When buying a product or service, it is important that salesperson is kind and respectful (80%), professional (50%), helpful and receptive (25%). Also, a salesperson’s recommendation is an important tool for sales promotion, given that 79% of respondents have bought a product or started to use the service without prior experience with it after recommendation from salesperson, according to the results of a nationally representative survey with 1000 face-to-face interviews, conducted by Smart Plus Research.

But what happens when someone is a client of one bank since first paycheck? Or when someone uses services of same operator since first mobile phone? Or when people visit same stores in order to purchase food, clothes, shoes, books? The product or service we receive, the professional behavior of the salesperson and appreciation of comments or recommendations for improvements are certainly factors which ensure that customer will come back next time to buy in the same store or prevent him from changing its bank or operator.

However, driven by advertising and benefits offered just to new customers, long-term clients also create expectations to some extent that they also deserve some benefits for their loyalty. One of the answers to this need are loyalty programs. Almost two-thirds of households in Serbia own at least one loyalty card, and over 80% of cardholders use it for every purchase. More importantly, as many as one-fifth claim that they shop at stores with loyalty card more often than before. It seems that preference is given to those cards in which the discount is evident and is obtained immediately, while those cards in which points are accumulated for a long period of time, with a minimal discount usually do not take place in the wallet.

In this regard, those who create new programs or wish to upgrade an existing one should do so either through an offer tailored to each customer’s purchasing habits individually (as these systems collect those information), or through easier use (e.g., an application, not a card), or by making it easier and faster to get the benefits. One should not remain inert to the stance of non-users, who state that they do not trust these programs or feel that it takes a lot of time/money for the benefits to start to get a “tangible” sense. So, let’s work on overcoming these barriers.