In today’s world where businesses are run by following advanced marketing models, there is hardly an organization that does not use a customer loyalty solution of some kind. Customer loyalty programs are one of the foundational business activities that lead to brand loyalty and encourage increased purchasing activity on the part of the customer. Customer loyalty is encouraged by providing a benefit that can be acquired again and again, typically after multiple purchases. The goal of a customer loyalty program is to stay top of the mind with your customers by appealing to them with free or discounted goods or services, creating a habit. This process is carried out until a customer ceases to do business with you, meaning that as long as they are a part of a correctly implemented reward program, they will be consistent source of revenue.
For example, McDonald’s coffee follows this model. After a specific number of purchases, you get a free drink. This type of reward program keeps you buying and incentivizes you to pick up your morning coffee with them. Once the habit is formed, you won’t really think twice about travelling to a McDonald’s location for coffee. Once you’re there, they have the opportunity to present you with breakfast promotions as well. The likelihood that they become a part of your morning routine goes up, and you have become a reliable and consistent source of revenue.
See the trick? They literally pushed you from “I just want a coffee” to “I should pick up breakfast, and I’m kind of feeling a muffin.” You’ve opted to buy further products and will actively associate McDonald’s with your morning routine and breakfast.
That’s the power of customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is a fantastic business process, but it comes with some pain points as well. A manual customer loyalty program works if you have only a handful of customers that can be taken care of with limited resources. However, if you have a big list of customers and more customers coming in every day, a manual process will not cut it. You will have to move to an automated customer loyalty solution.
An automated customer loyalty process is similar to the manual customer loyalty process with same philosophy and process flows. The only difference is in an automated customer loyalty process all manual, boring, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks are completed by a system. For instance, unlike in a manual process, an automated customer loyalty process can send millions of super-personalized emails in a couple of minutes because all tiny tasks in the email sending process are automated. Right now, almost all top organizations use some kind of customer loyalty automation technology and rest are jumping on the bandwagon.
Why? Because of the perks!
There are many benefits to adopting an automated customer loyalty process. Here are our top four benefits.
1. Reduce Manual Tasks & Save Time
The most prominent benefit of any automated process is reducing a bunch of manual, boring, repetitive tasks that can be done without any human intervention. For instance, an important part of customer loyalty processes is message personalization. In a manual process, you need to use an email template, copy contact details from the CRM one by one, copy the email address, copy and edit the subject line, and then send it to a customer when necessary. This would require active monitoring of each customer’s loyalty process, and then manually contacting them as each hits their milestones. This is a process that you could potentially spend days on, or even have a designated portion of your staff working on this just to keep up as the business grows.
However, when you deploy an automated customer loyalty solution, all of these manual tasks are eliminated. You don’t need to do email personalization by yourself. All you need to do is to create an email template and identify areas where you would like to include personalized content. The solution will automatically pull data from the CRM, personalize the template for each of the customers and send a hyper-personalized email to every single one of them. Similarly, you can eliminate all manual tasks from most other customer loyalty steps. Which means, you do not have to tie yourself up with these tedious jobs anymore since, a large chunk of tasks is handled by the system, saving you a big slice of time that can be utilized elsewhere.
2. Minimize Communication Hazards
In a manual process, you send an email and then what? You tap your fingers and wait until a customer attempts to redeem their loyalty points. There is no way to know what happens after you send an email. As well, when you are dealing with thousands of customers, it is only natural to misplace a couple of customer accounts. In fact, it is normal to mess up the whole database of customers because you need to send many loyalty milestone emails and it is extremely difficult to keep track of responses, customer score, loyalty redemptions, etc.
Sound complicated? It could be! There’s a real potential for chaos if you misplace even a single customer.
However, with an automated customer loyalty process that chaos is preventable. The system automatically tracks responses on your behalf. Also, every single interaction is recorded in a centralized database, so you know who was contacted when and how. Therefore, you can reduce communication hazards to nearly zero.
3. Increase Team Collaboration
If you are a one-person team in sales or account management, you may be able to survive with a manual customer loyalty process. However, when dealing with thousands of customers with a significantly large number of team members involved in the process, a manual process may not be the best solution because you cannot synchronize your team to achieve a common goal.
With an automated process, you can automatically assign tasks to your team members. You can assign one team member to manage customer loyalty projects. When a loyalty program customer is not engaging, this team member will be notified instantly. That way they can follow up and see if the loyalty program is working for the customer. Similarly, you can assign another team member to check message reports to ensure that your messaging is hitting the mark. Every single team member can see the latest update regarding a customer in the system so if needed, they can take over without a fuss. This allows your team to monitor the loyalty program without having to worry about the manual outreach, which allows them to fill other roles such as support, sales, and marketing.
4. Close Deals at Scale
You already know the purpose of a customer loyalty solution, which is gradually forming habits that lead to them spending more money more often with your organization and building an attachment to your brand.
With an automated customer loyalty system, you can engage thousands of customers at once. You always have the option to boost your marketing efforts and bring in more loyalty program participants without the fear of losing any due to not being able to serve them in a timely manner.
One of the biggest reasons for businesses not being able to scale is the capacity issue. If they do not have enough resources to serve every single customer, they think they cannot scale their customer loyalty process. However, when an automated system is in place you make the program available to all customers at once, and this allows you to maintain customer loyalty processes without causing frustration or losses.
Even if you brought in another 10,000 customers overnight and your business was struggling to adapt, those customers could take part in your loyalty program and often the benefits that they get help to offset pain points due to growing pains, global events, or other unforeseen circumstances.
For example, the publishing industry was recently put under pressure due to the global pandemic, and many books that were supposed to be available went and stayed out of stock for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not once during my visits to my local book chain did I hear customers raising serious issues about this shortage. Part of this is due to the store’s diverse offering of goods, but I am willing to say that another part of it is likely due to the way that the Indigo loyalty program works, where customers pay an annual fee for a discount on all purchases, and many other benefits. The discount on all purchases and the accruing of loyalty points for even deeper discounts help to offset the frustration of not being able to get a specific release.
So, here are our top four benefits of having an automated customer loyalty system. If you are interested, it’s time to start looking for one.
“Wait! Where can I get one?”
You do not want to build an automated customer loyalty system by yourself because, admit it, it is a lot of work. As well, you do not have time to get your hands into technical stuff like coding an HTML email. Plus, integrating all the different tools like email software, a CRM, an autoresponder, marketing automation, etc. is a hassle.
Luckily, there is a 100 percent ready-to-go marketing automaton solution! SimplyCast has built a plug-and-play customer loyalty solution that can be customized to meet any business requirement. We built this solution with our in-house technology and used our own digital engagement applications, so you will experience the smoothest integration possible while using this solution.
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