Currently in Russia loyalty programs are gaining popularity rapidly. It is a popular sphere but still a growing trend. There are a number of challenges that developers of the programs face: small database, lack of own resources and as a consequence– the use of international platforms for the program implementation, as well as difficulties with the selection of relevant rewards.

However there are elements that have already gained popularity among consumers and are often used by the developers of loyalty programs, for example, mobile applications.  Adaptation of programs for smartphone use becomes more and more widespread. Many companies have developed unique mobile applications that allow participants to collect bonus points, check the account balance as well as interact in different ways.

In June 2012 Moscow staged the 3rdCustomer Management Summit. There was a discussion of the landmarks in the field of loyalty programs in Russia. 25 speakers from major companies such as Gazprom bank, X5 retail Group, MTS, ROSNO, Pony Express, Home credit bank, Metro C&C as well as PMCG took part in it. In the course of two days, companies shared case studies and discussed with other participants the issues of comprehensive relationship management and communications with Clients.

Among the most discussed topics were: the transformation of approaches to Client relationship management with the emphasis on service quality, the introduction and monitoring of quality standards, receiving actionable feedback from Customers, analysis of best service practices, communication with the Client in social networks.

Another important theme was the effective organization of Customer support center in the Internet, namely use of social media channels in addition to the traditional ones, their response time and cost efficiency.

Participants also discussed Customer touch points, omni channel strategy development, all under the slogan: «long term relations are the pledge for sales maximization».

One of the key topics was effective segmentation and importance of relevant motivation.

Many Russian companies take on board the experience of successfully implemented loyalty programs in the USA or Europe and use this opportunity to analyze the pros and cons. However, for each company, in any case, it is necessary to develop its own approach to the Clients, taking into consideration the culture, mentality and many other perception factors.

To sum up we would once again state that loyalty programs in Russia are on the rise, showing rapid growth.

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