Comarch’s most recent webinar on how to build and run engaging loyalty programs is in the books – a big thank you to all participants!
Our loyalty experts received a lot of burning questions during the Q&A session – too many to address during the event. And so, we asked Paula, Victoria, Christopher, and Łukasz to provide more answers in black & white.
Scroll through this space to see what else our webinar hosts think of the latest and upcoming trends in customer engagement.
Missed our webinar?
Q: What do you think is essential today, apart from integrations, in terms of delivering good SaaS solutions to help retailers retain their clients?
A: There are a few points on what makes a good SAAS loyalty solution. First of all, you need a lot of flexibility in terms of data configuration and how it can be enriched. The data you collect from customers should be the foundation for your loyalty program. Period.
Secondly, the SaaS solution should offer ready-to-use templates and strategies, so that you can build & run loyalty campaigns without being an expert in IT. We live in a time where instant access and simplicity are everything, so the solution should be user-friendly on every level.
Of course, it should also be more than just a rewards engine. Recognizing clients for their actions is only a small part of the whole process of turning customers into brand ambassadors. And so, loyalty data analysis, offer personalization, communication across multiple touchpoints, and top customer experience are key ingredients to building a successful loyalty strategy, and thus a great loyalty program.
We must also mention security here, because a SaaS solution has to provide the program operator with a lot of options to protect their assets. For example, the solution should allow for setting up security gates to prevent loyalty frauds or introducing multi-factor authentication.
Last but not least, a SaaS solution should be open so that it can be connected to other 3rd-party platforms. Remember, your partners – those with whom you’d like to build loyalty – may be at a different level of technological maturity. They may also have a different idea/vision for how they want to run their loyalty operations. That’s why it’s important that the SaaS tool offers multiple ways to connect with various systems that might be already in place (CRM, marketing automation, analytics), as well as a range of configuration options to reflect the various models of potential cooperation with partners (issuance, redemption, mixed).
Q: How important is it to have Tiers in a loyalty program?
A: Tiers are critical for the success of your loyalty program – and they have to be designed carefully. Tiers allow you to appreciate and reward consumers that usually contribute the most to the retail revenues of your company.
Plus, they can help you identify and eliminate occasional buyers and discount hunters from your customer segments, enabling you to improve your targeting significantly. Also, as revealed by several market studies, tiers can have a huge influence on how a brand is perceived by the public.
Q: In a world of personalization, data plays a key role. For an organization that doesn't have a CRM or a CDP tool, what are the best practices to follow so that it can provide its clients with relevant loyalty offerings?
A: To keep up with the market and be ready for the upcoming challenges, every company should now do anything in its power to be able to recognize, understand and communicate with its customers effectively. So, our recommendation is to start working on your CRM strategy ASAP.
Of course, there are a few alternatives such as using social media or working with direct marketing agencies, yet in each of these scenarios, you are put in a position that is inferior to the service provider. Terms and conditions of social media platforms change all the time, whereas marketing service providers struggle to get attract customers and convince them to give their consent so that they can deliver your message.
Q: I want to know more about coalition loyalty programs. What is your approach to multiple integrations?
A: There are few ways of approaching such integrations, especially in advanced coalition programs. In the case of partners with large volumes of transactions, we recommend building a direct online integration. For partners for whom the importance of real-time processing is less critical due to other internal processes (i.e. bank partners), it's easier to introduce a batch exchange of data with defined periodicity.
For outlets that have smaller volumes of transactions, we recommend using an in-store app/partner portal where transactions can be added manually by the outlet employee to avoid integrations between the systems.
The main idea behind the coalition is that it doesn't build the program loyalty over tenant loyalty, but actually doubles the effect by building both. But to achieve success in this area, each tenant that is part of the coalition needs to make sure they operate their loyalty program in a way as if they were doing it on their own. The only difference should be that they should be the ones to improve the value of their program by sharing the currency with other brands and engage in some coalition campaigns that give extra value to the members.
A great example here is BP in Poland which, on the one hand, is part of the Payback coalition and allows members to cumulat
e the points in a "points bank", but, at the same time, uses loyalty data to personalize its customer experience and make sure that its remain engaged by creating and running their own campaigns such as effective cumulative promos (different types of points, on top of Payback points), lotteries, discount campaigns and many more.
Do you have any more questions?
Head of R&D - Loyalty & Marketing Solutions at Comarch