Digital Transformation and Loyalty.

Nov 24, 2021

With today’s desire to create customer-obsessed, hyper-personalized experiences, it’s getting harder to deliver value to our best consumers. The challenge is in aligning customer needs to business objectives, which requires prioritizing a digital transformation from within and investing in technology. The path to digital transformation is not an easy journey. The good news is that loyalty is a key lever in executing a powerful digital transformation.

Customer-Required Change:

Customer behavior has changed. The shopper journey begins on mobile and seamless digital experiences are now expected. Starting your transformation with an omni-channel, customer-centric view is imperative. What customer challenges do you want to address? Retention in a channel of choice should be top of mind.

Business Objectives Alignment and Getting it Done:

Change is hard. Enabling digital transformation within an organization is harder.

Worldwide spending on digital transformation-related technologies and services is expected to approach a whopping $2.3 trillion by 2023.1 A majority of companies (56 percent) indicate their digital transformation is currently underway (Forrester CX Report). Still, research shows that 70 percent of digital transformations fail to reach their goals.2

If investment is increasing but success rates are still low, how can your company ensure it is set up for success? In order to avoid failure, your brand needs a connection between company leadership and management, a clear strategy and a plan to leverage existing technologies wisely.3 If your team is responsible for the transformation, start by aligning customer needs to your business objectives. Then, ensure your leader believes in the bigger vision. Surround yourself with the best people you can find and set up a core team with a good project manager and a solutions architect. Your work might begin by moving your systems to the cloud or elevating data analytics to improve risk assessments and sales.

Let’s imagine you’ve matched your customer needs with your corporate objectives, your agile IT environment is evolving, your company has an omni-channel view of the customer and is ready to tackle personalization, speed and convenience. Now what?

 Why Loyalty Enables Execution:

If customers are driving the need for digital transformation, then understanding their customer journey, needs and goals is imperative. This is where membership matters.

Loyalty data is the main source of truth. For this reason, loyalty can be transformational for a business because it forces a single view of the member across all channels. Innovasport, a leading retailer in Mexico, is two years into a company-wide digital transformation. Launching a membership program will be the first major customer-facing initiative that delivers on the promise of personalization and engagement-based rewards. A Kobie client in the travel industry is in the process of implementing an omni-channel solution and is choosing loyalty technology to be the first implementation after that project is complete. It’s clear that loyalty programs are leading the way to exemplify the transformation to members first.

Customer experiences also matter. Mapping the customer journey is critical to understanding the online and offline behaviors as well as emotional motivators (via Kobie’s Emotional Loyalty Scoring (ELS®) tool). Successful transformation will overlay customer journey insights with the technology tools able to deliver them at key moments.

Loyalty can fuel transformation in the following ways:

  • Increasing collection of first-party data: Offering small incentives for surveys and feedback will empower your members to exchange information for community, giving you easier access to a wide range of data. Additional data enriches your personalization opportunities and ability to deliver 1:1 messaging.
  • Showing your best customers they matter: If the top 20 percent of your customers generate 80 percent of your sales, delivering high perceived value to those members is imperative. Your members will be the first to benefit from omni-channel personalization because you already know the most about them.
  • Elevating your customer service: Addressing negative experiences immediately to mitigate the loss of a customer is crucial. Leveraging chatbots, call centers and AI automation to find faster resolutions across channels or escalate to live agents can give you an efficient and effective strategy for retaining these consumers.
  • Rewarding for interactions and values: With an omni-channel view of your customer, you can reward them at more moments that matter. Your program can also reward for non-purchase interactions that align with your brand’s values, such as sustainability.
  • Next-generation retention: Deploying smart retention tactics is necessary to impact the bottom line. Digital transformation enables real-time deployment in a channel of choice with empathy and recognition. For example, these tactics could be targeted surprise and delight rewards or personalized reactivation offers.

As your company continues its transformation efforts, put the customer first and think about how their needs align with your business objectives. Transformation itself is a long and necessary journey, but loyalty will play a key role in proving its success.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to transform your business, email us at