Over half of consumers feel it takes too long to earn rewards in loyalty schemes, finds Grass Roots Group

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A survey of UK consumers has revealed that 54% feel it takes too long to earn rewards in loyalty schemes, with 27% of people having stopped using a loyalty programme as a result. The research, which surveyed over 2,700 consumers and was carried out by Grass Roots Group, customer engagement division, suggests that brands are failing to keep followers engaged and loyal during this period.

The survey also revealed the amount of time that customers are prepared to wait. With 33% of respondents expecting to receive significant rewards from a loyalty programme within just a month of signing up and a further 45% prepared to wait between one and three months before it bears any fruit, brands run the risk of turning away loyal customers by not keeping them engaged whilst they wait for their rewards to mature.

Delving deeper into the findings, the older generation are more impatient when it comes to being rewarded for their loyalty, with 12% of over 55s expecting to receive a reward within a week, compared to only 4% of 18-24 year olds. By not understanding this or targeting customers correctly, brands could be contributing to the relationship breakdown with their customers.

Adam Goran, divisional director of customer engagement at Grass Roots Group. said: “Customer loyalty schemes hold a lot of value to both brands and their customers. Brands have already done the hard work by earning customer loyalty, why then do so many risk losing their customers by not keeping them engaged throughout the entire loyalty lifecycle?

“Our research found that over half of customers (57%) are happy to be contacted by a loyalty provider once a month, with 18-24 year olds wanting more frequent contact (38% are happy to be contacted between once a day and every two weeks). Customers want, and expect, to be contacted by their loyalty scheme providers and if approached in the right way at the right time, they will become true advocates and not just occasional shoppers. If brands fail to capitalise on this and don’t engage effectively with their customers between the times where they spend and save their rewards, they will find it increasingly difficult to hold on to loyal customers.”

The research was carried out by Grass Roots Group in September 2014 and surveyed 2,741 UK consumers about their views towards and experience of customer loyalty schemes.