Loyalty360's Throwback Thursday | Thought Leaders in Customer Loyalty – Episode 3

Loyalty360’s Throwback Thursday video series brings together several of the best responses from Loyalty360 member thought leaders on recent topics, trends, and discussions.

In this video, we asked, "What do you think is the next big thing for customer loyalty/customer experience?" Thanks to our members from ICF Next, PDI, Kobie, Iris, and Engage People for participating!

Be sure to check out the other videos in our Loyalty360 Thought Leader #TBT series here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

What do you think is the next “big thing” for customer loyalty/customer experience?
Rupa Rajopadhye, VP, Marketing Services, Iris
So, to start with more uncertainty and change, and with that I mean there was a lot of wisdom of customer behavior that we were leveraging and in some ways, we have to still not forget about it but not rely so much on it. That is an increasing trend towards active participation. People really need to feel they're a part of the brand. That's where you're going to build relationships and that's how you're going to sustain those consistency, authenticity, and complete alignment between brand and experience all while changing the proposition and experience. Accepting change as a part of your day to day and your new normal. Last, but not least, is communication. The way I would put it as caring for rather than sell. It's going to be important as we come out of this because there's a lot of sensitivities and anxiety is that you need to be aware of and respect and recognize among your customers.
Guy Cierzan, Managing Partner, Loyalty, ICF Next
I think the next big thing for the industry is likely to be a more recognizable erasing of programmatic boundaries. I think it’s likely to be where brands fold the concept of loyalty into what they bring to a customer overall and make it part and parcel to the service, the products, how they engage with customers. So, I feel like it doesn’t mean the elements that we sit and/or park within the friendly confines of a program concept go away. I think it just means that they’d feel much more naturally a part of the fabric of a brand and the way that they act. And I think a lot of the companies that are more born out of the e-commerce growth that we’ve seen in the last 10 years have had a natural advantage. I think, what’s going to be interesting, is to see what we might view as more traditional brands, how they make that leap into making loyalty less obviously about the program, and more intertwined into the overall proposition of what they do and how they interact with customers.
Marti Beller, President, Kobie Marketing
I assume that you assume that I’m going to say the next big thing is understanding emotional drivers of consumers and getting to emotional loyalty, but I’m going to go one step beyond that because we’re already at that place, so I’ll tell you what I think the next big thing is. The next big thing to me is leveraging that to understand how to talk to your customers and maximize the impact between transactions. This is what everybody wants. There’s a lot of mechanisms out there, there’s a lot of ways to drive to those transactions, but talking between the transactions, getting engagement, and understanding between the transactions. That's the next big thing. Think about if we had cracked that as an industry, as a collective group, going into this time. That would be incredibly helpful for people. They're trying to figure out transactions are one way to value a customer but interactions and engagements and all the different ways that your brand is touched by a consumer is so powerful into understanding who to motivate differentially. I think the segmentation personalization question is also in here which is not just how do you segment your customers but how do you segment your marketing efforts to those that have the most likelihood to be your most loyal customers. Understanding that between the transaction and of course emotional drivers are an important part of that. I think it's the next big thing because I don't think we can keep going at this quantity without quality going up and I think the quality is going to come from more data and more data is going to come from digital and digital is about interactions as much as transactions.
Len Covello, Chief Technology Officer, Engage People
I think the next big thing is, and I’m going to be cautious about this. We went through stages of coalition and I don't think it's coalition, I think it's partnerships. I think there are some large programs up there that are creating partnerships with like-minded brands that deliver value. You're seeing grocery and gas and telcos getting together to create that value proposition. It's less about the coalition, it’s more about a partnership program. I think that's a big thing we're going to see. You're going to have an anchor running these programs and they're going to have a light currency and then with that currency you're going to see members able to earn and redeem it at a number of locations so it's increasing choice but still doing it in a controlled fashion. I think you're going to see probably two different directions. You're going to see a challenge with data and you’re going to see programs start to probably assume less risk and those are going to be some programs that have that mindset. Then, I think we're going to see a lot of openness in that community. We talked about earlier on brands working together. I think Kern is going to go across really several brands together and again not in that coalition fashion but in that partnership fashion. I think the redemption is going to explode. You're going to see points as a currency available anywhere. It's going to be not quite another currency but it's going to be a currency available for reduction in a lot of spaces.
Melissa West, Director of Product Solutions, PDI Software
I think it's all-around increased personalization. I've talked a lot about it already today but it's around relevant offers and messages, the digital experiences. Transitioning brands from brick-and-mortar locations and really to this digital experience. It's no longer enough to have a transactional loyalty program. I think most loyalty programs today are still that. They're transactional. Those brands,
those retailers, those who can truly create a personalized experience, will drive that sought-after
profitable consumer behavior change that we're seeking. Not necessarily a new concept but for anyone that can do this consistently, that'll be the big thing.


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