Articles Tagged with: Customer Loyalty

Seamless Digital Customer Onboarding – Why are banks still dreaming of it, in 2022?

Seamless Digital Customer Onboarding – Why are banks still dreaming of it, in 2022?


Jagriti Shreya

Business Strategy Lead | Oct 12, 2022Read More

Is your customer loyalty rewards program scalable?

Is your customer loyalty rewards program scalable?

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

When you’re implementing a rewards program that will keep customers engaged and loyal, you should have one eye on the future. Rewards, perks and interaction methods that won’t scale up as your company grows can present problems in years to come.

To take consistent value from your rewards platform, it should be consistently enjoyable for customers to interact with. That should remain true even as your audience increases in size and individual customers remain with the business for years.

Prepare for success: Include scalability in your rewards

What happens when your company scales up, but its rewards don’t? This could apply to a few different issues, any of which could cause long-term problems for your ability to maintain customer engagement over time.

Rewards programs that are limited rather than scalable, offering only a few potential options for customers, may fail to stay engaging in the long term. These may be point-based systems with few redemption options, or ones that don’t allow loyal customers to ascend to higher tiers over time.

A company with a rewards program that doesn’t scale up may find that no matter how many new users join, old users are disengaging. This makes it difficult to build and maintain a solid and engaged customer base.

Leading companies are realizing the need to scale up their rewards programs and become more ambitious with their offerings, as McKinsey & Company reports. Rather than settling for standard, point-redemption schemes, these businesses are building whole ecosystems for their customers to engage with.

The gold standard of this style is Amazon Prime, which has consistently rolled out new exclusive content and experiences for customers, including streaming video, alongside the retail discounts that first attracted shoppers. This is a true lifestyle platform, where customers have dozens of touchpoints to choose from when reengaging with the company.

In the era of cloud software, scalability and flexibility have become universal watchwords. Companies know how important it is to always be able to add new functionality, quickly and without friction. This concept should apply to rewards and loyalty programs to ensure businesses never feel stuck with a limited set of options for their customers.

Integrate rewards with other systems

One of the most promising ways to ensure a rewards program is flexible, scalable and consistently engaging is to make sure it doesn’t sit in its own silo. Customers shouldn’t have to struggle to find and use loyalty features — they should be natural parts of other touchpoints, from branded mobile apps to the point of sale and beyond.

Brands today are pushing to become true omnichannel companies, blending brick-and-mortar operations with digital offerings that span multiple devices. When customers engage with these companies in any of these locations, they get consistent experiences, ideally including loyalty and retention program features.

As The Wise Marketer explains, modern loyalty programs thrive on automation and integration with other systems. This allows the customer engagement features to have a greater reach, incorporating multiple communication methods and connecting seamlessly with the company’s other software systems.

The integration between rewards platforms and other systems should be seamless. Every time a customer has to specifically seek out a loyalty program, that’s a chance for that user to disengage. On the other hand, strong integration means that as the company’s other systems scale up, the reach of the rewards program grows along.

Integration doesn’t have to be limited to a single business’s ecosystem. When a business strikes a deal with strategic partners to make loyalty programs interoperable, that creates a positive closed-loop ecosystem that encourages customers to keep engaging and gives them more opportunities to do so. This is a way for a business to expand rewards beyond its own bubble.

Make sure data flows both ways, to and from rewards programs

As customer loyalty programs scale up to reach more customers through more touchpoints and deliver a greater variety of options, there’s an opportunity to derive extra value: increased collection and use of data.

Today’s powerful business intelligence systems support real-time analysis of data to turn customer behavior into actionable insights. A customer loyalty program that has scaled up to reach consumers on multiple levels is not only a source of more data than ever before, it also includes more elements that can be tuned with the use of data-driven insights.

Data collected about the way customers interact with a business can be used to shape further loyalty program elements. McKinsey partner Jess Huang recommended using data generated by transactions and engagements to determine how consumers prefer to interact with the company, rather than building loyalty features based on intuition.

Applying that idea of data-driven design to scaling up a loyalty program means a company can create a self-reinforcing cycle. More touchpoints mean more data, which fuels analytics to recommend what form new touchpoints should take.

Use Perx to unite rewards with other programs

The technology platform you use to build your loyalty and rewards program can determine whether you’re able to smoothly scale up and expand capabilities over time. This is a reason to adopt the Perx lifestyle marketing platform as your loyalty management technology of choice.

Due to the integration between Perx and other omnichannel solutions, your rewards program will be able to expand alongside your operations. You can give customers a wide variety of touchpoints they’ll want to use, earning and redeeming benefits at multiple locations, from your app to the point of sale. These programs are appealing whether an individual deals with your brand online, in person or by switching between the channels.

A true lifestyle marketing approach reaches your customers where they are, delivering experiences and rewards they’ll actually be excited and delighted by. Even as your customer base grows and top customers create years-long relationships with your brand, you can keep expanding and customizing your program so it doesn’t become dull for your audience.

Perx supports complex integrations to make sure the platform “plays well” with your company’s other systems, making loyalty a natural part of your operations, no matter how much the business expands.

Request a demo to see how the technology could propel your business toward its loyalty objectives.

Global businesses have driven over 5 billion customer-brand interactions on Perx.

Ready to join them?

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5 Ways to Use Gamification with Customer Relationship Management

5 Ways to Use Gamification with Customer Relationship Management

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

Customer retention. New customer acquisition. Is the balancing act between these two aspects of business keeping you up at night? Figuring out the ideal amount to spend on each type of outreach is enough to give anyone a headache. Fortunately, modern technology and tactics can provide an answer.

Customer Acquisition vs. Retention: Which Side is Winning?

There’s an oft-cited statistic — coined by Bain & Co. fellow Fred Reicheld more than two decades ago and treated as a guiding principle ever since — that says a mere 5% retention increase could boost your profits by 25% or more. Add this to the fact that customer acquisition costs have recently risen approximately 60% over a period of five years and the answer seems clear: retention is the safe bet.

But where does that leave acquisition? It’s expensive and time-consuming to go for new business, but if your company cuts off funding for its efforts to attract new audiences, how will you grow?

Fortunately, there is an answer that serves both sides. A modern customer relationship management (CRM) approach, embracing gamification and data analytics, frees your company up to excel at customer acquisition while delivering powerful levels of retention.

Many companies fail to turn their CRM strategy into a retention tool or leverage it to help with customer acquisition. By building a functional and relevant program, you can differentiate yourself from these also-rans.

Up Your Game With a Newly Imagined, Dynamic CRM Approach

Improved CRM practices can take a few forms, all worth investigating. It’s important to note that making better use of customer relationship data isn’t an end unto itself. Rather, this is a way to target big, important business goals.

Retaining your customers at higher rates? That becomes easier when you’re making decisions based on data and analytics. Having more time, money and other resources free for acquisition? That’s what happens when your CRM approach is more focused and efficient.

As long as your business interacts with customers through a digital experience such as an app, you have data flowing in that can inform the future of your CRM strategy, as well as touchpoints where you can use tools such as gamification to please and engage your audience.

Consider the success of companies that have taken this approach with the Perx platform:

  • An 86% customer engagement rate.
  • 225% user growth.
  • Outreach campaigns that are 320 times faster to set up and execute.

These types of transformations are in reach for businesses that commit to not just holding customer data but applying it to everyday interactions.

Some of the general effects of a dynamic approach to customer data include:

  • An opportunity to identify and nurture the most valuable communication channels.
  • A streamlined path for acquiring, onboarding and delighting new customers with dynamic experiences and rewards.
  • Deeper connections with existing customers, created by reaching them at multiple touchpoints, online and offline.
  • A higher volume — and quality — of customer interactions, improving lifetime value and promoting brand advocacy.
  • Better personalization of rewards, driving instant gratification, social virality and long-term loyalty.

Better CRM strategy, with all its inherent advantages, is at the core of customer retention. Now, to collect and use the data that powers this concept, you need a practical way to stay engaged in your customers’ lives and lifestyles. That’s where gamification comes in.

Playing the Right Hand to Win Your Customers’ Hearts: 5 Gamification Tips

Better CRM practices let you understand your customers’ lifestyles. You can uncover their particular interests, their unique differentiators and their wants and needs. While this would be a challenge in the more opaque world of analog business, data makes it possible. Gamification gives you a quick and practical way to use the resulting insights.

Your interactions with customers can evolve. Rather than dealing with a business, merely carrying out transactions, they’re doing something fun and compelling that boosts their serotonin.

Rewards programs are the perfect place to create gamified experiences that fit seamlessly into your customers’ lifestyles. When using your brand’s app feels immediately rewarding, your customers are well on their way to becoming enthusiastic arand advocates.

Here are five ways to launch a gamified customer interaction strategy in which everyone wins:

  1. Focus on instant gratification: If customers have to wait too long to earn perks and bonuses they like, there’s a greater chance they’ll abandon your platform. Delight them right away with a user-friendly mobile experience and an introductory reward to get off to a strong start.
  2. Create a continuous, exciting cycle of rewards: Legacy rewards programs tend to show a lot of user downtime. Customers earn a few points, and then they wait before logging back in to spend them at some later date. Offering more frequent interactions is an easy way to keep your brand top of mind.
  3. Build the entire program around customer lifestyles: What do your customers do for fun? What do they value? What kinds of rewards and interactions excite them — and how do they share that excitement with friends and family? These are the questions that should guide interactions and reward design.
  4. Make rewards personalized and meaningful: The more you know about each individual customer, the more closely you can align brand rewards with their interests. This is why improved CRM strategies are an essential building block for gamified customer interactions that really move the needle on retention.
  5. Fully integrate gamified interactions: You don’t want to silo away your fun, engaging customer experience so only a small group of people can take advantage. Pushing this new data-driven interaction style to as many of your customers as possible creates a powerful loop of good experiences and rich data that fuels future personalization.

With such a strategy in place, your brand can hold onto your customers through consistently compelling experiences. Running these campaigns with a heavy dose of automation behind the scenes means they are more efficient and cost-effective than manual efforts and frees up resources for acquisition and other marketing strategies. Add this to the referrals and brand advocacy of your newly delighted customers, and it’s easy to see how retention and acquisition can exist side by side.

Want to know more? Read our case study to find out how Mambu and Perx used supercharged last-mile experiences to turn brand customers into superfans.

Global businesses have driven over 5 billion customer-brand interactions on Perx.

Ready to join them?

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How a Gamification Rewards Program Can Drive Employee Engagement and Retention

How a Gamification Rewards Program Can Drive Employee Engagement and Retention

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

As an employer today, you’re likely thinking about how to engage and retain your employees. The balance of power is shifting somewhat, with workers suffering from burnout leaving their current jobs and taking their career paths into their own hands. It’s a big enough trend to get its own name: the Great Resignation.

Top performers departing: A real threat

According to Hays research, 61% of employees are considering leaving their jobs in 2022. That’s even more than the 51% who gave the same answer in 2021. This is an especially tricky time for companies to be losing so many employees, as 52% of employers told Hays they are struggling to fill open positions due to a lack of applicants.

Keeping your top-performing employees under such circumstances means rethinking your approach to rewards, benefits and everyday engagement. If your current solutions aren’t doing enough to hold workers’ attention, you need a new approach. But what form should this new strategy take?

Employee morale and gamification 

As it happens, the key to employee engagement may prove to be very similar to customer engagement: Modern, data-driven rewards programs. By gamifying and personalizing the interactions between you and your employees, you can create a more enjoyable, rewarding workplace, where employees will be happy to stay.

Leaders typically know that recognition programs are a key component of retention. The Hays survey discovered that recognition schemes are the second-most-popular form of retention measure, with 42% of companies trying this avenue. The only strategy seeing more use is increasing communication at 43%.

With more than two-fifths of companies ramping up their recognition plans, one thing is clear: simply recognizing employee achievements is not enough to differentiate a business. To really stand out to your workers, you have to deliver a plan that suits their needs and preferences. This critical edge can come from enjoyable, gamified experiences.

The gamification edge

Gamification, the process of using game-like mechanics in non-game situations, is a common strategy for making experiences more fun and engaging. Why is it such a useful tool in reaching out to employees? It comes down to motivation.

Gamification’s focus on fun and enjoyable interactions makes it a natural match for programs that people will want to engage with. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the competitive striving and reward-based structures associated with gamification are good motivators for employees.

Both private affirmation and public recognition of employee achievements can be important parts of gamified rewards programs. The SHRM noted that younger employees, millennials and members of Generation Z, are motivated by a need for recognition.

Indeed, the recommended reward types for employee engagement strategies look a lot like those associated with customer reward programs. In both cases, gamified experiences of interacting with company apps provide positive feedback for the person using the system, as well as social proof of their success.

More than leaderboards and badges

Another connection between customer rewards and employee rewards is the need for programs that will go beyond the baseline to create a connection with users. In the case of customer rewards, this means businesses should look beyond basic “earn and burn” point-spending programs. In the world of employee rewards, employers should move beyond genetic badges and accomplishment leaderboards.

Companies can reach this new level by building their gamified employee reward strategies around a lifestyle marketing platform, a more adaptable and data-driven form of technology. With such a responsive system, it’s possible to set up immediately gratifying rewards based on employees’ preferences.

With an advanced platform, your company can offer a variety of interactive features, putting your internal employee programs on the same level as industry-leading customer loyalty programs. This may mean creating a digital space for employees to communicate or receive feedback from leaders. It could also entail a marketplace for rewards and perks.

The key to crafting a gamified and personalized employee engagement strategy is to guide the deployment with data about your workers. No two companies will have the exact same ideal rewards scheme, because no two workforces are quite alike.

Psychological and cultural benefits of a gamified employee rewards program

Rewards and gamification can both have positive effects on the way employees think about their work and engage with companies, and when put together, the effects can combat the increasing rupture between workers and their employers.

  • Rewards can be designed to bring employees in line with a positive company culture. SHRM stated that employee rewards should be aligned with a company’s mission and organizational values, and should be integrated smoothly into employee life. A well-crafted program can tie rewards to events such as an employee demonstrating a commitment to company values, or having a positive effect on their coworkers’ morale. There can even be rewards attached to recruitment and retention, thanking workers for strengthening their teams.
  • Gamification is a tool that can make some of the most tricky elements of workers’ days into fun, or at least compelling, activities. Law Journal noted that, from encouraging employees to study new areas of competency to changing their behavior, human resources departments can tie some of their overall objectives to gamification. The serotonin rush of receiving a well-chosen reward can be a powerful incentive.

By combining carefully designed rewards strategies with well-integrated gamified elements, companies can become employers of choice, even at a time when employees are often searching for greener pastures. If your company’s rewards approach is outdated, or if you don’t have one at all, now is a great time to commit to an upgrade.

Employee engagement gamification: Powered by Perx

The connection between employee engagement and customer engagement becomes clear when you consider that the ideal tool for customer rewards — the Perx lifestyle marketing platform — is also perfect for use with your employees. All the features of a great customer retention program, from instantly gratifying app interactions to carefully selected reward choices, are useful tools for employee retention.

All of these capabilities are available through Perx. Learn more now!

Global businesses have driven over 5 billion customer-brand interactions on Perx.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Leveraging Brand Touchpoints With Gamification As Part Of An Ongoing Customer Experience

A Beginner’s Guide To Leveraging Brand Touchpoints With Gamification As Part Of An Ongoing Customer Experience

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

Brand touchpoints give you the opportunity to interact with your customers and have them engage with your brand. Are you maximizing these opportunities or missing the chance to double down on positive customer experience? Gamification could be the missing link in your customer loyalty pipeline.

Are Your Customers a One-Way Ticket or Round Trip?

Every brand identifies touchpoints in a different way. However, all touchpoints can be shuffled into one of three categories:

Pre-purchase: All the interactions between brand and customer before the sale is made, including information gathering (including use of a knowledge base or automated chatbot), queries, requests for a price quote, consultations and demonstrations.

Purchase: The interactions of the brand with the customer during the sale, including laying out terms, upselling and cross-selling, discussions of subscriptions or automatic renewals, perks and introduction to a rewards program app.

Post-purchase: All the interactions between brand and customer after the sale has happened, including customer service, customer assistance, loyalty and rewards program interactions, repeat sales and referral/brand ambassador opportunities.

Many brands see this as a beginning-to-end linear journey that starts with pre-sales and ends at purchase, with a code of post-purchase interaction that may or may not happen.

This is a mistake. For optimal brand stickiness and customer retention, the customer journey should be cyclical, going from pre-sales to sale to post-sales and seamlessly entering the presales segment again.

  • Generating leads
  • Acquiring high-value customers
  • Converting one-time buyers to two-time buyers
  • Driving repeat category purchases
  • Reengaging disconnected customers
  • Reactivating lapsed customers
  • Conducting post-purchase surveys

Your customer loyalty program should cycle your customer right back to step one over and over.

Are You Targeting Or Using a Scatter Approach?

Many brand experiences are irregular, disconnected and fragmented.

Pre-sales touchpoints via offline channels such as direct mail, TV or radio advertising, or billboard usage, may be missing out on the opportunities provided by mobile-first contact. Purchasing may not be leveraged at all — a mistake since POS is actually one of the best times to drive the customer toward the next touchpoint.

Post-sales touchpoints may be sporadic and dependent on the customer reaching out, a reactive instead of proactive approach. McKinsey notes that some organizations have increased revenues by 30% or more by being proactive and reaching out to fulfill customer needs with the right offering at the right time.

Gamification can bridge the gap between touchpoints by creating an ongoing customer experience that doesn’t end just because of a purchase or reward redemption. It can also increase the number of touchpoints in each engagement segment to create a holistic customer journey underpinned by a seamless digital experience.

Are You Using a Can and String or Mobile to Reach Your Customers?

The importance, impact and significance of continuous mobile-first engagement cannot be overrated. Each digital experience allows customers to interact with you in real time, and is an opportunity to leverage your brand touchpoint and lay groundwork for the next engagement.

Mobile users are the ideal target market for a robust rewards program app. In January 2021, there were a reported 5.22 billion unique mobile users, making up 66.6% of the global population — an increase of more than 13% YoY.

Gamification fits perfectly into the natural inclinations of mobile users, meeting them in their environment of choice, feeding their need for instant gratification,  and engaging them in exactly what they enjoy most. Mobile users spend nearly a third of their time on mobile devices playing games.

One out of four mobile apps are gaming apps, far ahead of the second place category, which is business apps (accounting for around one of ten apps.) If your company can bridge the gap between business and gaming, your app can become part of your customers’ daily lifestyle, something they check as naturally and frequently as they do Facebook or their email account.

Let’s Play a Phone Game: StarHub Case Study

Brands can improve customer loyalty and retention through the art of gamification. Perx partnered with a large telco and proved exactly how impactful our lifestyle marketing platform powered by gamification could be when it came to leveraging brand touchpoints for a never-ending customer experience journey.

Telco StarHub’s focus shifted from chasing customer loyalty to driving a change in customer behavior, pushing them to actively engage with the brand and its offering. The MyStarHub app, developed in partnership with Perx, combined both needs and wants of the customer by launching weekly recurring campaigns, powered by gamification mechanics and tactics.

This allowed the brand to stand out with continuous customer experiences in an era of sporadic and reactive customer-brand interactions, improving brand interaction and customer-stickiness. The in-app experience carried forward the tiered setup of the best traditional customer loyalty programs, and added new touchpoints and experiences for customers to engage with.

By pairing customer actions with instant rewards throughout a continuing gamified user journey, StarHub was able to benefit through reward redemption rates that easily exceeded earlier benchmarks, and easily superseded their own goal for customer adoption, which was set at 10% in the first 30 days:

  • 30 days: 20% adoption
  • 6 months: 40% adoption
  • 8 months: nearly 50% adoption

90,000 rewards were redeemed monthly, reaching a total of 1.1 million by the end of the first 8 months. StarHub saw an increase of 25% in Monthly Active users post the launch of the powered loyalty program, as well as an 11% increase in new customer acquisition and a 6% YoY improvement in customer retention. Moreover, onboarded households interact with the telco’s app an average of 43 additional times compared to those not yet onboarded.

Interested in learning more about how the StarHub lifestyle, gamification and rewards program app powered by Perx boosted the telco to new heights of customer loyalty and engagement? Download the case study.

Want to know how Perx can elevate your own brand and empower your customers to join, participate in, and benefit from your rewards program app while driving revenues? Request a free demo from a customer experience specialist today.

Global businesses have driven over 5 billion customer-brand interactions on Perx.

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How a paid customer loyalty program generates value by changing customer behaviors

How a paid customer loyalty program generates value by changing customer behaviors

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

They are the solid bedrock of your customer base, the ones keeping your revenue strong. These are your most loyal customers and the biggest spenders among your whole audience.

Rather than treating this elite group exactly the same as the rest of your customer base, you can deliver a premium experience that benefits consumers and company alike. This is where a paid loyalty program comes in, creating a cycle of positive interactions and increasing customer lifetime value.

The time is right for the kinds of more in-depth loyalty programs that come with paid subscriptions. McKinsey reported that the standard “earn and burn” point model is losing some of its appeal for customers. Despite this fact, 24% of companies still have basic rewards programs and 24% don’t have any loyalty scheme at all.

When a paid loyalty reward program makes sense

Almost any kind of company can put a subscription model in place, and this kind of effort almost always delivers results. Adding a paid option to a customer loyalty program is a way to “double dip.” You’re combining the reliable revenue of a subscription service to the engagement and positive brand experience of a rewards program.

There are two kinds of scenarios when this pairing is especially valuable, as described in a separate McKinsey study:

  • Funding premium rewards: When brands such as fitness clothing company Lululemon need ways to subsidize more involved and expensive perks for their most loyal customers, they can balance the books with a paid subscription program.
  • To create an ecosystem around customers: Subscription-based loyalty schemes are useful for businesses, such as pharmacies, that create long-lasting relationships with customers who always come back to the closest store with the most convenient hours. Since these buyers are committed to returning, they may be willing to contribute to more intensive paid rewards programs.

Once customers commit to entering such a paid program, they may engage more deeply with the brands than if there had been no fee. McKinsey’s researchers describe the effect as an “economic loyalty loop” where the shoppers now have a financial stake in staying with their chosen company.

But when does a paid loyalty program not make sense?

Of course, there are some cases when a standard loyalty program is perfectly acceptable as the only option. The McKinsey study suggested that brands should use paid loyalty to deliver new rewards they couldn’t deliver otherwise, and to stop high-value customers from leaving. If neither of those are relevant points, sticking with free loyalty for the time being could be a fine decision.

What kinds of companies can use a paid loyalty program platform?

As the difference between a clothing brand and a pharmacy chain demonstrates, there are no limits regarding which kinds of brands can create closer relationships with their customers through paid subscriptions and loyalty reward programs.

This effect can be felt across industries, including:

  • Hospitality and travel: Companies can offer positive experiences to their most loyal and committed customers, such as special deals, offers and bundles that fit their specific needs and history. Interacting with all-in-one travel companies through mobile apps is a way for customers to provide a rich stream of useful data that can shape future offers.
  • Entertainment: While standard perks such as discounts can be a factor in entertainment, the true value of a loyalty program may come from exclusive experiences. Consider premium video subscription services, where content is only available to paying customers. If they want to follow a show they have made an emotional connection with, people will have to keep paying.
  • Retail and food service: When selling premium experiences to customers at stores or restaurants, or even storefront banks and similar businesses, it can pay to go beyond a standard loyalty point system, especially for paying subscribers. These individuals are paying to get the best brand experience, so they should have constant ways to interact with the brand, potentially through mobile apps.

Building stronger emotional connections with a paid loyalty program

Connecting with paying loyalty customers through frequent contact and exclusive offers can give your brand a valuable type of bond: an emotional connection.

An Mblm study revealed which companies have an “intimate” emotional connection with their customers, and many of these major brands connect with their customers via subscription programs. Apple’s offerings such as Apple Music make it a part of users’ lifestyles, while the Disney+ subscription streaming service has put Disney directly into the homes of paying customers. Costco, running exclusively on paid membership, is also a strong performer in the loyalty space.

What do these top performers get for forging these connections? Mblm noted that its top 500 brands by intimacy outperformed the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 in both profit and stock prices, and virtually tied them in revenue.

Paid loyalty can provide a new revenue stream

When thinking about the endpoint of paid loyalty programs, it’s natural to wonder just how much businesses can earn from these offerings. To see the ultimate example of this phenomenon, you can look to one of the world’s biggest companies: Amazon.

The Prime program is a tier of loyalty rewards for the most committed Amazon shoppers, but it’s also more than that. It fits into those buyers’ lifestyles, especially through the connection with exclusive entertainment offerings via services such as Prime Video. People who want to watch a new streaming TV show they’ve heard their friends talking about may have to become Prime subscribers to do so.

So, what is the financial result of having this deep a connection, with such clear rewards for members in the form of discounts and exclusive content? The company makes an annual rate of $119 for each subscriber, $12.99 a month or $8.99 a month for Prime Video alone. Multiply that by the company’s declared subscriber base of 200 million people and you can see the financial power of customer loyalty.

Why is Perx the perfect technology to power customer loyalty?

Upgrading to a paid loyalty program based on high-quality gifts and premium, exclusive experiences is a big moment for a company. If customers aren’t thrilled by the offerings, they may decide against subscribing.

Your business needs the ultimate lifestyle marketing platform to power its subscription plan: You need Perx. Using data from customer interactions to power experiences that truly delight and engage shoppers, and keep them coming back for more, you can power a top-quality loyalty reward program with Perx.

Global businesses have driven over 5 billion customer-brand interactions on Perx.

Ready to join them?

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Why curated customer loyalty reward triggers keep multi-demographic audiences engaged

Why curated customer loyalty reward triggers keep multi-demographic audiences engaged 

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

Customer engagement isn’t a one-and-done process. Capturing attention is only the first step when it comes to building lasting relationships between brands and their audiences. The most successful companies in this regard are those that actively fight back against disengagement and loss of interest using lifestyle marketing.

When businesses offer a narrow selection of rewards and loyalty offerings, they’re at heightened risk of losing customer attention over time. Having a variety of potential incentives for customers is a powerful advantage for a business, as is using automated triggers to guide each individual to the rewards that best suit them. 

Why do some customers lose interest in rewards? 

Simply having a rewards program is no longer a major differentiator for a business. Rather, a company that is serious about loyalty must consistently prove that its rewards offerings have value and meaning to customers. 

 Engagement is the goal of a customer rewards program, and that in turn is contingent on offering rewards that fit audience interests and meet or exceed their expectations. There are a few traits that can determine whether a rewards program fires up consumers’ interest or is quickly forgotten: 

  • Does everyone get the same rewards? If there’s only one rewards progression, a company may find itself failing to connect with a significant portion of its potential audience. Consumers today are very diverse, so an ideal rewards program will offer customized incentives to hold interest. 
  • How frequently are rewards given? If a business offers a low-frequency rewards program, requiring numerous interactions before consumers receive anything valuable, they may find that interest is low. The vague promise of future value is not very compelling to customers, so brands should reach out often. 

As Hubspot noted, the most effective companies at building loyalty achieve this goal by giving generous rewards often and fully integrating these programs with their overall sales processes. Rather than tacked-on additions, these businesses’ rewards offerings are fundamental parts of the way they sell their products and services to customers. 

Hubspot suggested that when organizations achieve a high level of integration between rewards and the rest of their business, the rewards program ceases to be its own separate entity. Rather, these businesses simply offer their loyalty incentives at all times, inviting customers to engage more deeply. 

How do you counteract customer disengagement? 

It’s one thing to create an environment conducive to audience engagement. It’s another to actively fight back against parts of the customer journey where buyers may fall out of touch with businesses. When working on this type of engagement strategy, it’s important to remember that nearly any interaction can be customized to keep customer interest. 

 Customer behaviors follow patterns. By collecting interaction data, businesses can map out the paths their audiences are taking. Do people typically disengage after a certain amount of time? Is there a supplemental experience that could make an ongoing connection more fun or entertaining? 

 McKinsey & Company Partner José Carluccio recommended that companies look into their breakage patterns, determining which segments of their customer bases are not engaging with loyalty programs. Figuring out which types of customers aren’t staying engaged is the first step to improving the relevance of rewards offerings and triggers. 

 Once businesses have determined where customers are disengaging, as well as which groups of consumers are most likely to break off engagement with the brand, they can respond by adding new elements to the program. Carluccio recommended offerings such as periodic reminders to clients that they have unredeemed rewards as well as more redemption options, potentially even including charitable gifts. 

What is the value of customized customer rewards triggers? 

One potential cause for disengagement — or a lack of engagement in the first place — is the use of rewards triggers that don’t match up with how segments of a company’s audience actually interact with the brand. Customization can resolve this issue, attaching loyalty points to nearly any activity and bringing a wide swath of customers into closer contact with the brand. 

 Companies can reward both online and offline interactions with custom rewards triggers. In-store purchases, app engagements, sign-ups for services, logging in to accounts — these and more can help customers earn points in a rewards scheme. 

 The ability to create a highly customized rewards-earning process helps businesses engage with their audiences in two ways. On one hand, it allows brands to reach their customers where they are, offering points for their preferred interaction styles. On the other, it lets organizations map out preferred customer journeys, encouraging certain types of activities. 

 To start creating these better-directed customer journeys, brands can map out the ways their customers prefer to interact with their rewards offerings. American Express recommended using diagrams of consumers’ dealings with organizations, across multiple channels and over time, to identify the gaps where disengagement is most likely to occur and target those weak spots. 

Businesses that understand how their customers interact with their offerings, and how they’d like to, are well-positioned to update their rewards triggers. Creating new sides to a loyalty program can open up the strategy to a wider selection of customer groups and demographics than ever before. 

Perx customization helps your brand thrive 

No two brands are exactly alike, which means customization is always relevant from a rewards and loyalty standpoint. This is one reason to choose the Perx Loyalty and Engagement Platform as the backbone of your organization’s rewards and loyalty program. 

 The Perx platform’s Rules Engine allows a high level of control over rewards triggers, right out of the box. By designing a system of tailored rewards based on what various groups of customers actually want for your business, you can deliver a rewards program with fewer obvious points of disengagement and a smoother customer journey overall. 

The value of a rewards strategy is at its greatest when consumers actually want to use it and engage with it. Customization via a powerful rules engine puts this goal within reach for your brand. Request a demo of the Perx Loyalty and Engagement Platform to see this solution in action. 

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Attracting digital natives in a mobile-first, instant gratification economy

Attracting digital natives in a mobile-first, instant gratification economy

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

Connections between companies and their customers are going digital. This isn’t the kind of shift that business can or should try to counteract — rather, they should start searching for the best ways to make these mobile-driven online connections flourish.

Both sides of the customer-business divide are digital natives. Today’s young consumers have grown up in a connected world, able to search out any information they need from their smart devices. Start-ups, too, have come of age in a digital world, rising rapidly using cloud technology and often preferring to market their products and services via mobile means.

The fast-moving world of always-on connectivity and instant gratification is the new battlefield where companies have to compete for consumers’ loyalty. Organizations that are able to adopt this mindset and give customers the compelling digital experiences they’re looking for are well equipped to become leaders in their fields.

Attracting young customers’ attention

Using a smartphone to interact with a brand isn’t like sitting at a computer. While today’s phones are capable of delivering powerful web browsing experiences, the sheer fact that they’re portable means people will often interact with them for short moments in time.

Picking up a smartphone while riding public transit, walking or getting lunch may lead to a very short interaction — if an activity takes a long time to accomplish, a phone user may skip it. This means that bands hoping to reach young consumers primarily through mobile devices must focus on memorable experiences that can be completed in seconds.

Getting a brand’s audience to commit to an ongoing loyalty and rewards program when interactions are so short and attention spans are so fractured is a unique kind of challenge. Making a positive first impression on customers is a key best practice in this regard. 

 What should that first interaction entail? The consumer should receive a reward or incentive they actually care about, something that has value. Even though it may seem tempting to give out very small amounts of points at first, to ensure consumers have to come back and earn more, such a withholding approach may simply cause customers to become bored and disengage. 

 In addition to having value, the engagement should also be gamified. This means it will have some fun, game-like characteristics, such as making progress toward an objective or earning a spot on a public leaderboard. 

 Finally, every quick interaction should be part of a unified customer experience. CMSWire noted that when brands take their CX seriously, they build long-term connections with their audiences. People who receive consistent messaging from a brand through every channel — in-person, online and mobile — will feel more comfortable continuing to engage with that business. 

Keeping digital natives loyal 

Once smart device users have had one good interaction with a company, it’s up to the brand to keep bringing those consumers back for more. They can make this easier by not creating barriers between audiences and the business 

 If people have ways to keep interacting with companies in ways that don’t involve spending any money, that helps the connection between the two parties flourish. This may mean granting badges, and allowing consumers to rise in rankings and creating gamified point systems that reward touches and engagements rather than purchases.  

 In addition to creating more possible engagements, customization may be a key part of the ongoing interaction between consumers and brands. MasterCard noted that in the digital age, people are not as willing to select rewards from a long list — this is a time-consuming interaction, and it may drive customers away. Rather, brands should be using the data generated by interactions to personalize rewards individuals will like and offer those. 

 Distinctive, customized interactions leading to personalized, data-driven digital rewards are the backbone of a loyalty program that can win over young, digital-native consumers. 

Turning loyalty into ROI 

Ongoing, non-monetary contact with customers doesn’t automatically turn into value, but businesses that commit to such a strategy can use it to nudge their audiences in the direction of a purchase. One of the valuable traits of a data-driven and automation-heavy digital rewards program is that it evolves over time. This can culminate in suggesting more direct commercial engagement. 

 A gamified customer journey that starts with simple mobile interactions can lead to a more all-encompassing connection between shopper and company. As Mondia Digital CEO Paolo Rizzardini suggested on his LinkedIn blog, gamification can set the stage for a long-term bond between these parties, with the highly engaged consumers speaking positively about the brand and reengaging often. 

 A loop of positive engagements, powered by evolving rewards, can build up loyalty and keep customer relationships strong over time. Rizzardini pointed to the Nike Run Club app and the Starbucks loyalty points system. Both programs use gamified interactions to keep users’ attention for the long term. 

 The common thread between compelling customer loyalty programs in the digital age is that they don’t demand much of consumers. Interactions with companies’ mobile-first digital tools are fun and enjoyable, and often don’t require a purchase. Audiences can stay in touch with the businesses, earning customized rewards and building positive associations — then, when it’s time to buy, they know where to turn. 

Perx is the right rewards platform for digital natives

The right rewards platform is an essential piece of technology to connect digital-native companies with digital-native consumers. The Perx Loyalty and Engagement Platform is the right solution for the modern, fast-moving customer relationships because of its comprehensive, future-minded feature set. 

 From gamified experiences and non-monetary rewards to powerful automation tools and a high degree of customization, the system is a compelling choice for businesses hoping to become more tech-forward and mobile-centric. Campaigns can naturally evolve over time, keeping users interested with fun interactions, then guiding them to commercial sites when the time is right. 

 In a world of short attention spans, it is possible to hold customer attention for a long time. Businesses simply have to know how to string countless small moments together into ongoing relationships. Request a demo to learn more. 

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Is your rewards program drowning you in loyalty debt?

Is your rewards program drowning you in loyalty debt?

Is your rewards program drowning you in loyalty debt?

Is your rewards program drowning you in loyalty debt?

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | May 19, 2022

Has your customer loyalty program been giving out points to customers who don’t redeem their rewards. This all-too-common scenario represents a breakdown of the way rewards and engagement strategies should work.

Traditional loyalty programs built on earn-and-burn models of point accumulation are particularly susceptible to loyalty debt. Due to a weakness in the system — a weak rewards slate, or an unoptimized redemption process — people are earning points and never burning them.

Something has to give. The real appeal of a rewards program comes when customers get to actually earn their rewards. If your audience isn’t reaching that step, your loyalty strategy isn’t living up to its potential, and this could be a sign to upgrade, providing hyper-personalized and relevant rewards, alongside nudges to action that will remind users to spend what they’ve earned.

Loyalty debt: Among the biggest issues with rewards programs

Where does loyalty debt come from? Typically, it begins when a company starts issuing reward points without performing in-depth research into what customers want. This leads to a disconnected experience where people are piling up points and building loyalty currency but not finding any way to convert them into rewards.

Simply giving points an expiration date might seem like the simplest way to get out of this situation. This will wipe out the debt, but it’s not a satisfying resolution. After all, the value of a rewards program really comes from people using it. The simple promise that customers can earn points will lose its appeal over time if they always hold onto the points until they expire.

A customer rewards and loyalty program that people actively use and enjoy is an ongoing benefit for your company. An earn-and-burn system where nobody ever burns can’t deliver that level of advantage. After all, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ audience preference research revealed that 65% of U.S. consumers find positive experiences more influential than advertising, and 54% think most company experiences could be improved.

By using a management platform that delivers improved analytics on what customers want from your brand, you can craft a loyalty and engagement program that people are excited to use. Better aligning reward options with customers’ wishes through hyper-personalized offerings is a far better way of reducing loyalty debt than simply causing points to expire. This way, your audience gets what it really wants: a great experience.

Turn liabilities into strengths

Keeping a close eye on the way customers interact with your brand is at the crux of designing an improved loyalty program. While still using the basic model of earning and redeeming points, you can transform the way people interact with your brand — making sure that every part of the program is optimized.

Creating more opportunities to redeem points is a great starting point for increasing a program’s appeal. If your audience is focused on dealing with your brand in physical stores, integrating redemption into point-of-sale terminals should be a priority. In cases where a mobile app is a major touchpoint, that app should interact with the loyalty point system.

In addition to introducing new redemption options, your brand can create other triggers associated with loyalty debt. For instance, you can mitigate point expiration, using this as a reward in itself. Customers may be happy to have retained their points and more likely to use them to engage with the brand. If the points had been left to expire, those positive experiences and interactions wouldn’t have happened. Gamification features make this process fun for customers to engage with, encouraging them to keep participating in earn-and-burn loops and opening opportunities for easy upsell and cross-sell transactions.

A sufficiently evolved rewards program can work hand-in-hand with overall business objectives. PYMNTS recently reported on post-2020 success stories from the quick-service industry where loyalty programs at restaurants such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle and Starbucks have made their rewards programs into key digital sales drivers. This kind of tangible progress can only come from customers actively using rewards and cashing in loyalty currency, not simply building a brand’s loyalty debt.

Open programs to partners

When you look beyond the walls of your own business, you gain more ways to expand the usefulness of your loyalty program. Point earning and redemption can extend to partner businesses, creating a more valuable custom rewards system for your customers, while potentially promoting all the companies involved.

There’s more chance that customers will redeem their points and less risk of them building up or expiring when they’re usable across a spectrum of partnered companies. The integration between your business and partners should extend behind the scenes, with the businesses connecting their tech platforms and sharing data.

A joint loyalty rewards program delivers not just a bigger experience but also a smarter, better tuned one — the extra data can help you perform advanced analytics and offer more relevant rewards. Customers who may not be interested in a limited loyalty offering may engage more deeply in a partnership program.

As customer loyalty specialist Adam Psner explained in a LinkedIn blog post, building partnerships has become a common approach for businesses hoping to build optimized loyalty strategies. There are a few ways to make the partnerships happen — either a full integration between the companies or hiring a partner to provide rewards as a value-add. No matter which you opt for, the expanded scope could trigger a major reduction in loyalty debt.

Perx can power ideal, optimized point systems

If you’re eager to build an optimized custom rewards system that will cut down on loyalty debt while increasing positive customer experiences, you need the right technology at the heart of the program: Perx Lifestyle Marketing Platform.

The platform’s Impact Dashboard gives you real data-driven insights into what your customers care about. That in turn allows you to create point-earning triggers, redemption opportunities and corporate partnerships that match what your customers really want.

A more accurately targeted loyalty program is the perfect tool for creating value, by delighting customers instead of simply giving them points. The basic framework of a point-earning system remains the same, it’s simply been revamped to match your customers’ interests and lifestyles.

The platform’s ability to enable smooth integration with any and all rewards merchants is another feature that will help you build a truly appealing custom rewards program. When a solution is easier for both you and your customers to use, there’s nothing standing in the way of a great loyalty experience.

Request a demo to see the platform for yourself.

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The little rules engine that could: Creating the ultimate customer journey

The little rules engine that could: Creating the ultimate customer journey

Amrith Ganesh

SVP, Marketing & Customer Analytics | May 17, 2022

When dealing with customers digitally, it’s important to create a well-planned-out journey. This ideal set of interactions will keep people on the right track as they engage with the brand and deepen their loyalty over time. Creating this journey, however, can be a challenge.

Too many companies are spending excessive amounts of money to keep their customers on a preferred path. Rather than using an automated rules engine that will set rewards and triggers for loyalty and rewards programs, they’re working with expensive and restrictive manual efforts. These major expenses cut into the return on investment, offsetting the value and usefulness of loyalty programs and other engagement features.

What your organization needs to get out of this pattern is an effective, affordable rules engine. With the right rules in place, you can lay out a suitable path for your customers while keeping up a strong ROI.

More time conceptualizing, less time executing

Getting customers to engage with a brand in a specific way can be difficult and time-consuming if there are too many manual processes involved. When a business doesn’t have much automation in place and customer outreach is handled on a case-by-case basis, employees are investing time that could be better spent elsewhere.

A business that is manually guiding customers from one engagement to the next may be losing its ability to pull back, look at the big picture and form a strategy. Ironically, these companies spending more time controlling the customer journey end up with less control, because they can’t create an overarching plan.

Creating a smooth customer experience, where users are guided naturally from one interaction to the next, should be a major priority for businesses today. This is especially important because Gartner research has found that customer expectations are rising and 81% of marketers envision CX as the competitive battlefield of the future.

How can your business create a positive CX while performing less manual outreach? It all comes down to automation, powered by a strong rules engine. The custom triggers and outcomes programmed into the engine determine the path of a customer’s journey, with less intervention from your team. No matter how sophisticated your customer engagement strategy is, there’s an automation solution for you.

An continuous customer journey

When designing an automated, rules-based customer journey, you should make sure there are no obvious off-ramps for your customers. This means eliminating the inconveniences that may make a person stop engaging with the brand.

An off-ramp can be anything that hurts a customers’ enjoyment, such as an irrelevant reward, a long wait before re-engagement or a bad mobile experience. Ideally, each contact will lead to further engagements, with the customer setting their chosen pace. Each micro-experience is strung together into the next, creating a continuous and seamless journey.

Each time a customer engages with a brand, the interaction should be positive and resonant. CMSWire quoted Harvard Business School’s Gerald Zaltman, who states that 95% of customers’ buying decisions are emotional, rather than coldly logical. If your brand is making people feel good, they’re more likely to stay loyal.

CMSWire added that personal touches are a valuable element of the customer journey, as long as they are added seamlessly into the journey, and in ways that improve interactions. This is another area where automation is better than heavy manual intervention. Customers should be getting tailored experiences by default.

A rules engine is the behind-the-scenes technology that makes a never-ending, personalized customer journey possible. A good engine will allow your team to create an intricate system of triggers and outcomes to keep customers engaged indefinitely through earn and burn or loyalty points, rewards and hyper-personalized experiences that are immediately relevant to them.

With varied game mechanics for earning and using points on customized rewards, you can win the CX war and keep your audience interested.

Actions equal triggers, milestones equal rewards

Building out a loyalty strategy on a rule engine means creating customized loyalty actions. Common interactions serve as triggers, and when customers reach milestones in their engagement with the brand, they receive rewards.

These reward allotments and the triggers that activate them will differ for each brand, and they give you the chance to lead customers down ideal paths for long-term loyalty. Salesforce noted that rewards can be more interesting than just discounts on future purchases. Your brand can offer free subscription services to customers who reach a loyalty threshold, or even invite them to exclusive events.

When you’re using a rules engine to plan out a strategic loyalty and rewards program, you’re free to go more in-depth about what you offer to your most engaged customers. Your choice should reflect customer data and intensive research, so you can be sure you’re giving them rewards and experiences that fit their goals and lifestyles.

Loyalty programs may even include offers that don’t go directly into your customers’ pockets: Salesforce added that some compelling engagement programs involve charitable components. By engaging with your brand, people are contributing to worthy causes they care about.

Perx has the rules engine you need

To get started building the automation-driven customer rewards journey of your dreams, you can invest in the Perx Loyalty and Engagement Platform.

The rules engine enables deep customization without time-consuming and difficult manual adjustments. You can design compelling reward earning and redemption scenarios that encourage customers to interact with your business in specific ways, leading them on a journey that suits both their preferences and your objectives.

Customized rules can be based on the real-time information coming in from real customer interactions. This means you can tweak and optimize the program based on actual information rather than assumptions. Such a level of precision allows you to shape the customer journey and experience in ways that will deliver results.

Rather than having to build a rules engine from scratch, the Perx Lifestyle Marketing platform gives you this capability right out of the box. Request a demo to learn exactly how it works.

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