Social Loyalty

With increasing number of active participants in social media, even a seemingly small failure by a company can quickly blow up into a major problem. To address such situations, Dennis Armbruster, writing for, offers some advice as to how to use customer loyalty programs to actively resolve and defuse situations:

  • Identify key customers, and reach out positively to them. “Every member of a loyalty/rewards program is a PR representative for your organization, whether you want them to be or not,” said Jonathan Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management.
  • Offer truthful communications. “Having direct access to your customers through a loyalty program gives you fast, direct contact,” says Gerard Braud, crisis communications expert and head of Gerard Braud Communications. “The beauty of a loyalty program is your customer is telling you they trust you and they believe in you. Therefore, it is your pipeline to retain loyalty. It is also a pipeline to say you are sorry, if needed.”
  • Be aware of timing. “Wait until any immediate threat is completely contained first, else you draw people in just to incur more damage,” says Bernstein.