High satisfaction leads to high customer loyalty, and every organization that wants to be successful should acknowledge this. Loyalty programs allow retaining customers. However, to be efficient, they should address the multiple needs of consumers and create various benefits for them. I agree with Jacqueline that a successful loyalty program always adds value to the primary business of the company and is consistent with its brand and vision. Nevertheless, I consider that loyalty programs should be primarily customer-oriented.
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According to Cai (2009), customer focus is a “starting point of any quality initiative” and an integral part of strategic management (p. 370). Consumers’ preferences are continuously changing, and managers thus need to evaluate the shifts in customer expectations regularly and align business operations, strategic goals, and loyalty programs with the identified changes. Not only allows the given approach to ensure customer retaining but also generates competitive advantages for the business. By seeking feedback through continual customer communication, companies can obtain an opportunity to sustain good relationships with them and consequently achieve their loyalty.
Costa may serve as an example of a company with an excellent loyalty program in the coffee shop industry. For raising its competitiveness, the company introduced pre-pay, loyalty, and discount cards that encourage customers to make more purchases and serve as the mechanism for customer bonding. Costa also offers a diverse range of products targeting a wider number of customers with different dietary preferences. For instance, it offers de-caffeine drinks and low-fat products to meet the needs of and attract health-conscious consumers. Moreover, coffee Costa stores are usually located in convenient locations, and this factor may be considered vital in both attraction of customers and the level of their satisfaction.
Cai, S. (2009). The importance of customer focus for organizational performance: A study of Chinese companies. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 26(4), 369-379.