Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal

Date:
August 27, 2014
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
They promise us discounts, upgrades and freebies in exchange for our allegiance -- so why are shoppers failing to stay faithful to customer loyalty programs? Despite major retailers investing tens of millions of dollars a year into loyalty programs, they are a dying breed, with customers struggling to see the benefits of signing up, according to research.

Dr Syed Hasan says retailers can increase customer loyalty by giving gifts that stimulate gratitude.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

They promise us discounts, upgrades and freebies in exchange for our allegiance -- so why are shoppers failing to stay faithful to customer loyalty programs?

Related Articles


Despite major retailers investing tens of millions of dollars a year into loyalty programs, they are a dying breed, with customers struggling to see the benefits of signing up, according to QUT research.

But benefits that stimulate gratitude in customers have the power to strengthen the seller-customer relationship and ensure loyalty, researchers Dr Syed Hasan, Professor Ian Lings, Associate Professor Larry Neale and Dr Gary Mortimer, from QUT's School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, found.

Lead researcher Dr Hasan, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, said the researchers found retailers that showed loyal shoppers they were "caring more for the customer than their own profit," would successfully secure customer gratitude.

The paper, titled "The role of customer gratitude in making relationship marketing investments successful," has been published in the September issue of the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.

"Shoppers are realising that a loyalty program provides the same benefits, discounts and communications to all members and you are not treated any differently than the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of other members," Dr Hasan said.

"Our research suggests retailers should invest in ways to generate customer gratitude and appreciation, in order to make customers feel more valued.

"If a customer feels genuinely grateful, there is a stronger chance they will remain loyal to the retailer."

Dr Hasan said retailers could increase gratitude, and therefore secure loyalty, by providing "small favours" to customers or even "bending the rules" to meet their needs.

"Programs that provide gifts built into the product, like a free case with a new laptop, and those that end up financially benefitting the company in another way, like fuel dockets from Coles and Woolies, generate little gratitude because customers know the intention is not benevolent," he said.

"Instead, retailers need to offer a personal and flexible service to their best customers.

"For example, if a customer urgently needed to exchange the wrong-sized dress after the store has just closed, the store would generate more goodwill by delivering the right size to the customer's home or briefly re-opening the store, rather than offering an exchange the following day.

"Or, if a store does not have the right product in stock, referring a customer to a competitor shows it is more concerned with caring for the customer's needs, rather than its own."

Loyalty programs should also include some "random or discretionary elements," to ensure customers felt appreciated and valued, Dr Hasan said.

"That includes anything the customer is not expecting, that goes above the value of a normal transaction," he said.

"For example a free gift, members' only events or an extra special service offered."

The research involved surveying nearly 1100 students at three major universities in Pakistan about their experiences of their respective universities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Syed Fazal e Hasan, Ian Lings, Larry Neale, Gary Mortimer. The role of customer gratitude in making relationship marketing investments successful. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2014; 21 (5): 788 DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2014.06.007

Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827101445.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2014, August 27). Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827101445.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827101445.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins