Why Your Customer Loyalty Schemes Should Be Part of an Omni-Channel Approach | Loyalty and reward schemes are a powerful tool for improving engagement with your business and for increasing the lifetime value of a customer. Understandably, they are popular with both businesses and consumers.
If you are already running a customer loyalty scheme, how is this working for you? Do you feel like you and your customers are gaining maximum benefits?
Here, we argue why your organization’s loyalty scheme shouldn’t be treated as a separate entity. Instead, you need to be using the power of a fully integrated customer data platform — one that also offers a customer loyalty management system — to manage your customer journey.
Using the omni-channel approach will allow you to leverage all your customer data for maximum value. Here’s why.
The problem with “traditional” loyalty programs
The problem with many loyalty programs is that they are card-based and single channel. They can reward spending in-store or online but not additional interactions with your business, such as social media engagement.
What if you could reward your customers for far more than just their spending? What if you could reward them for social interactions? For reviews? For surveys? For store check-ins? Or for interacting with your business in the most convenient way to them?
This is what the omni-channel approach can achieve.
What exactly is the omni-channel approach?
An omni-channel approach differs from a multi-channel approach in that it uses one central customer data platform to connect and synchronize the customer journey across all your customer touchpoints.
It’s important to note that to get the best results and value, a single customer data platform is ideal. This enables a flawless, streamlined and unified customer experience.
An omni-channel platform funnels all your customer data into one place that allows you to provide an exceptionally personalized, authentic and engaging customer experience. Here’s how.
Why use a customer journey management platform?
Here’s a quick overview of why moving all your customer data into one high-quality platform makes perfect sense.
First of all, you can gather customer data from all touchpoints in real-time. Many companies will be gathering data from their website, in-store point of sale, social media channels and more, but there may not be a way of connecting this data up. Instead, a good platform can funnel and centralize all your data into one easy-access place.
Provide the personal touch
With so much data at hand, the platform can then provide comprehensive 360° individual customer microsites. These are extremely useful for staff who can use the information to provide a more personal experience when interacting with a customer. Customers can also access their full history.
These microsites can generate deep insights into customer behavior patterns. In just one place, you can see personal data and transactional data as well as how a customer has interacted with marketing communications in the past and information on their digital behavior.
Better target your marketing efforts
Using the platform’s in-depth knowledge of customer behavior, you can automate marketing opportunities and better target your customers. Because you now know them so well, marketing campaigns can be far better-targeted, meaning better return on investment, better customer engagement and improved lifetime customer value.
Your loyalty program can build on all this. Utilize your deeper knowledge of customer behavior like where to find them on social media, what they are browsing, and how they rate your products or services, and offer them relevant rewards.
How to provide better incentives through your integrated loyalty program
The key to a great loyalty program is to give the right incentives to the right customers. With an integrated customer journey platform with a loyalty program built-in, you can guarantee this. No more generic discounts or irrelevant rewards.
Simplify rewards for spending
Ensure your customers always benefit from spending with you, no matter how they pay. Reward them whether they purchase through your mobile app, website, in-store, or even over the phone.
Ensure your customers profit from any kind of engagement
Your business benefits enormously when you get a social media share or like, a completed survey, or a product review. Say thank you and encourage more engagement by rewarding all interactions with your business.
- Incentivize leaving a product or service review.
- Provide points or perks for social media engagement.
- Motivate information sharing (i.e., adding more detailed information to customer profiles).
- Encourage your customers to take surveys.
- Say thank you for visiting your site.
- Offer enticing rewards for referrals.
Use AI to improve engagement
When you use a customer journey management platform, there is such a great wealth of knowledge at your fingertips (or rather, at the disposal of in-built AI). Use machine-learning to predict what your customers want to see and when and where they want to see it. This way, you can maximize engagement with your brand.
For instance, your customers might be presented with tempting rewards when they check-in in-store, or via email, or on social media. Your data platform will know what suits each customer best.
Personalize all your customers’ experiences
Serve your customers with relevant rewards based on everything you know about them. For instance, base your rewards incentives on reviewing their recent purchases, celebrate a birthday with them, or mark the anniversary of their first purchase with you.
These kinds of rewards help you build a deeper connection with your customers. Brand affinity is really important to building lifetime customer value, of course, so consider using your loyalty program to offer VIP rewards. These could be reserved for your highest points accumulators.
Why switching to omni-channel makes sense
Setting up this level of personalization in a rewards program is straightforward when you use an integrated customer journey platform. AI does the hard work for you. Your marketing strategies, including your loyalty program, can be more accurately targeted from less human effort, giving you far better returns on investment than your existing strategies.
This is the beauty of the omni-channel approach: It is simple, yet rich in the finest details. Use it to build better relationships with your customers and encourage them to stay with you and spend with you.
Salam Saadeh is Co-Founder of UrbanBuz, a Customer Journey Management Platform that enables businesses to connect, unify, and unlock their customer data to optimize their customer engagement and marketing budget, while delivering personalized connected customer experiences at scale.