Womans hand holding mobile phone: Chatbots for Loyalty Programs

For consumers, nothing feels better than rewards that are easy to retrieve, easy to use and that are personalized to what they most value from your brand.

Unfortunately, 70% of consumers find rewards programs frustrating.

Chatbots for loyalty programs facilitate every one of these needs. Conversational AI, whether through text or voice, can be designed to track rewards and any consumer behaviors in real-time.

They can help you tailor programs to suit certain consumer segments and even create granular personalization for individual consumers. Additionally, consumers can track, redeem and access your rewards program in any and all channels they use.

So why aren’t you implementing a chatbot for your loyalty program yet?

  • 70% of loyalty rewards members will recommend a brand if it has a great loyalty program.
  • 87% of consumers want loyalty programs.
  • Loyalty consumers spend an average of $42 more than their counterparts with brick and mortar retailers than those who don’t belong to one.
  • 60% of people in a major study reported that loyalty programs influence where they make purchases.

Chatbots Solve Loyalty Program Friction Points

Chatbots stand to drive loyalty programs––and sales, as a result––because they help solve the friction points executive teams encounter in developing a branded program.

No matter what your product, no matter what your service, the golden rule is that customers weigh perceived value against the price you offer.

In like manner, the “price” of your loyalty program is defined by the amount of benefit your customers stand to receive, offset by the amount of friction they encounter to receive it.

Presently, 90% of leads would rather get texts than phone calls. Chatbots meet your consumers where they actively engage, daily: in messaging apps, on social media and via texting.

But the most compelling benefit is that chatbots simplify every aspect of a loyalty program.  Unlike any other current system, conversational AI can learn, grow and then respond almost instantaneously to provide customers with everything they need to feel satisfied about a loyalty reward and brand experience. 

Chatbots Meet the Four Categories of Consumer Values

One recent study revealed that the 30 most important consumer values fall into four categories, in this order:  social impact, life-changing, emotional, functional benefits.

The big picture upshot is that your customers value four high-level benefits. Meet these, and you’ll create a stronger loyalty program.

When the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas employed their chatbot “Rose,” a virtual, always-on, witty concierge, they saw that guests who interacted with her were much more satisfied with their stay than those who did not interact with her. 

Most loyalty programs fall somewhere between emotional and functional in the scope of how they benefit consumers. Most notably, airline reward points tend to fall into these categories. In an industry that can be rife with friction pitfalls, who doesn’t want a free flight? Mileage points have tended to serve as a standard set-point for value and pricing, as do grocer programs that provide instant discounts. 

Chatbots, however, can round out consumer needs, creating substantially more ease and a new form of interaction.

Chatbots Ease Consumer Frustration

On the other hand, airline mile rewards notoriously can come with frustrating black-out dates and even bump provisions. Consumers are extremely put-off with bad registration processes, long contact forms, lengthy requirements and non-use stipulations, as well as an inability to easily track their rewards.

Not to mention, many forget they’ve even signed up for a program. When it comes time to add to it, or redeem it, they’ve misplaced a punch card, no longer recall an old contact number or haven’t held onto the login or receipt information.

No one wants to stop at the final step of check-out to wait, once again, for a multi-step sign-up or to verify where and how to implement rewards.  If it’s not deeply clear that they won’t have to start a process from the beginning, for what feels like a small pay-off, at that point, they’re likely to drop off.  

The fact is, many large brands still continue on this path and many more may not consider consumers ready to adopt wholly digital reward programs in social or messaging spaces. Ironically, consumers are open to and waiting for brands to enter these digital spaces. 

Many studies have shown customers want to engage and begin engagement in messaging. In one research study, half of consumers said that they would prefer to conduct all customer service interactions in messaging.

Chatbots Create Outstanding Value

In many ways, chatbots are life changing. They add value in myriad ways.

Expert functionality:

Intelligent chatbots for loyalty programs can connect to every system you choose. Easily track consumer touch points in every way, time and location they’ve interacted with your brand.

Customized Recognition and Additional Branded Campaigns:

Chatbots can easily scoop behavior data to aggregate into groups, tiers, or individual information for customer recognition on social or in-store. Like your reward program, this recognition can be an extension of the program and your branding.

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is currently launching a fuller chatbot experience for its loyalty and casino patrons. Rose is set to create a VIP experience, with notifications about free tickets or spa treatments you can book in one step, and even personalize offers based on where guests most patronize and where they can use their membership card.

Unsure how to integrate a chatbot into your existing MarTech Stack? 5 Creative Ways to Get Started with Conversational Commerce

How to Use a Chatbot Platform to Incentivize Loyalty

Chatbots for loyalty programs Las Vegas Strip overhead at night
The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas now offers even more omni experience with chatbot concierge Rose who provides offers promos and suggestions for casino and loyalty patrons

Chatbots create a new social norm and are gaining traction because they offer so many benefits for customers. 

The reality is, leveraging chatbots for loyalty programs is novel now. But in no time, this new context for delighting consumers will be an expected part of marketing; marketers and brands will be expected to know how to implement a fantastic campaign and know how to execute it well with a chatbot.

 A chatbot platform that runs on AI allows you to easily create, track and personalize chatbot conversations and experiences.

You can build a conversation to support loyalty program registration, point tracking, customized perks, seasonal offers or around a campaign. Customers can enjoy comps, tiered programs, membership access and leveled loyalty program games all within the rich media and AI architecture chatbots offer. 

For brick and mortar businesses, chatbots for loyalty rewards are a great fit for mobile notifications combined with geolocation, notification tracking, spending and even browsing.  

But you can start very simply with an omnichannel loyalty program.

Do Away with Contact Forms:

Create a simple chatbot conversation onsite or via text that quickly registers customers and walks them through rewards.

Track Rewards:

Create a campaign to educate your customers about your new rewards access options. Create an intelligent chatbot that you can deploy on many channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, onsite and mobile. Educate customers that they can access your chatbot experience from any one of these channels to request their reward information and that the results are immediate.

With a robust chatbot platform, you’ll be able to manage all conversations, make updates and track analytics all in real-time from one login point.

Differentiate Loyalty Programs to Further Delight: 

Choice reigns over loyalty. A chatbot platform allows you to segment for further satisfaction. Your tiered program can be couched within a chatbot experience that segments notifications according to tiered offers. But, remember to use notifications judiciously. No matter the channel, no one likes spam. 

Simplify Now

While businesses are continuing to simply track customers based on transactions and offer freebies and discounts based on loyalties, adding a chatbot experience will help set you apart. Consumers will enjoy the ease in simply instructing a chatbot to check reward balances, check perks or redeem and book––in one step. 

See how a conversational AI platform can work within your existing stack with nativeMsg

Published on Jun 7, 2018