Samuel N Mokoena, Prof Krishna Govender
This paper explores and compares the loyalty strategies used by the ‘Big Four’ retail banks in South Africa through an analysis of the relevant documents of the banks. It was ascertained that every loyalty program has its own unique characteristics by way of design and structure, and members are rewarded according to the business and behavioral rules which the program intends to drive. Although the ‘earn and spend’ strategies are important in that they reflect the purpose and value propositions of the program, all loyalty programmes are not created equally. South African banks should move away from product selling to customer-centric need fulfillment and find ways to make their customer loyalty programs more engaging through product customization and tiering, since transaction-based rewards will encourage greater use of personal accounts, thus driving further loyalty. Furthermore, loyalty programs must be innovative so as to ensure that the multi-channels used by retail banking customers offer high customer experience. Banks also need to effectively use ‘big data’ to identify who their best customers are and provide them with enhanced offerings that will keep them loyal.