Committing to a loyalty solutions provider is a crucial step in developing your brand’s loyalty program, and asking the right questions in the search process can make or break your program. With so many features and functionalities to consider, evaluating a loyalty solution provider isn’t always easy. In addition to price-points and contract details, make sure to cover all of the bases by asking the following questions before making any big decisions:
How much can you simplify the sign-up process?
Every customer’s journey through your loyalty program starts with the same thing: enrollment. The sign-up process should be tailored to your brand and easy for customers to complete. If your loyalty solution provider can’t streamline the enrollment process and make it simple to sign up, there are probably other important functions that they can’t optimize or fulfill either.
What are your personalization capabilities?
As, Neiman Marcus’ VP of Customer Insight and Analytics, Jeff Rosenfeld put it, “Personalization is the new loyalty.” In order to remain competitive in the eyes of your customers, your brand needs to cater specifically to them at all times. From personalized emails to rewards based on purchase history, there are endless possibilities for you to connect with consumers on an individual level — but only if your loyalty solution can make it happen.
How customizable is your platform?
When it comes to loyalty, customization is key. Every single piece of your loyalty program should not only be customized to your specific brand, but also your target audience’s wants and needs. If your analytic platform can be tailored to your preferences too, well, that’s the cherry on top.
How fast can you help me segment my audiences?
A competitive loyalty solution should let you segment your data to target key audiences and understand your customers’ motivations and preferences in real time. The ability to not only tap into information like geographics, demographics, psychographics, and behavioral data, but also capitalize on it quickly gives brands an immediate advantage. So, if your loyalty solution provider can’t make segmentation happen (and fast), you’re definitely due for an upgrade.
Can you help me manage multiple channels?
In today’s omni-channel, loyalty world, brands can — and should — do a lot to communicate with their customers. Today’s modern loyalty solutions must allow brands to send emails and SMS notifications, publish to social media channels, and create in-store experiences seamlessly with consistent messages across platforms. Any loyalty solution without a range of communication channels will leave you — and your customers — behind.
How quickly can you get my program up and running?
There’s nothing worse than kicking off a new loyalty program just to get stuck at the starting line. A good solution provider will mirror your enthusiasm to get started and prioritize speed to market, all while keeping quality top of mind. This point can make or break a partnership, so make sure your solution provider is on board.
Do you play well with others?
There are so many moving parts to a loyalty program that it’s tough for a solution provider to do it all alone. That’s where integrations come in. If your solution provider doesn’t integrate well with other programs or platforms you have running, you won’t be able to develop a full-stack loyalty program. Make sure your solution provider can support both batch and real-time integration scenarios, handle high volume and throughput, and be flexible as new applications and integrations come in to play.
If your potential (or current) loyalty solution provider isn’t giving you the answers you need to build a successful loyalty program, it might be time for a change. Before you sign on the dotted line with a new loyalty provider, ensure it is able to help execute your vision and drive brand loyalty for years to come.
Cheetah Digital’s loyalty management platform, Cheetah Loyalty, offers a custom solution that delivers personalized customer experiences and drives emotional connections to your brand. Have additional questions? All you have to do is ask.
Jon Siegal is the Vice President of Global Loyalty Sales at Cheetah Digital. He is focused on helping businesses use digital and social experiences to acquire new customers and grow consumer relationships.