Some of you may remember the “McDonald’s Menu Song” promotion of the 80s. Customers would receive a vinyl record containing the eponymous song, at the end of which was a message about whether they had won a prize. Of course, rewards for customer loyalty are older than that. In A Christmas Story, Ralphie saved up enough Ovaltine proofs of purchase to send away for a Little Orphan Annie secret decoder. In the 90s, some restaurants would stamp a card every time you bought a sandwich, and the tenth sandwich was free.
Loyalty programs that depend on physical objects have an inherent flaw. What happens if you lose that physical object that proves your loyalty? What if the card full of stamps falls out of your wallet as you are on your way to claim your free sandwich? What if, by the time you locate a record player, you can no longer find your prize-winning record? To be most effective, today’s customer loyalty programs need to make the most of the currently available technology. A cloud-based loyalty program is the best for both encouraging and rewarding your customers’ loyalty.
Digital media has affected how customers and employees interact with businesses. Cloud-based loyalty programs can offer a lot more than old-fashioned rewards in the form of free products. They are also adaptable and scalable in ways that other loyalty programs are not. Here are four specific reasons you should choose a cloud-based loyalty program:
Your company’s CRM systems are always collecting data about the ways in which your customers interact with the business. You have a treasure trove of information about not only what your customers buy, but also which discounts and promotions they use. With a cloud-based loyalty program, store employees and customer care associates can update the CRM at any time. Best of all, it is accessible from any device, anywhere. You can also integrate it with your phone system to make it quicker and easier to call your customers.
A closed-loop loyalty program involves only one company or even just a single store location. A wallet full of reward cards for a bunch of different stores is a symptom of closed-loop loyalty programs. By contrast, an open-loop loyalty program rewards customers when they buy from a big variety of brands. The value of open-loop loyalty programs is obvious to customers. Of course, keeping track of all the data involved in an open-loop program practically requires a cloud. Adopting cloud technology for your loyalty program allows you to integrate with other companies to participate in big, open-loop programs.
Cloud-based loyalty programs show you updates of your customers’ purchase activity in real-time. You can monitor how well promotions are working and therefore modify your promotional offers as necessary. A major purpose of loyalty programs is to enable you to up-sell and cross-sell. Being able to view customer data via a cloud will help you leverage your loyalty program to maximize up-sells and cross-sells.
Data security is a major concern for consumers. In fact, one of the main reasons that customers switch away from a brand is when it does not protect the privacy of their data. Cloud-based technology is one of the best ways to protect data. With a cloud-based program, customers’ data is stored on a remote server. By contrast, if you just kept the data on a computer in the back office of your store, you could lose valuable records of customer loyalty if the computer crashed.
With a cloud, you can automatically back up and sync your data. Therefore, you can access the data from any device at any time and know that the data is up to date. Unlike in the old days, you will not need to wait for a support professional to install updates on individual devices. Power outages and computer hardware malfunctions used to be disastrous for customer loyalty programs. If your program uses cloud technology, though, you can easily recover data, if it even gets lost at all.
Cloud technology for loyalty programs offers both the company and its customers the flexibility they want. Cloud-based loyalty programs allow you to partner with other companies so that everyone can reap the rewards. Annex Cloud offers cloud-based loyalty programs for businesses of all sizes. Contact Annex Cloud to find out about developing a customer loyalty program for your business.