While paper on-boarding forms are the norm for loyalty programs, maybe it is time to break through it. Below, we will run through a quick list of the reasons why these forms are outdated and mundane. We also include the steps to advance your program and customer experience, and how they can positively impact your business. Loyalty programs, I am sure you know, are meant to be a win-win relationship between a customer and their favorite vendors. As it may be such a situation now, refinement and innovation are the only directions in the future that will keep your program, and in turn your business, competitive. Your customers deserve the best experience possible, and so do you.

1. INCREASE DATA (QUALITY AND SECURITY)

People understand that providing data to companies is an important part of modern life. Actually, 71% of people believe that you can’t obtain products or services if they don’t.(1) That being said, 67% of people have concerns about the control they have over data quality.(2) Therefore, we can conclude that most people will share data, but still have concerns about data control and privacy. Increasing the privacy can increase the number of people who feel safe sharing information with your company. There is still almost 30% of the population that untapped because they don’t feel safe about it. Furthermore, the GDPR is going to start making more security necessary, so the customers aren’t the only reason to boost it. 

data security

Data quality is very important when it comes to a customer’s personal details. Employees could input written data incorrectly, leading to a loss of a loyal customer. Furthermore, people aren’t going to go to every location they have a loyalty card for and update their personal information every time it changes, and I don’t need a statistic to prove that. That means every time their email changes or they move residencies, you lose contact with them. However, if the customer has one central online location to update their information, those new details can be shared with any company of their choosing. This will lead to an increase in data quality, as well as keep the customer’s security concerns in mind.

 2. Receive all the benefits of a digital system

Paper can’t add numbers, nor can it send emails. Computers on the other hand, have endless possibilities to exploit. A digital loyalty program solution can track if a user abandons the sign-up processes early after entering their phone number or email. Then, it can track them down online and appear in ad banners on websites they visit and send a request to their email to complete the documentation. Computers can analyze data and tell you what you really want to know about which customers by which products and why. Like discussed earlier, the idle time of the solution can be utilized for paid advertising. It is a free standing and integration free money maker. Money that a retailer would miss out on if they didn’t install it.

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3.  GIVE LOYAL CUSTOMERS THE TOOLS THEY DESERVE

Paper forms don’t give the ‘ideal’ customer experience. 86% of shoppers said that they would pay more for a better customer experience.(3) An ideal customer experience generates an increase in profits for the business, while retaining customers and ensuring customer satisfaction. Since technology is growing at a rapid rate, customers may feel that paper forms are outdated. They aren’t wrong are they?

If a customer has to fill out a paper-form loyalty programme, this may degrade their opinions on the business and put them off from repurchasing from them. A customer’s start-to-end journey when dealing with a business should make them want to return. A digitised loyalty programme could help with this. A digital customer experience creates personal interactions between a business and a customer, which removes friction and builds trust. While it provides them with the same rewards and benefits as paper forms, the simplicity of entering in their data on a personalised touch screen terminal could completely enhance their experience.

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4. SHORTEN ON-BOARDING CYCLE

Can you see why customers may feel that paper loyalty forms are an inconvenience? As a consumer, I have certainly felt this way a few times. The endless process of filling out the form is so draining! A customers’ name, address, email address, phone number, and other personal data must be filled on the form. 70% of customers don’t sign up for a loyalty program because of the time and inconvenience required to complete the form.(4) There must be a more efficient way, right?

Furthermore, a study on technologyadvice.com showed that customers prefer digitised loyalty programmes rather than paper forms.(5) Digitised loyalty forms are more convenient for customers. They also save time, especially if their information has already been filled out online and can be reused by the customer in another retailer. Digital forms are more straightforward for the business too. They no longer have to allocate an employee to manually enter customer details onto their databases.  This reduces costs on employee wages. Up-to-date information can easily be found by the retailer whenever it is needed, on one database. This is done simply by entering an email address or phone number. How much more convenient does that sound?

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5. SAVE HUNDREDS OF TREES

A single tree can make up to 10,000 paper forms, which in all honesty does not sound like an environmental catastrophe.(6) That being said, almost every retailer has paper on-boarding for their loyalty schemes, and every company makes well over 10,000 copies of them. If you take a medium to large business, which has approximately 450 locations. Imagine if they switched to digital loyalty on-boarding forms. If each of their locations used 30 paper forms per day, in one year they would use close to 5 million forms – and that doesn’t even include the lost or the misprinted. If solely just one similar company switched to digital forms, that would save 500 trees each year!

No matter what Trump says, the climate is changing, and deforestation is an immense contributing factor. Approximately 5 billion trees trees are demolished each year, and paper loyalty forms are a segment of the contribution.  If retailers switched to digital forms, a little bit of the environment could be saved each day. In addition, they could be seen as a green company for making the change to a more environmentally-friendly solution.(7)

loyalty paper form

6. KEEP UP WITH TRENDS

E-receipts, increased online/mobile shopping, and smart beacons are just a few of the trends emerging in the modern retail industry. Another feature of innovative stores is a personalised touch-screen display, according to Forbes.(8) These displays are inviting and engaging to use. They allow the customer to have a more personal and self-guided experience while in the store, leading to increased sales. One possible use of this technology is for loyalty program on-boarding. From there it could be used as adspace in idle time; the possibilities are endless. Retailers who don’t embrace and adopt in the new technology trends are going to lose generation z, millennials, and maybe even generation x eventually.  In order to remain competitive, companies need to scrap the paper loyalty forms and invest in a personalized touch-screen on-boarding experience.

While paper forms may get the job done, the job is incomplete and outdated. The implementation of a new, innovative, and easy-to-use digital loyalty on-boarding solution will create a more secure, green, and better customer experience. Learn about how to achieve this at Intouch.com. Drop your details on our website and we will contact you, or download our free white paper for more insights into our tailored solution for you.