Being aware of risks is the first step in successfully avoiding them.
One of the main risks is poor use of data and non-effective communication.
With most companies embracing digital infrastructure, including artificial intelligence, the cloud, machine learning and robotics, information flow is vital to all processes — including business-to-consumer interaction.
If communication is outdated, unclear, delayed or non-relevant, the customer will be put off and look elsewhere — quickly! If information around loyalty programmes is inaccurate or employees of a business are not informed or aware, the impact to the business would be worse than not having a loyalty programme at all.
The fact is that the customer is fickle and spoilt for choice. Customer service and experience is essential
and that is why loyalty programmes have to be flexible and must provide value upfront — before payment.
The customer experience begins from the first touch-point and continues to the last, so kicking the journey off on the wrong note or not quite the right approach is most definitely a risk.
ICF.com lists several criteria that brands should aspire to when engaging the customer. This criteria includes:
- learn (expand knowledge)
- connect (create local connections)
- create (bolster creativity)
- build (design experiences to encourage personal growth), and
- pause (focus on wellness), which, together, help drive and manage professional and successful customer experiences.
It is very interesting to note that KPMG International research shows that consumers' attitudes about finances are unchanged since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financial advisory firm says in July and August 2020, 76% of consumer and retail CEOs are more confident today about the economy than they were before the pandemic.
Another pitfall for businesses as they attempt to woo the customer, increase their customer retention rate and boost the business, is to get too hung up on finance, profit, more foot traffic and other aspects.
Cost is always a factor and must always be considered, but trying to balance the books and minimise cost and sacrifice service quality is simply not a winning formula.
Businesses often trip themselves up by making their loyalty programmes mundane and one dimensional. Failure to make a programme stand out in a market awash with loyalty and reward schemes is a recipe for disaster.
Risk is part of any business in any industry, but in today's broader financial and economic environment, loyalty should be a major tool in the arsenal of any competitive venture and not just something that attracts any more challenges.
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