Best Practices for Integrating Loyalty Programs
Sometimes a single B2B/ B2C brand can have multiple, disconnected loyalty reward programs to drive different business objectives. The most recent example of such situation which had everyone talking was the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program. This was a huge undertaking for the brands involved and had some major hiccups both internally and externally which led to significant impacts on customer experience, engagement and possibly reservations. The two major drawbacks for disconnected loyalty programs are:
  1. Customers who are often on multiple programs lose track of the total value of engaging with the brand
  2. On the other hand, brands lose sight of the profitability at the customer level 

In such cases, it is important to develop a strategy to integrate the multiple loyalty programs from a customer's prospective as well as the internal sales team's (especially for B2B brands) prospective to address the impact the integration will have on both key groups. In this blog, we will review the best practices to achieve our goals for the customers but stay tuned for a follow-up blog for the best practices from an internal team’s prospective.

Customer Strategy: Provide the customers the clear value of engaging with the brand.

Create a uniform rewards portal

  • Provide one single portal for customers to login to, in order to view all their touchpoints with brand in one place
    • Ensure the unified single portal has the following elements:
      • Total points/ credits accrued as a result of specified actions taken by the customers which should include all possible touchpoints with the brand
      • All possible ways to redeem the accrued currency
      • Current tier status, if any
      • Specific actions they can take to reach a certain tier status

Ensure a seamless transition for the customers

  • Ensure a smooth transition for merging reward points seamlessly with limited errors
  • Provide access to easily to reach customer support (Updated FAQ page, Email or phone number, Chat bots) to help answer questions
  • Launch a Mobile app for on-the-go access 

Prove program value-add 

  • Define the reward structure for the newly integrated program
  • Ensure to answer WIIFM (what's in it for me) clearly to provide a clear benefit of joining or continuing with the rewards program. Things to consider include:
    • Enhanced rewards to help them redeem faster or on smaller rewards or start earning some benefits sooner
    • Extended expiry dates based on tiers
    • Competitive payout ratios and redemption options 

Onboard effectively

  • Provide onboarding for new members in a fun and interactive way to ensure long-term engagement
  • Onboard customers by developing a robust communication plan to ensure they are aware of the new program design, structure & benefits
  • Incorporate gamification elements to engage your customers and to create a sense of community among similar customers through leaderboards 

Personalize UX

  • Incorporate personalized user experience for all aspects of the rewards program as well as all possible touchpoints with the brand. This will require extensive systems integrations across various platforms
  • Use gamification elements such as quizzes and surveys to learn more about the customers and use that data to personalize rewards/ offers
  • Incorporate special incentives such as anniversary gifts for showing appreciation for their continued business 

There are a number of diverse and complex elements that go into integrating loyalty programs and an experienced and well-established partner is essential to ensuring a smooth transition, from developing and executing the strategy to program management. Comarch's loyalty & marketing consulting solutions can help you through every step of integrating your B2B/ B2C loyalty rewards program.
Hear from Comarch’s Loyalty & Marketing Specialists as they discuss more ways to maintain customer engagement in our on-demand webinar, Navigating the Crosswinds: Managing a Loyalty Program in Uncertain Times. 

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