When the concept of modern loyalty programs first began in the 18th century, it entailed manual disbursal of rewards, coupons, and tokens. It also involved manual record-keeping of the collection and allocation of rewards. When a business deals with just a handful of customers, it may not seem like a big deal. But when it deals with hundreds or thousands of customers, running and managing loyalty programs manually can be a nightmare.
The advent of automated loyalty programs in the late 1980s came as a boon for many contemporary businesses. It not only automated various processes but also eliminated various inefficiencies associated with manual reward programs.
This blog post discusses several benefits of automated loyalty programs and some useful tips that’ll help you create effective loyalty programs for your business. Read on and thank us later.
Benefits of Automated Loyalty Programs
As automated loyalty programs require no manual intervention in terms of operation and management, they offer a wide range of benefits. Here are some of them.
In business, time is more valuable than money. Automating loyalty programs will enable you to save a lot of time on manual tasks. The time saved can be used in more productive activities, such as:
- Designing new products
- Creating more innovative loyalty strategies
- Focusing more on sales and marketing campaigns
2. Minimum errors
Manual tasks not only consume a lot of time but also are more prone to human errors. After all, as the saying goes, “To err is human.” But automating loyalty programs minimize the chances of human errors and enhances efficiency.
3. Cost reduction
Now, by costs, we don’t mean the “time is money” adage. Of course, you save a lot of time by automating loyalty programs. Hence, you save a lot of time as well. But you also save a lot of operating costs. Come to think of it, you will need to have dedicated staff to manage loyalty programs manually. You will also save on several other costs such as stationery bills and storage space, which may look insignificant in the beginning but can snowball over time.
4. Fraud detection and elimination
Let’s face it: loyalty frauds are a huge concern for businesses all around the globe. As per a Forter Fraud Index report, loyalty program frauds have increased by 89 percent year-on-year in 2021. Many brands are levelling up their loyalty technologies and taking every possible step to detect and eliminate fraud. In such a scenario, running and managing loyalty programs manually is akin to battling heavily armed mercenaries with sticks and stones. Manual loyalty programs are more susceptible to fraud compared to their automated counterparts. But choosing a reliable and sophisticated loyalty program platform can help you identify loyalty fraud on time and take a step to get rid of it.
5. Easy collection and syncing of customer data
Automated loyalty programs make the collection of customer data extremely easy. While enrolling in automated loyalty programs, customers will have to fill in relevant personal information such as:
- Geographic location
- As well as, some other demographic information
An Accenture survey found that 83 percent of customers are willing to share their data with brands if they receive personalized experiences. You can communicate the same in your loyalty platform and use the data to provide personalized experiences to your customers. Apart from that, automated loyalty programs also enable easy integration of customer data across your tech stack.
6. Collect reviews and social proofs
In business, non-paid reviews and recommendations play a huge role in influencing purchasing decisions. Various studies have found that a majority of customers trust word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations from their friends and family. This is where automated loyalty programs can help businesses collect customer reviews and social proof.
Automated loyalty programs make it extremely easy for customers to leave reviews. The automated platform can be easily integrated into customers’ online shopping process. It will enable them to review and rate the products and services. By leveraging automated loyalty programs, you can send reminders to customers to rate their purchases and leave reviews. This makes the process of leaving social proofs and reviews extremely efficient.
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Tips For Creating Automated Loyalty Programs
In the digital age, creating an automated loyalty program or automating an existing one is extremely easy. You just need to have a clear goal and the right tools. Here are some useful tips to get you started.
1. Determine your purpose
Before creating an automated loyalty program, determine your purpose. Why do you want to automate your loyalty program? If you don’t have one already, find out why you want to create one in the first place. Is it to retain more of your existing customers? Is it to save time and money? Is it to prevent loyalty fraud? Or is it a mix of all? Once you find the answers to the questions, you will be clear about what features and tech you need in your loyalty platform.
2. Choose between in-house and hiring an expert
If you want to create an automated loyalty program, you have two options. The first is to build it from the ground up in-house. Even though it gives you total control, it’s quite expensive and can take a long time to see the results. The second option is to leave it to an expert with years of experience in designing and creating high-quality and cutting-edge automated loyalty programs. It’s far more cost-effective and can give you faster results once you select the right service provider.
3. Select a reputable and trustworthy loyalty software provider
Choosing the right loyalty software can automate and structure your loyalty programs and enable your customers to earn and redeem their rewards quite effortlessly. That’s where selecting a reputable and reliable loyalty solution provider with years of experience can make all the difference. The best way to find a reliable loyalty solution provider is to search the web and compare the offerings, prices, and reviews of various loyalty software providers. Some of them provide free demos, which will make it easier for you to use the software for a while and make an informed decision.
4. Add rewards, create tiers, and monitor real-time analytics
After partnering with a loyalty software provider, you will have your platform ready as per your specifications and requirements. After that, you just need to market your loyalty program, add several rewards, and create various tiers for your members. After doing that, you just have to manage your program and see if it is getting you the desired results. The real-time analytics and reports will keep you updated and keep an eye on various aspects of your reward program.
As the name suggests, automated loyalty programs are digital loyalty programs that don’t need any manual intervention to run and manage loyalty rewards. By automating your loyalty programs, you can save a lot of time, eliminate human errors, reduce operating costs, detect and prevent loyalty fraud, collect and sync customer data, and garner reviews and social proofs.
At LoyaltyXpert, we have helped many businesses around the world automate their loyalty programs. If you want to automate your existing loyalty programs or create brand-new automated rewards programs, then contact us to book a free demo today.