New technology, the threat of recession, shifting customer preferences and more economic stresses than ever … these factors and more are driving the evolution of customer experience, and brands need to pay attention, innovate and offer tangible value if they want to avoid being left behind.
Every year, the role of loyalty and rewards programmes in the customer experience game becomes more and more important, offering the opportunity to boost customer engagement, differentiate offerings in a crowded market and collect invaluable data. In this issue of Loyalty & Rewards SA, we look at the role of predictive analytics in building more motivating programmes, along with the importance of tracking and measuring key performance indicators to ensure that they actually fulfil their mandate. We eye up the fascinating evolution of retail loyalty, where brands are working hard to transition customers to app-centred ecosystems, and the township space, where support of locally made products is driving a thriving kasi economy.
In a constrained economy, loyalty programmes are emerging as key to the travel and hospitality industries, as we see at both ends of the spectrum. At the same time, despite economic pressures, the growing popularity of experiential rewards highlights how some consumers increasingly prioritise memories, seeking novelties and gaining new perspectives over material possessions.
We also flip the customer experience coin to look at employee recognition, which is crucial in a competitive job market where skills are short and tenures shorter. Customer experience will continue to evolve, brands will continue to innovate, and we’ll continue to explore how and why, right here.