The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in May 2018, changed how brands interact with their customers. Tighter restrictions around the use of personal information means customer loyalty schemes have to work a little harder to deliver results.
To better understand what great customer loyalty looks like now, we’ve broken it down into the following levels of sophistication. Each level reflects how well a brand uses its customer data to personalise loyalty rewards and deliver them across multiple communication channels.
This basic stage of brand loyalty relies on a very simplistic points and rewards system. All individual end-users are treated the same way: if they spend a certain amount of money, they earn a certain amount of rewards. There is no real personal engagement with customers.
These brands segregate their marketing activities per channel. Loyalty points are earned through spend – but the siloed structure of this approach limits engagement across channels.
To maximise ROI, brands need to improve how they interact with and incentivise customers.
This level of customer loyalty reflects the power of direct customer engagement across multiple interconnected channels. For example, a customer might reach out to a brand via the company’s website and receive a response by text or email. Gold level loyalty programmes are more sophisticated, share customer data between channels, and use automation to support and deliver proactive and truly personalised rewards.
How do you get to Gold?
Advancing your loyalty programme first requires a Single Customer View (SCV) – a complete and consistent profile of the individual customer, with all of that individual’s online and offline activity data accessible in one system. To achieve this, information needs to be segmented according to various data ‘buckets’ – which can pose a major organisational challenge for brands. Technology provides the supporting structure to drive greater customer engagement through personalised interactions and direct demonstrations of value and rewards.
With consumers increasingly aware of the value of their data, and new laws such as the GDPR now in effect, good data is an increasingly valuable commodity. Brands now need customers to ‘opt in’ and willingly provide their information – and should in return be offering personalised rewards.
In effect, data exchange is a transaction – and this transaction must result in improved customer value.