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The “if you build it, they will come” approach may work for baseball fields, but when it comes to loyalty programs, building a solid program is just the first step. Because starting a loyalty program is one thing — but keeping customers engaged with it is another.
Many loyalty leaders have found that partnering with the right technology solution provider is a necessary next step in taking their loyalty program to the next level to ensure seamless scaling as they attract more members, and preventing technical hiccups and inconsistencies across channels.
But how do you select the technical partner who will truly make an impact? By making sure their solution helps you check the necessary boxes.
Aberdeen Group reports that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies (via Internet Retailer). That’s why, regardless of your industry, it’s essential that your loyalty program customer experience is solid and consistent across all your channels. Look for a technical partner who can support an omni-channel experience.
You also need a partner that can handle complexity, such as the ability to manage large volumes of customer data, several ways to earn points, a mechanism for reward redemption and special promotions, and possibly an experiential component. Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations – are you ready to be among them?
It almost goes without saying: your technology partner needs speed, flexibility, and scalability. They need the ability to move quickly as many programs need to support real-time changes, which requires a flexible technology and modern architecture. Of course, there also needs to be scalability to support multiple store locations and rapid configuration of location-specific rules and extensibility (third-party integrations, future program expansion, etc.).
Finally, you want a tech partner with deep analytics capabilities, or you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t — it’s key to determining the return on investment. Analytics are also essential in finding meaningful customer patterns, cross-referencing demographic data, and building robust customer profiles. And you want a partner positioned to leverage machine learning, which is taking analytics to the next level to create a more engaging and personal customer experience.
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