How important are sales staff for loyalty?
14 June 2023
Susan Walsh

Every day I’m out and about making various purchases, including bags, shoes, food, and drinks. However, I’ve noticed a growing trend – and I’m not sure if it’s just me. Nobody asks if I’m a member of their loyalty program. Should loyalty experts be worried?

This week, I went to McDonald’s to grab a quick breakfast as my train was running late (thanks, Sydney Trains!). I prefer being assisted by a person, so I waited at the counter for service. Over the past four weeks, nobody has asked if I have a code to present for their loyalty program.

Later in the day, I needed a little energy boost and went to my regular hot chocolate supplier. Once again, no request to stamp my card.

I also needed to top up my petrol and went to a local EG/Caltex station since I’m a proud Everyday Rewards member. Yet again, nobody asked if I was a loyalty member, Woolies member, or Everyday Rewards card holder – nothing.

Why doesn’t anyone ask if I’m a member?

My first thought was about training. Is the team member assisting me new? Do they not know about the loyalty program they have? If they do know, do they not care about sharing it? Do they not realise the value of engaged members in a loyalty program?

The answer to the last question is probably no.

Engaged staff could be your secret weapon

The success of a loyalty program relies on the whole business embracing it, including the sales staff. Sales staff play a vital role in enhancing the program’s effectiveness and driving customer engagement.

Here are some key reasons why sales staff are so important in a loyalty program:

Enrollment and Onboarding: Sales staff can actively promote and enroll customers in the loyalty program. They can explain the benefits, features, and rewards of the program, ensuring that customers understand how to participate and make the most of it. Sales staff can also assist with onboarding new members, helping them set up their accounts, and providing any necessary guidance.

Program Promotion: Sales staff serve as brand ambassadors and can effectively promote the loyalty program to customers during their interactions. They can highlight the exclusive perks, discounts, or rewards associated with the program, encouraging customers to join and remain loyal to the brand.

Upselling and Cross-selling: Sales staff are well-positioned to leverage the loyalty program to upsell or cross-sell products or services. By understanding a customer’s purchasing history and preferences, they can recommend relevant offerings that align with the customer’s interests. They can also emphasise how loyalty program members can unlock additional benefits or discounts through specific purchases.

Customer Engagement and Relationship Building: Sales staff can actively engage with loyalty program members, building rapport and relationships. By recognising and appreciating loyal customers, they can provide personalized recommendations, address queries, and offer a superior customer experience. This engagement fosters a sense of loyalty and encourages repeat purchases.

Feedback Collection: Sales staff can act as a valuable source of feedback for the loyalty program. They interact with customers regularly and can gather insights about the program’s effectiveness, areas for improvement, and customer satisfaction levels. This feedback can help refine and optimise the loyalty program’s features and benefits.

Troubleshooting and Issue Resolution: If customers encounter any issues or challenges related to the loyalty program, sales staff can serve as the first point of contact for assistance. They can troubleshoot problems, resolve queries, or escalate issues to the appropriate departments, ensuring a smooth customer experience and maintaining program satisfaction.


Sales staff are instrumental in promoting, educating, and engaging customers in a loyalty program design. Their active involvement can significantly impact customer participation, retention, and overall program success. Businesses need to ensure they are equipped to make members feel like a part of the program.

<a href="" target="_self">Susan Walsh</a>

Susan Walsh

Susan is a Loyalty Director at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Susan has previously worked in product, marketing and business roles at Optus and Virgin Mobile, Catch Connect Mobile, Coles Mobile, Proactiv Skincare and ABC Shops. Susan applies her skills across all aspects of the business, including implementation and operations, loyalty program design, member engagement and digital marketing.

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