THE FUTURE OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS
The success of an idea depends on how adaptable it is to the current needs of the system. The ability to amend brand strategies is the key to longevity irrespective of the industry, including the wide domain of customer loyalty. In recent surveys, a massive 65% of the CMO council agreed upon the significance of investing in loyalty strategies. A sudden heat is expected in the arena of loyalty, sooner rather than later. A brief study of the Future Loyalty programs in the following section suggests that the coming times will be of huge significance and the right investments might ensure a smooth systematic function.
The future, in case of loyalty programs, is set to drift away from pushing marketing strategies on customers, onto a more promising approach of making the experience a little easier for the customer. With an approach as simple as deploying loyalty program to make customers’ lives easier, or providing an exclusive loyalty program that rewards via a customisable experience based on individual customers’ needs, the future has taken a turn for good. Retailers, who hope to succeed, must possess the content, a strategy and insightful ideas that can be seeded in conversation with customers to figure out their needs and compliment them in a more suitable manner.
A trend of feedback loops with personalisation and targeting engines is set to present itself to the market. The power of a positive review will dominate the centre stage – retailers and brands will be pushing to engage in conversations, allowing them to progressively learn and develop an unrivalled experience for their customers. Loyalty programs that contextualise all relevant data points shall emerge as victors– delivering push marketing messages and lucrative offers to drive customers into the stores or onto the e-commerce platforms is not going to be enough. Successful retailers and brands must know and comprehend what their customers tend to and analyse the data to fuel targeted conversations that enable the loyal customers to open up about their experiences. Negative criticism is set to trend with a strong, reassuring vibe attached to it.
Loyalty programs, if aimed for huge success, need to continue to support an overall experience of the brand, and should be designed with customers, taking in consideration the minutest of details. The retailers and brands need to embrace the need of the hour; they need to give up control. The real power of loyalty is to enable customers to voice an opinion; loyalty programs will increasingly align themselves to the customer experience side of businesses and emerge as a channel for developing connections with loyal customers on a personal level.
The future of loyalty programs needs a retailer or a brand to enable a broader range of interaction with their customers. Personalisation and customisation, are therefore the keys to ensure the right elements of customer experience are delivered to the loyal customers. They generate a high value of engagement and equally, retailers need to create opportunities through their loyalty programs for customers to engage with their interests.
Loyalty programs have the ability to connect the dots of data from across the multichannel experiences and recognise the areas to be emphasized upon. Mining the data to create these opportunities to strengthen and improve one’s service is an invaluable and relatively untapped resource for retailers. With such advancements and a rising need to acquire the customer base, the future of loyalty programs, it seems, is infinitely bright and headed towards a remarkable journey.