If you're trying to boost loyalty, here are three suggestions:
1. Don't go back on offers you've made to loyal customers.
If you offer something as a show of gratitude toward loyal customers, and you're clear about it being an ongoing offer, revoking it summarily suggests the opposite: You no longer have that gratitude.
It may be easier for the business to do away with earlier offers in the course of implementing a new loyalty effort. However, it's not easier for the customers who benefited from that earlier program. It's frustrating and confusing, two things that will provide emotional impetus for them to buy from someone else.
2. Don't create conditions for new loyal customers that are less attractive than what you've offered past loyal customers.
It makes sense to treat different buyers in different ways; regular customers who spend a lot should get better treatment than regular customers who spend a little, for instance. Don't set up a situation where similar customers receive different rewards, though. This can happen when customers are identified as worthy of retention at different times.
The problem here is that customers talk to each other -- and explaining that one customer gets a better discount than another solely because of the date at which the entered a loyalty program suggests you're treating these valuable customers in an arbitrary fashion -- mostly because that's exactly what you're doing.
3. Don't get complicated.
Don't create a loyalty program that turns the customers' participation into a job. In other words, don't turn the program into something confusing or complicated, because your customers don't want to have to work to be recognized for their loyalty.
They also deserve to have the same expectations that you have. A complicated program with points structures, expiration dates and qualifying conditions is likely to create confusion that leads to conflict. Why would you want to engender conflict with your loyal customers? That runs exactly counter to the entire point of rewarding loyalty.