Editor’s Note - This story was originally published in October, and is part of Loyalty360’s “Best of 2016.” We wish you and your family a happy holidays, and will return to our regular content schedule in 2017!

Loyalty360 talks to a plethora of brands about their challenges on a weekly basis, including the development of loyalty programs and the maintenance surrounding them to gain long-term growth.

Loyalty360 caught up with Jackie Galaida, vice president, loyalty marketing, Barclaycard, to learn more about the challenges associated with any loyalty program today.

“The challenge is relevance and the balancing act between profitability and the value you can give to the customer,” Galaida explained. “Customers want it all. We try to get really creative as to how we can build programs to give them as much as possible. Our NFL program is a good example. We found a way to add cash back into the NFL card to make it competitive with other products in the marketplace, yet we also offer tickets and amazing NFL experiential rewards that you can’t get anywhere else. Relevance is all about getting the right offers to the right customers at the right time. Data can help you understand the customer, but if you’re not sure how to use it to target offers and messages appropriately, all that data is meaningless.”
Barclaycard, one of the largest credit card companies in the world, has partnered with LoyaltyEdge from American Express, a leading provider of end-to-end loyalty management services, to enhance the overall customer experience. Together, they are transforming their approach to better understand constantly shifting customer trends in the marketplace and capitalize on those trends with the various platforms in their ecosystem.

“I think the experience is what it’s all about, especially since credit cards have become a fairly commoditized industry,” Galaida said. “CX is a key differentiator. Are we tweaking the message appropriately for our customers to match where they are in their respective journeys?”
Galaida noted three necessary things for any loyalty program to be successful: omnichannel, meaningful, and transparent.
“It seems like every company has some type of loyalty program these days and retail programs make it so easy now since most are tied to a phone number,” Galaida said. “Everything is digital or mobile and millennials expect immediate gratification. The whole mobile explosion has opened the eyes of a lot of companies who now realize that you no longer must create a version for phone, tablet, and desktop – mobile responsive design is the new approach. Create one version and make it responsive, more streamlined, and more consistent. It’s really integrated and will become very easy to do based on consumer response at POS. Isn’t it great when you can use your points at POS to pay for something?”
Customers are seeking value and value is very transparent when it’s in the form of cash, Galaida said.

“However, there’s not an emotional connection to this redemption moment,” she explained. “Customers need to celebrate the value they receive from their rewards programs, like back when Amex started Membership Rewards and customers were delighted by its free Bose headphones. We’re trying to find ways to bring those emotional connections back to rewards programs, whether it’s by finding ways to celebrate what they received, with cash back, or by offering opportunities that money can’t buy such as redemption options, like we do with our NFL Extra Points rewards program.”

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