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In recent times, loyalty has come to mean more than points-based rewards programs. Of course, points-based loyalty is still alive and well, but we’re seeing more and more alternate approaches to programmatic loyalty. In particular, loyalty driven by customer experience is on the rise, because when done right, it presents brands with innovative ways to engage with today’s consumer. This experience-forward approach is favored by cxLoyalty, and to learn more about it, Loyalty360 recently spoke with Todd Siegel, President & CEO for cxLoyalty.
Siegel noted his company’s history in the loyalty space. Prior to rebranding, the company had existed as four divisions of Affinion, where Siegel and team gained expertise in subscriptions and other aspects of programmatic loyalty.
Upon exiting non-core business services, such as insurance, and arriving at a focus on loyalty driven by customer experience, the organization rebranded, and cxLoyalty was born. Of the rebranding, Siegel said, “While we had many capabilities in the past, we probably didn’t do the best job at communicating them to the market. But we’ve changed that. First, by strategically realigning our focus and simplifying our strategy. Then, by the rebranding to make our focus clear: customer experience, that CX that leads to loyalty.”
Siegel explained that the new focus meets the needs of contemporary brands and consumers. He said, “While points-based rewards remains a critical driver of strengthening a brand’s relationship with its customers, the market demands go beyond that, and we believe that CX, customer experience, leads to loyalty when it’s done right and that all aspects of the customer experience can make or break the relationship.”
To Siegel, brand-consumer relationships are not merely an option or aspect of loyalty, but rather part of its essence. When he offered his definition of customer loyalty, he said, “At its core, it’s really focused on the relationship between brands and their customers. Does the brand know the customer, and are they working to maintain and nurture that relationship?”
He noted that the desired results of loyalty are myriad, but two particulars to look for are stickier relationships and greater share-of-wallet. He noted that “loyalty, at the end of the day, is about value creation.”
Siegel noted that focusing on value-creation can be a challenge for brands. “We’re living in a world of more information than ever,” he said, “and I think, for the brands, what you say and what you do matters, and I think that the brands have to make sure that they’re focused on delivering on the brand-promise that they’re making to consumers.” Siegel encourages brands to maintain customer-centricity and keep in mind their relationship with consumers, knowing that will ultimately drive growth in metrics like share-of-wallet.
To help deliver on the brand-promise, Siegel has observed that more and more brands are implementing internal initiatives and seeking out the assistance of external entities like cxLoyalty.
Siegel stated that the key differentiators for cxLoyalty are its approach and its people. That is, cxLoyalty eschews one-size-fits-all products and instead welcomes customization.
Siegel said, “Our clients need a way to solve their unique problems, and we recognize that an off-the-shelf product is not always the right solution.” Given that many of today’s brands encounter providers pushing products that may not be suitable for every industry or every brand, this approach may resonate with brands that find themselves facing unique challenges.
The next big thing on the horizon for cxLoyalty is a massive tech enhancement. Siegel said, “We’re well on our way in a multi-year journey to transform our global technology operating model.” One key aspect is “leveraging infrastructure that is globally resilient.” He explained, “We’re a global company. We’re in over 20 countries. We need to make sure we have the right infrastructure and the right flexibility.”
The overhaul will also see a “transformation to microservices architecture,” which Siegel indicated “is going to allow us to have rapid, frequent, and reliable delivery of large, complex applications for the brands we support and their customers.”
These enhancements will also include a customer intelligence and personalization platform, as well as migration to a cloud infrastructure. Siegel concluded, “We’re adopting the development of practices to enable multiple zero-down-time-deployments a day. One of the things we pride ourselves on is our ability to not be down.”