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Rewards? Experience? Loyalty? EDM!

Posed by guest blogger, James Taylor)

I saw a couple of interesting posts when I returned from IBM's IMPACT show this week (blog posts here) -Jim Berkowitz on Want Customer Loyalty? Improve Customer Experience First and Ginger Conlon on Making Coke Rewarding. Reading these I was struck by how linked experience, rewards and loyalty must be to be effective. Jim said, and I agree, "customer experience directly correlates to customer loyalty". Clearly the purpose of a reward program is to build loyalty also.

For a typical multi-channel company with large or reasonably large numbers of customers, this presents a dilema. How do you ensure that rewards are earned correctly in all these channels, target those rewards to customers whose loyalty will be improved and who are or will become profitable, and deliver an excellent user experience? How do you do this in real-time or near real-time channels where there is no staff member present like the website or other automated systems? How do you make sure large numbers of call center or branch/store staff understand the complexities of your program? When customers are serving themselves, how do you ensure they have a positive user experience without having to transfer them to staff?

Fortunately, one approach can help with all of this - Enterprise Decision Management or EDM.

  • Identifying the decisions that customers want to be taken "on demand" can improve the customer experience if those decisions are effectively automated
  • Identifying the points at which reward decisions are made allows many channels to use the same decision services to generate rewards
  • Analytics can be used to segment customers, enabling better targeting of rewards to profitable customers
  • More analytics can be used to see who is likely to be positively impacted by rewards
  • Optimization can manage the complex trade-offs between future loyalty/profitability and reward expense
  • Adaptive control helps you test multiple approaches to see what works best while also identifying unexpected or rapid change.

Whether your focus is customer experience, customer rewards or customer loyalty, consider EDM.

We have blogged on this site before about MyCokeRewards here and about using EDM to build loyalty and improve the customer experience also. My other blog has a whole series on the 21st Century Customer Experience also.


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