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Partnering with brand clients around the world, Engage People is a technology supplier that connects loyalty programs with payment systems and online retailers by allowing program members to pay with points directly at checkout. The technology supplier provides both loyalty management software — Podium — and its payments network — Access Plus.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Jonathan Silver, CEO of Engage People, about current and upcoming trends in customer loyalty and which trends Engage People expects brands to focus on throughout 2023.
Bringing Emotional Connection and Engagement to Financial Loyalty
Within the financial world, customer loyalty is about keeping branded payment cards at the front of the wallet. For brands, the question is how to stand out from numerous other options consumers may have. To stand out from the card, brands can offer unique benefits and rewards to cardholders. To Engage People, one of the best ways to build this loyalty is through building an emotional connection.
“If you have a travel credit card, you tap your card on a $10 bottle of water, and the payment asks if you want to use your rewards points on the transaction, you’re suddenly surprised and delighted,” says Silver. “It enhances that memory in a way you didn’t expect. That drives a higher emotional engagement and a higher connection back to the program.”
Through the Access Plus network, Engage People has a wealth of data on customer point redemption, due to the network’s ability to allow users to redeem points directly through their cards. Through this data, the supplier measures the impact of those rewards for its clients and has seen how this kind of emotional connection through the transactions results in higher point redemption and spend for members.
“We’re seeing about six times engagement from members who have redeemed in store with us versus those who haven’t, with a 15–20% increase in spend,” says Silver.
Within the financial space, especially with infrequently used services like travel cards, driving customer loyalty is all about increasing the frequency and ease of redeeming points. By increasing frequency and ease, the brand is able to increase the emotional connection to the card which will ultimately increase engagement and spending.
“The ability for people to engage with the program more frequently results in better engagement, high retention rates, and high spends,” says Silver. “When we talk about loyalty strategies now, it’s about how we draw that connection and emotional engagement to increase frequency.”
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