Software as a Service (SaaS) products allow an organization to meet vital market requirements quickly, efficiently, and with minimal investment, making them critical to the success of many businesses today. With a SaaS approach the burden of support is shifted to the solution provider, allowing your company to remain focused on its core business.
“Furthermore, under a SaaS framework, the technology will often have ongoing improvements and updates, which lightens the burden on resources and investment of the business but allows for state-of-the-art solutions,” says Andy O’Dell, co-founder and chief strategy officer for Clutch. “Today, technology is nearly obsolete upon its release and business needs to maintain any efficiency or competitive edge they can. This has been the primary driver behind the shift to SaaS-based applications verses internally developed solutions.”
Brad Bell, president of LoyaltyMatch Inc., says cloud computing has revolutionized the software industry by providing small and medium businesses access to enterprise-grade software and services.
“SaaS permits companies to leverage the software’s functionality without the burden of deploying and managing the software themselves,” Bell says. “It also eliminates the added costs and complexities of deploying additional hardware and software, or dedicating additional staff resources to support the application on an ongoing basis. The result is a much faster time to market and a better return on investment.”
Here are four tips to better use SaaS products to build customer loyalty programs:
1) Understand it’s more than technology. “The first step to loyalty program success is to understand your constituents’ value proposition and design your program accordingly, including the processes to support the initiative,” Bell says. “Wrap your technology around the design and processes, and engage and train your employees to support the new marketing.”
2) Look up. The ultimate objective of most brands is to learn about and deeply understand their consumers, so the real need is for a Consumer Management platform, O’Dell notes. “This type of advanced system collects and centralizes consumer data that’s currently spread out across an array of disparate systems including e-commerce, POS, social, mobile, email and more,” he says. “This unified data is then used for real-time segmentation and automated, rules-based marketing to drive behaviors, and recognize and reward loyalty within defined customer segments. This allows the business to create personalized, multi-layered loyalty and engagement communications to drive effective response at scale.”
3) Plan to build the customer experience and loyalty program around your value proposition. Incorporate your SaaS solution to compliment your value proposition by engaging members across all channels: mobile, social, online and in-store.
4) Let it grow. Select a solution provider with a platform that grows with you. “Many businesses make the mistake of selecting a solution that solves for the short-term,” O’Dell says. “This can cause massive problems down the road when the business is forced to integrate multiple systems together rather than selecting a single provider that can deliver a cohesive and adaptable solution.”planning, efficiency, small business, technology