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How to Protect Customer Loyalty with the Loyalty Management Solution

November 20th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

The relationship between a customer and a business is no different than any other type of relationship. It requires connection and trust by both sides to keep running smoothly, as well as commitment. And if a customer doesn’t feel they are getting value, or don’t feel appreciated, then they have no qualms about breaking it off.

A loyal customer base is the core of a company’s business, and keeping them happy is a crucial way to maximize business investment.

An existing customer already understands what you offer, and what sets you apart from your competitors – you don’t need to spend the time and energy trying to convince them of this. With industry thought leaders putting new customer acquisition costs at four to ten times more than it takes to retain an existing customer, businesses can better protect their profits by protecting their customer loyalty.

And companies don’t need to take wild guesses about how to accomplish this. With loyalty management technology – such as Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution – giving businesses insight into loyalty program members and their behavior, companies can more quickly identify customer needs and how best to serve them.

Check out three ways the Loyalty Management Solution helps companies provide the consistent, targeted engagement that cements customer dedication.

1. Create Personalized Offers

Loyalty program members want offers tailored to their specific circumstances – and the more tailored the offer, the more likely it will convert into a purchase.

The Loyalty Management Solution offers a centralized customer database that provides all relevant information pertaining to the customer. Merchants can include any type of data parameters they wish, such as a customer’s birthday, anniversary, age, preferences, etc. Also, the merchant can identify if the customer is connected to any other customers in the system (e.g., a spouse, a child), and can create offers based on that relationship.

The Loyalty Management Solution provides a comprehensive look at loyalty program member information

The Loyalty Management Solution provides a comprehensive look at loyalty program member information – from personal details, to recent issues, to recent loyalty transactions.

2. Create Loyalty Tiers

Exclusivity works because people like to be thought of as special, unique – not like everyone else. But interestingly, people also like being part of a group – a like-minded group helps validate choices and preferences, which can in turn be a powerful motivator.

By creating different tiers in a loyalty program (bronze, silver, gold, etc.), as well as specific rules for gaining membership into those tiers, companies are able to create both a sense of community, and a sense of distinction. Award tiers also give customers a goal – if they want the more exciting perks that are in the higher level, they have an incentive to complete the actions that enable them to do so.

The Loyalty Management Solution enables companies to easily create multiple loyalty tiers and input the criteria customers must follow in order to gain membership into the tiers.

Easily create different reward tiers and the criteria customers must meet in order to gain access to that tier. Also tie reward bonuses into tier membership

Easily create different reward tiers, and the criteria customers must meet in order to gain access to that tier. Also, tie reward bonuses into tier membership (e.g. customers who reach 1,000 points are labeled as Bronze customers, and receive a $10 gift card upon entry).

3. Measure What Works – and What Doesn’t

If a company doesn’t have any insight into what initiatives are successful and which ones aren’t, then they won’t be able to pinpoint the initiatives that are contributing to that success, and which ones are hindering it.

The Loyalty Management Solution provides in-depth analytics and reports on loyalty program activity, enabling companies to identify reward response rates, redemptions, accruals, responses to promotional campaigns, etc.

The Loyalty Management Solution dashboard is also an excellent way for sales reps to see, at a glance, loyalty program performance and trends in one place. These quantitative measurements provide businesses valuable data, which in turn helps guide companies toward developing loyalty programs that deliver popular rewards.

Dashboards are a helpful way to see a quick graphical overview of loyalty program data

Dashboards are a helpful way to see a quick, graphical overview of loyalty program data. As the dashboard graphs are dynamic, sales reps can simply click on the graph – or parts of the graph – to drill down further into the data.  

Creating a loyalty program that not only generates an initial attraction but also increases customer lifetime value is an important way to both give – and receive – value from customers. If you have any questions about how to leverage Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution for loyalty program initiatives, please email loyalty@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

The Top 6 Things that Undermine Customer Loyalty

October 14th, 2015 Chelsea Cole No comments

The main aspect that any retail business should be concerned with is customers. The goal is to attract new customers and retain the old ones, however customers today have so many choices it can be easy to make mistakes when it comes to retaining their loyalty. It is important to keep meaningful relationships with customers across multiple channels that will keep them loyal to your business. Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution can give you insights into better understanding your customers that will prevent you from making the major mistakes that retailers often make. Because a retail business lives and dies on what their customers think of them, here are the top 6 things that undermine customer loyalty – and how the Loyalty Management Solution prevents them:

1. Focusing on the Wrong Customers

When it comes to marketing strategies and business processes, many companies strive to gain new customers. And while gaining new customers is important and good for business, it is also important not to neglect those customers that already exist. With a loyalty program, you can reward the customers that shop in your store and guarantee their continued patronage. Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution enables businesses to offer different types of incentives in their loyalty programs, such as a points based program where customers earn rewards for money spent, or frequency of transactions. You can also offer special deals only for loyalty customers like BOGOs or discounts on birthdays. These personalized offers help create better relationships with existing customers and motivate them to make repeat purchases.

Key Functionalities Offered.

Figure 1: The key functionalities offered by Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution.

2. Not Paying Attention to the Individual

Another way to give customers an experience guaranteed to please is by making it tailored specifically for them. The best way to show a customer that their loyalty is important is by having access to a 360- degree view of the customer so that you can be in tune with their individual needs. A fully rounded view can provide a next level in-store experience that shows you care about them as individuals. Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution provides easy access to customer’s past purchase history, their profile and product preferences, their specific wish lists created online, and the specific products they might have browsed online. This information helps equip store associates for giving customers an unmatched, attentive shopping experience that will strengthen long-term loyalty.

3. Leaving Employees Out

Although customers are the main focus of a successful business, it is crucial to remember what makes a customer’s interaction with the business work: the employee. A company cannot prosper unless the employees are competent and happy. The quickest way to cultivate a disgruntled employee atmosphere is by making them work with out of date, complicated system software that they do not understand. Negligent employees will only lead to bad customer service and unhappy customers. Offer your employees an easy to use, helpful system that will allow them to convey the best possible customer service experience. The Loyalty Management Solution provides a full view of the customer and the tools employees need to leverage that view. Putting this type of knowledge and the right tools into your employee’s hands will inspire them to provide that best customer care possible. They will work better if they understand how to use an easy solution that exists in order to help them be the best that they can be.

Easy Access Using Tablet Devices.

Figure 2: Tablet devices allow Employee's easy access to customer information.

4. Incongruent Channels

What’s better than giving customers one channel to access your company? Giving them multiple channels. As customers’ tastes and preferences change they often want to seek out interactions across a multi-channel platform. While a multi-channel system is great for business it is even more important that all these channels are connected and in sync with one another. Disparate systems for each channel create a fragmented view of the customer. A CRM system helps consolidate all customer information and records. This way, if a customer that typically shops online decides to come into the store, representatives can still access their records and transaction history. A unified loyalty program that merges all channels will make sure that customers are receiving the best service and will help retailers have easily accessible customer information for any scenario.

Key Customer Service Functionalities.

Figure 3: Key customer service functionalities include case management, automated service process, and dialogs.

5. Inconsistent Communication with Customers

The best way to keep customers coming back is by making sure you are keeping up constant communication. If your business is on their mind, it will be the first place they look to when shopping. Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution keeps a database with customer information and contact info so that you can give special treatment to loyal customers such as birthday greetings, reminders on sales, access to downloading apps, or special offers and deals. With this system, employees and representative have customer related information at their fingertips. It also provides a case management system with integrated knowledge base, call guides, escalation functionality, and more features that will provide better quality service and will allow you to keep in touch with those customers that are most loyal to your brand.

Create App to Track Customer Rewards.

Figure 4: Create an app for customers to track their rewards.

6. Fear of Advancement

All of the ways in which customer loyalty can potentially become undermined can be improved by talking one simple step, which is investing in your business by investing in technology. By simply implementing a loyalty solution you can improve customer service and loyalty be leaps and bounds. Even though this seems like a no brainer, many retailers can be hesitant about systems they don’t understand. Don’t let yourself fall behind and lose customers to your competitors. The Loyalty Management Solution is simple and helpful while resembling the Microsoft products you are already used to. The benefits of a loyalty system, and thus this particular solution, far outweigh the small effort it takes to implement this new solution.

Customer Profile Analytics and Reports.

Figure 5: See costumer profile analytics and reports.

Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution strengthens relationships with customers, reduces total cost, and make disparate systems and channels come together as a well-oiled machine. For more information, please email us at loyalty@ignify.com.

Chelsea Cole is a Proposal Writer at Ignify. Ignify is Worldwide Microsoft Partner in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Building an Effective Loyalty Program: 3 Ways to Drive Success

March 31st, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

As personal technology gives customers convenient tools for being more informed, and thus more selective, about where they spend their money, companies need new ways to capture their hearts. With loyalty programs incentivizing customer behavior, more and more companies are making them a key part of their business development strategies.

But just having a loyalty program does not necessarily translate to automatic success. According to Colloquy’s 2015 Loyalty Census, approximately 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships are in the United States, with each American household averaging 29 loyalty programs each – but more than half (58%) of total loyalty members do not actively participate in their memberships. That 58% translates to a staggering amount of lost business opportunity.

What makes a loyalty program thrive? The ability to engage program members. The more relevant and attractive a loyalty program’s offerings, the greater the chance that customers will keep coming back for more – and bringing friends with them.

By using the right tools and methods for attracting and sustaining loyalty members, companies reap significant benefits of customer retention and organic promotion. Check out three tips on how to get the most value from your loyalty programs.

1. Personalize Rewards to Customers

We live in the age of personalization – people want the products and services that suit their needs. In order for a loyalty program to be effective, rewards need to be personalized to the individual customers.

But the only way that truly effective personalization can take place is if companies know all about their customers. With Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution, companies are able to store all customer data in a single, comprehensive database.

With this database, customer service representatives are able to access consolidated customer master records, which can include loyalty program transaction history of each customer across channels. Equipped with this information, companies are able to quickly identify and track the loyalty rewards that are most quickly earned and spent by customers (on both an individual and group basis), allowing them to create more targeted promotions.

2. Measure Program Effectiveness with Analytics

A loyalty program cannot be considered effective if the numbers don’t back it up. With the analytics and reports offered by the Loyalty Management Solution, companies can closely examine reward earning and redemption rates, as well as the performance of reward-related marketing campaigns, helping them better pinpoint the programs that are working, and the ones that aren’t.

Dashboards in the Loyalty Management Solution allow companies to view real-time data in graphs and charts, enabling them to get an understanding of performance at a glance. These charts and graphs are fully configurable by the user, which means that if the user prefers to see certain data in a pie chart, all he has to do is change the graph with a click of the button, and the data will change into a pie chart.

loyalty management dashboard

The Loyalty Management Solution’s dashboard functionality provides data right at a business user’s fingertips, allowing them to get an instant snapshot into loyalty program performance.

The charts are also dynamic; in other words, if a manager wants to get more information about a particular slice in a pie graph, all she has to do is click on the slice – the data then filters accordingly, allowing her to see the data only associated with that pie slice. If the manager wants an even more granular view of the data, all she has to do is click to view the records associated with that section of the graph, and then click on whichever individual records she chooses.

3. Use Social Media to Promote Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are an important way to strengthen existing customer relationships, but they are also an excellent opportunity to entice new ones as well. Who can resist a great offer?

Social media can play a significant role in effectively promoting your new loyalty reward offerings because it facilitates connection. In addition to people able to share content quickly and easily, social media’s ability to interlink people means that potentially huge pools of people can indirectly access that content. For instance, I can see when a friend on Facebook comments on the wall of a complete stranger (at least, a stranger to me). I can view the content that is being commented on, and if it’s something interesting, I might read that article myself – or even share it with my own Facebook audience. Hence, viral content.

If you share the amazing deals that can only be accessed by signing up for a loyalty program, you generate curiosity – or even lust. And better yet, if you have loyalty program members seizing on your social media promotions, sharing the value they get from being a member, you gain a powerful form of advertisement.

Remember – It’s All About the Customer

The primary factor behind a loyalty program’s success is whether the program truly serves the customer. By always keeping the customer experience front-of-mind, businesses will create the offers that most resonate with their customer base, and that drive customer engagement.

If you would like to see the Loyalty Management Solution’s features in-action, please be sure to sign up for our upcoming Loyalty Management Solution Webinar! Click here to register: http://bit.ly/1Gd2n85

For more information on how to improve your company’s loyalty program management processes, please email us at loyalty@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Loyalty Management with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

February 3rd, 2014 Chelsea Robertson No comments

Today’s consumers expect to be incentivized to choose your merchandise over that of your numerous competitors, and loyalty programs are one of the best ways to do that. Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps you meet the changing demands of your customers.  

By ‘gamifying’ the shopping process, you give your customers additional reasons to buy. For example, a few reasons why a customer may choose to shop with you as a result of loyalty management could be:

  • The ability to redeem points earned from loyalty programs toward purchases.
  • Enabling loyalty program members to receive rewards of discounts or free items.
  • The ability to reach the next loyalty threshold.
  • Taking advantage of special rewards program promotions (i.e., double points given on a customer’s birthday, etc.). 
  • Keeping rewards points from expiring so that a customer can redeem them at whatever time they choose.

By combining a loyalty management solution with Microsoft Dynamic CRM’s powerful reporting engine, you can view useful reports and analyze your loyalty programs effectiveness.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s dashboard functionality provides an array of important reports right at a user’s fingertips, providing powerful insight into loyalty program performance

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s dashboard functionality provides an array of important reports right at a user’s fingertips, providing powerful insight into loyalty program performance.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, one of the primary benefits is a full view of customer data. By managing your loyalty program with Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well, you can also view all of that information- right on the client’s contact record!

The Loyalty Management Solution allows businesses to better understand their customers and strengthen the customer relationship. The solution is tailored for businesses across industries, giving organizations the ability to make their loyalty programs part of their entire marketing strategy, focus and build relationships with their customer base, and provide opportunities and outlets for brand advocacy.

The Loyalty Program provides functionality that will help marketers manage data and turn into useful marketing analytics and create help them develop broad programs that will make customers feel more connected, enthusiastic, and dedicated to their products and services.

Customer Profile Analytics and Reports

  • Track average order size by award tier
  • Track average spend by award tier
  • Advanced customer profile – category/item preferences for tailored marketing activities

Customer Award Management

  • Setup of award rules
  • Set up points per dollar spent
  • Set up points per dollar per item
  • Manage Award Tiers
  • Manage points per dollar by Award Tier

Award Management Rules for Customer Rewards

  • Automatically award points with every sale/transaction from various channels including web, POS, In-store, Phone orders
  • Record redemptions and automatically update point balance

Promotions Management

  • Define promotions for the loyalty program
  • Define ranges for dollar spending limits, quantities, start and end dates.
  • Define channels (web, store, catalog, etc.) that will participate in promotion
  • Define discount rules and how they will be applied
  • Apply discounts to orders

If you would like more information on Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution, please email us at loyalty@ignify.com.

Chelsea Robertson is a Sales Coordinator and CRM Pre-Sales Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRMeCommerce and ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.