So you’re getting ready to launch your loyalty program? Congratulations! After carefully going through the steps for designing and building your loyalty program, getting to launch is an exciting milestone. After this point your focus will be on program performance and fine-tuning the workings so your program is optimized to the best it can be.
Before big day comes around however, make sure you’ve covered these key points below to ensure to your launch goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Make Sure Customer Support Is Ready
As with every new brand initiative, customers are going to have questions. This is why it is important that your current customer service teams are updated on important topic areas such as: how to enroll in the program; how to redeem or access rewards; what to do if there's an issue with receiving points or redeeming rewards; and other similar areas of interest.
One best practice to follow is to develop loyalty program FAQs for your customers and give your teams access to the same how-to documentation. Keeping customer service teams in the loop as you develop FAQs will in turn help them get more familiar with how the program works in the time leading up to launch. Another good idea it to double-check that your customer service channels are easy for customers to find and access. That way if loyalty program members do have questions or concerns, they can find a solution with minimal frustration.
2. Review All Enrollment Guidelines For Accuracy
A simple and easy enrollment process is key for signing up new customers into your loyalty program. The last thing you want is any miscommunication regarding how or when your customers can enroll in your new program.
When you're reviewing all marketing and promotional materials before launch, double-check they contain the same enrollment instructions. If a customer receives a promotional email saying that only their email address is required to sign-up, but a printed in-store flyer says an email and a phone number are both required, then you need to confirm which is correct. These types of discrepancies will cause confusion among your customers and staff, and potentially deter some customers from choosing to enroll in your loyalty program.
3. Test That Your Platform Is Integrating Properly With Your Systems
Loyalty platforms can capture a whopping amount of customer data. From the product data on validated receipts to personal preferences to preferred rewards, there’s a bounty of information customers can willingly give in exchange for receiving benefits and rewards from your loyalty program. When you combine loyalty program data with data collected by other sections of your brand (such as customer service and marketing) you can gain even more detailed insights into your customers. This in turn helps your brand develop better, more customized promotions and offers.
You won’t be able to get this holistic view of your customers when your loyalty program is not integrated correctly with your other tools and technology. If your data flow isn’t syncing you can quickly run into reporting issues, which can affect your understanding of program performance. At the very minimum you’ll be forced to manually combine and analyze the data, which is time-consuming and inefficient.
4. Distribute Notices And Important Information To Internal Teams
When we say " distribute important information to internal teams", we don't just mean "update your boss". We mean provide notice to all internal teams - branding, finance, distribution, etc. From the top of the company all the way down to the in-store associates, you should take the time to tell them about the program information and features. Your employees are some of your best brand advocates, which means they can also be some of your best loyalty program advocates.
Help your coworkers out by giving them all the details they need on your program ahead of launch. Doing so in advance will better prepare them to promote your program successfully while also ensuring they're not left out of the loop or taken by surprise when launch day finally arrives.
As we said before, launching a loyalty program is an exciting time and a major feat. Even if you end up having to deal with some snafus the day of (as most major project launches do), following these checklist items will help your launch process be as efficient as possible while also putting you in a better position to handle whatever challenges come your way.