Finding The Truth About a Holistic and Granular Approach to Customer Loyalty

Loyalty360 talks to brands and vendors alike daily and a common refrain heard from many of these companies involves taking a holistic approach to customer loyalty.

What that approach truly involves might vary from company to company.

Loyalty360 talked to Jon Wolfe, CEO of Halo Loyalty, to learn more about this approach to customer loyalty.

Can you talk to our audience about what’s involved in a holistic and granular approach to customer loyalty?

Wolfe: Customers want to engage with a brand in a manner they prefer and place tremendous value to brands that recognize and engage them in a manner they prefer. Our work has convinced that that to achieve this omnichannel customer engagement framework requires a perspective that is both holistic and granular in equal measure. The big-picture, strategy, business objectives, market dynamics and the unique value propositions of the brand while at the same time, accounting for the practical realities of architecting and implementing a loyalty solution across all customer touchpoints and engagement channels, takes a special type of loyalty partner.

Gaining a holistic view of the customer is often talked about in the loyalty industry. What are brands doing well in this regard and where do the challenges lie?

Wolfe: It is imperative to create a holistic approach that results in a seamless system integration across what can be disparate systems, have a data architecture that enables real-time capture of customer behavior across transactional touch points and all engagement channels, and leverage that data to build deeper relationships with more customers. We have seen first-hand with our customer partners that this holistic, 360-degree approach can accelerate business performance in a very dynamic and sustainable fashion. It’s also important to note that these things must occur in real-time for many brands this is one the challenges. Transactional data is most viable when it is fresh, and loyalty and marketing efforts should work in real-time to boost customer experiences and spend during their visit. Marketing to the customer after their visit is certainly a viable part of any loyalty program, but boosting customer spend while they are mid-visit is the real opportunity and is the focus of much of our development and functionality.

What should brands keep in mind regarding a granular approach to customer loyalty?

Wolfe: Brands need to consider agnostic solutions that extend across all existing technology infrastructure which includes online, offline, point of sale, social and payment solutions, aggregation of data across all touch points, and the real-time availability of that data, enhancing service delivery to achieve greater personalization, and finally, a consistent experience across all touch points pre, during, and post-visit.

To take this even further, understanding and leveraging the extended relationships across family and friends can only bolster the brand’s ability to engender a much deeper and lasting relationship with their customers. We see many companies that don’t execute on this strategy at all or have some level of engagement, but these channels are all siloed and not executed as part of a comprehensive strategy. As a result, the customer is left with a mix of communications, rewards, and services that are not integrated and consistent in nature, and result in a disjointed experience for the customer. Other times we find programs that are so complicated, it serves as a deterrent to customer relationships, rather than an enhancement.

How can a holistic and granular approach to loyalty spark heightened customer engagement and strengthen customer relationships?

Wolfe: Simply put, brands want to capture all customer transactional and behavior data across ALL touch points and ALL engagement and social channels in real-time. Capturing this rich customer data means you can learn and proactively engage customers where they are along the customer loyalty journey. It is a powerful notion that you can influence your customer’s experience in real-time at the right time, with the right message, through the right channel. Loyalty is more than just buckets and points. Loyalty is a sophisticated combination of rewards, experiences, services, and communication which provides customers with a seamless and seemingly intuitive relationship. 

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