Those who visit larger brick and mortar stores and malls will remember how these stores offered them membership cards and coupons. Some still do. It is a way of ensuring loyalty through such lures. However, these paper documents have issues. The loyalty program software is better in all aspects if you are aiming to garner customer loyalty.
Customers are tech-savvy
People are tech-savvy. If they are not quite good at computers they are proficient in the use of their smartphones and it can be loaded with apps. Apps are intuitive and easy to use. Besides, since the phone is always accessible and the loyalty program software resides within it, it is always available for use.
Paper documents can be mislaid
Suppose you do hand out a shopping card with reward points or discount coupons. Shoppers would have to carry these along when they go shopping if they wish to encash the coupon or get discounts. If they cannot do so then they gain no benefit. A smartphone, on the other hand, is something that people always carry and the loyalty program app resides on the phone. It can be used for transactions, to claim rewards, and for interaction.
Variety is the name of the game
Think of all the possible variations you can have in a software-based loyalty program:
- High-end loyalty and rewards for cash-rich customers
- Loyalty program for your employees and downstream sellers
- Time-limited programs
- Programs limited to specific products
- Weekend purchase programs, seasonal programs and so on
With software-based loyalty programs, you also have the freedom to make as many changes as you like. Doing it with paper-based solutions for loyalty would entail high costs.
Ease of use for customers
The way loyalty program software works are that it has a full-fledged backend working along with apps deployed on smartphones or web-based access on desktops after log in.
- That makes it easy for customers to use apps on their mobiles to register and enroll.
- When they purchase a product their app receives a notification.
- It is convenient for use from anywhere and at any time.
- Customers get accurate information about their loyalty status
Why you should have it for your business
There are no escaping loyalty programs. Every other store offers loyalty and rewards programs.
Software is much better than paper-based records and you can easily manage and track a dozen or more such programs involving hundreds of thousands of customers.
Deriving information is necessary. With paper-based rewards programs, it becomes difficult to transfer the information to software and then analyze it. Your loyalty program software usually includes an analytics module. It can tell you a whole lot about customers, preferences, numbers, outcomes of programs, and give you data to create future programs that benefit customers and help you to make profits.
If you do not offer any sort of reward or loyalty programs you are likely to lose customers to competitors. Getting them back or engaging new ones becomes a challenge. Since paper-based solutions are cumbersome and difficult to manage the software solution is more attractive and easy to implement. There is no reason not to have a loyalty program.
One advantage worth mentioning about software is that you collect data that goes into the CRM. You can understand existing customers better, derive information on customer needs, and tailor programs accordingly.
Maintaining contact is important and easy with software. You can use software to send out notifications and greetings, announce launches, and encourage customers to buy more. You can interface with social media and maintain interactions over time.
Authorized employees can access software from anywhere and at any time if it is cloud-based. This leads to speedy interactions and resolutions that paper-based programs simply cannot match. In this COVID 19 era when employees work from home and some from office, you will find software-based solutions to be far better to assure continuity.
It does take plenty of manpower to handle paper-based solutions. Loyalty program software can be handled by just one person. You save on labor, time, and effort while your records stay up to date.
Everything else in your organization is digital so why not make the loyalty program digital too? If you are selling online then a software loyalty program is the only way to go.
How do you track the authenticity of the paper trail? It becomes difficult and coupons can be misused. You would need to keep them secure and assign codes when you hand out such vouchers to customers. If coupons are lost then they may be used by someone else other than the intended beneficiary. Employees may misuse such paper-based cards and vouchers. Switch to software and it becomes easy for you and for customers to keep track of rewards, reward claims, and securely do it all. There are few chances of security breaches or misuse. You do not lose and your customers do not lose. Your reputation remains intact.
Loyalty works. The software makes it better. The only caveat for success is to get the right loyalty program from the right vendor, customize it, and use it.
If you’d like to have a free consultation on reshaping your loyalty program, Schedule a demo with our team to know more about the loyalty program.