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Cassie Preston, Director of Client Services, CRM, and Loyalty at Baesman, recently hosted a Webinar entitled “Finding the Right Technology Partner for your Loyalty Program” where she discussed loyalty platforms and customer expectations, tips for choosing the right technology partner, the importance of data in a loyalty platform, and the dos and don’ts of selecting a loyalty provider.
Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson met with Preston to discuss the webinar, and what brands can do to choose the right loyalty platform and right technology partner for the loyalty journey.
For those who may not be familiar, could you please give us a brief overview of Baesman and how you typically partner with brand clients?
Preston: Baesman is an end-to-end marketing agency, supporting B2C brands that are looking to build lasting relationships with their customers. We are strategic partners for our clients, providing data-driven, CRM & Loyalty thought leadership and execution. We’re experts in loyalty design and execution and offer our clients a customizable loyalty platform to facilitate best-in-class loyalty strategies.
You mentioned the importance of customer experience in loyalty programs. Can you tell us how an integrated loyalty platform can create a positive member experience?
Preston: When we say integrated, what we really mean is making sure customer data gets to the right places, and that we’re able to action on that data at various points within the member journey, and no matter the channel of engagement. The loyalty platform really needs to integrate with the remainder of the tech stack – meaning, if you have an ecomm service provider, the loyalty platform needs to be able to talk to that ecomm service provider via API call or some other form of integration; otherwise, the customer misses out on valuable benefits within the program, potentially hindering future purchases or brand engagement. Integration is the key to creating the ideal member journey through technology.
Now for the opposite – are there ways a loyalty platform can create a negative member experience? What can brands do to remedy this?
Preston: YES! The key to avoiding negative experiences created by technology is to test, test, and test again before rolling anything out to customers. Sometimes our brightest ideas on paper can be tough to recreate in the real world with technology. It can be tough to test a new benefit in a market that requires technology enhancement, but the technology isn’t yet built.
Work creatively with your internal team to see if there are ways to execute that can mimic how the technology solution will work so that you can test things out before investing in needless technology that won’t ultimately move the needle with your customer.
Baesman puts a lot of importance on customer data. What should brands be looking for in regard to data collection and analytics when choosing a loyalty platform?
Preston: Understanding and awareness of the consumer privacy landscape will always be critical, and the ability to organize and store data neatly in an accessible way is just as important. The partner with whom you choose to work should know the ins and outs of data – including how to get first-party data from point a to point b, without customer friction. Once in house, data science comes into play and a great partner can provide limitless options to help you form your single customer view and motivate those customers to become brand loyalists.
In the webinar, you mention the dos and don’ts of choosing a loyalty provider. What’s one piece of advice you would give to a brand looking for a new loyalty provider?
Preston: The strongest piece of advice I have is to never let the technology options available to you dictate your loyalty strategy or drive how you choose to engage with your customers. So often, we can get caught up in the ‘what’s possible,’ but much less often do we ask ourselves and the partners that support us ‘what is the art of the possible.’ Live in the art of the possible first!
How can Baesman support clients in their customer loyalty journeys – and their search for the right loyalty partner?
Preston: Baesman offers customized support across all the services we offer – we can help you build or redesign your loyalty strategy, even offer a platform or CRM execution services. The work we like best is providing an objective perspective and thought leadership to support our brand partners. We are ready and waiting to answer any of your questions about selecting a platform, or anything related to CRM and loyalty – we live and breathe it here!
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