One of the important sources of competitive advantages nowadays from a service provider point of view is customer loyalty. Many companies are investing in rewards and incentive programs to encourage customer loyalty. But given the ever-increasing competition, keeping customers loyal to your brand is no easy task. So how do brands build trust, drive engagement and create value for their most prized customers in today’s fast-paced world?

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help!

Today there are a multitude of objects and devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices is expected to exceed 40 billion by 2024. Considering the proven value of Internet and such promising growth trends, it only makes sense to ride the wave of opportunities that the IoT will provide.

Let’s see how it works!

Innovate using IoT insights

Creating innovative experiences that remain true to the brand is one way to engage customers. We talk about virtual reality changing the landscape of customer engagement. Let’s see how it works. Virtual reality enables customers to ‘try before they buy’ products online. Now if brands tie this into their loyalty program, what will happen? Their loyal customers will have a richer experience when shopping with the brand, which will certainly move the graph upwards.

Create a new level of personalization

Internet technology can dramatically increase the ability of firms to serve and develop intimate relationships with their customers. Using analytics, brands can create an entirely customized rewards program based on individual customer preferences, history, location and more. Automated emails related to customer actions are a great way to do that.

Gain the necessary competitive advantage

In a rapidly changing competitive environment, skillful use of technology can really help you establish a niche for yourself. Let’s use the seemingly simple mobile as an example. Your customers are connected to their phones, so if you really want to differentiate yourself, use your loyalty program to go where they go most often. An example of this is Sephora’s targeting of those who use their beauty insider app. Their beauty insider app allows for a seamless omni-channel experience where one can browse online, check store selection and pick up in store, all while collecting points.

A word of caution!

The IoT experience is the most exciting technology of this decade. The use of IoT has given businesses the NEW opportunities to interact and engage with customers, as well as introduce never before realized revenue streams. Be mindful, however, of customer privacy. Remember, with IoT we are also dealing with huge amounts of personally identifiable information. IoT is all about data and insight. We must, therefore, ensure that effective consumer privacy protections are in place to protect individuals.

Above said and done, we believe that IoT has the power to change the face of loyalty programs. Given the growing use and acceptance, the loyalty program of the future will offer more relevant, personal and rewarding brand experiences.

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