I strongly believe Loyalty should be more than just point calculation and gift redemption. Banks should use Loyalty to give a fair deal to their customers. This in turn can deliver on capturing share of the wallet and increasing stickiness.
A loyalty program should allow banks to establish a 360 degree view of their customers, by looking holistically across multiple dimensions – Customer relationship value, relationship tenure, product ownership and usage, desired channel behaviour. In fact, loyalty programs should allow a blend of customer’s demographics, banking behaviour, needs to deliver on loyalty. This should be a program which uses products, channels, and customer demographics as a mix to achieve holistic rewards program success.
Such a holistic loyalty program will use a harmonious combination of various “customer attributes” like – customer segment, age, lifetime value, credit rating, demographics, etc; and, “account attributes” like – account type, balances, currency, etc; along with “product attributes” like – product type, frequency of product used, no of products taken, etc, and, “transaction attributes” like – transaction channel, location of transaction, time of transaction, etc. This combination will assign rewards for a desirable behaviour and no rewards (or even deduct) for an undesirable behaviour.
These rewards can ideally be accumulated and used against benefits which can be broadly classified as – financial or lifestyle rewards (monetary or non-monetary, as mentioned in my previous post). A lifestyle reward can be anything from – gifts from a catalogue, movie tickets, gift vouchers, lounge access, etc. And a financial reward can be cash back, fee waivers, discounts, special price plans, higher free limits, etc.
Loyalty program would also give flexibility to accumulate rewards on multiple grounds. Banks can reward their customers contextually on events, transactions, even lifecycle. One should expect capability to reward for customer birthdays, anniversaries, new year, festivals, etc. These events can potentially lead to more sales and transactions. Banks may also want to reward their customer for relationship anniversary, or may be a new product subscription. Such a holistic program also drives customer experience.
Given the market around us these days, the banks can go all out and develop relationships across multiple lifestyle franchises to deepen their redemption catalogue. These can be Jewellery, Hotels, coffee shops, Air Miles, restaurants, gym membership, lounges, club membership, etc. All such redemption options not only gives customers options to choose from, it also strengthens the loyalty program and goes a long way in creating a strong brand value.
To add to this, a holistic rewards program should allow for points adjustment, points transfer, points aggregation, points acceleration and even points expiry. This is something that again adds to the depth of the loyalty program and drives customer experience again.
A loyalty program should also give banks flexibility to run partner or merchant loyalty program as well. This should be run as usual customer loyalty scheme for a single partner or merchant. These schemes can be run as multiple tariff schemes for revenue share or commissions. Banks can even reward their merchants to do more transactions with you.
Another use of a holistic rewards program can be using it for Sweepstakes or Raffle draws for customers. This again goes a long way in building the customer relationship and stickiness.
All in all, a holistic rewards program should enable banks to get close to their customers and align the entire organisation around the mission of enhancing overall customer experience. It should bring in competitive advantage, improve operational efficiency, and enhance overall revenues and overall drive up overall customer satisfaction.