are interested in the program.
If your rewards program is an app like Stamp Me, let your staff go through the sign up process as though they were a customer: downloading, registering and signing up. Issue them a stamp and have them run through the redemption process. Ultimately, whatever your loyalty program looks like, it’s worth giving your staff first-hand experience about how it operates to better communicate with customers.
This could also be done by creating a separate rewards program or a ‘staff only’ demo, utilizing your existing loyalty program platform. This is a great option because staff will be interacting with the same system customers would be, but not mix in with customer data. Ultimately, it’ll help with answering any technical or functionality queries customers may have.
Stamp Me’s digital loyalty program makes it easy to hide a specific ‘stamp card’ or rewards scheme directly from a Merchant Console. This means that you can control who has the option of joining that rewards program, and run a private one for staff, alongside a public one for customers.
Learn more about the Stamp Me app and how to replace paper loyalty cards.
5. Create training modules or guides
If it’s a challenge to train your staff all together or you simply don’t have the time, then this last tip is perfect for you. Online training modules and guides allow your staff to learn in their own time, as well as appealing to visual and reading/writing learners.
Some different types of training modules and guides to consider are:
Video tutorials: These tutorials can be pre-recorded and made available online. Your loyalty provider may already have these to share with your staff so you don’t have to do your own. For example, Stamp Me offers quick videos in a dedicated help centre.
Interactive e-learning modules: These can include quizzes, simulations, and interactive exercises that allow learners to apply their knowledge and receive real-time feedback.
Online/paper guides: Step-by-step learning guides are great for reading/writing learners and provide an organized process to be viewed at any time. They can be printed and left in staff rooms, included in onboarding materials or simply emailed to every employee. Again, your loyalty provider may already have these user guides.
To cap this off, the importance of training your staff cannot be overstated. If staff are not properly prepared to engage with customers on your loyalty program, then bad news - it’s almost guaranteed not to succeed.
Your staff are your customers’ first point of contact. Without comprehensive training, your business will become associated with inconsistent messaging, lost opportunities, and reduced engagement. We hope these ideas about how to train staff about your loyalty program have provided you with some food for thought.
Stamp Me provides loyalty solutions to businesses large and small, from our own Stamp Me Loyalty App to fully customised loyalty and rewards programs for enterprises and brands.
Contact us if you would like to discuss a loyalty or rewards solution for your business or brand.