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Loyalty Live: A Q&A with Xoxoday on Customer Experiences that Build Brand Love

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In today’s commercial landscape, fostering customer loyalty requires more than discounts and rewards. Brands must also deliver personalized experiences to engage and delight customers along their journey. Xoxoday empowers brands to meet this challenge with software solutions that promote loyalty by enhancing the customer experience.

Loyalty360 spoke with Xoxoday Co-Founder Manoj Agarwal about how experiences affect customer loyalty, the importance of personalization, and creating customer-centric loyalty experiences.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your current role with Xoxoday, and your background?
I began my career as a programmer and software engineer at tech companies, where I developed an entrepreneurial mindset. Those experiences helped inspire me to co-found Xoxoday in 2012. I manage the entire product suite, from marketing to backend operations.

Can you share a “fun fact” about yourself?
I’ve practiced yoga daily for 15 years. I also play tennis and badminton.

For those who may not be familiar, can you give us a brief overview of Xoxoday — what you do, how you do it, and the industries Xoxoday works with?  
Xoxoday offers a suite of software as a service (SaaS) products to fully manage customer loyalty programs, including reward fulfillment, marketing, and analytics. We currently work with 3,000 clients around the world. Most of our clients are in the United States, and we have a number in the United Arab Emirates and India. We provide the technology that powers their programs, and we also operate a global reward marketplace for our clients.

What does customer loyalty mean to you and your clients?
Loyalty means love for the brand, and brand love is the sum of experiences on the customer journey.  Customer loyalty is directly proportional to the customer's experience. Brands that create great experiences can expect loyalty in return. Xoxoday adds value for our clients by providing the tools and data to enhance the customer experience at scale.

What strategies have helped your clients build successful loyalty programs?  
Our work with clients confirms that personalizing the customer's experience is critical to program success. We build personalization capabilities into every product we offer and continuously refine them based on customer data and program performance.

Brands may have different cohorts of customers but still recognize the need for highly targeted loyalty campaigns. We help brands personalize their reward catalogs according to what we know about the customer. Members value targeted rewards more than generalized offers. The more personalized the rewards are, the more likely they are to foster brand love.
 
Our research shows an increase in brands relaunching loyalty programs with enhanced features and functionality. What do your clients seek to achieve with program redesign?
Most legacy loyalty software does not provide the seamless experience consumers expect today. The user interfaces tend to be complex and confined to a single channel. Brands now want to offer an omnichannel loyalty experience that flows through every touchpoint in the customer journey, from web to mobile to the store. Brands are switching to new technology platforms that can provide this experience.

Another driver of change is the growing interest in gamification. Our clients seek to engage customers across the demographic spectrum. Brands view gamification as a promising way to engage diverse audiences and are incorporating gaming elements into their programs.  

Many of our members report a “sea of sameness” in the loyalty industry. Do you think programs are too similar, and how can brands address that?  
The rapid commoditization of technology and products has resulted in similar program features and benefits. The solution to sameness is personalization. When a brand personalizes a program, the experience is unique for every customer. We also recommend brands offer as wide a choice of rewards possible. Members value selecting their own rewards, and providing an attractive variety helps programs stand out.

Finally, brands must have the ability to make changes without delay. The program manager should be able to access the dashboard, review some data points, and make the necessary adjustments.
 

 

What new trend, technology, or idea should brands embrace to optimize their loyalty programs?  
Artificial intelligence (AI) will be the major driver of innovation in the loyalty industry over the next few years. We currently build AI capabilities into our products to automate product recommendations, upsell offers, and event notifications. We are integrating AI into our core loyalty program platform and plan to offer customized AI models to our clients.   

What one piece of advice would you give brands to foster customer loyalty?
Provide a truly authentic, customer-centric loyalty experience. Step into the customer’s shoes and create a loyalty program you would want to join.

How can Loyalty360 help brands progress on their customer loyalty journeys?
Loyalty360 does a remarkable job of amplifying successes in the loyalty industry. We learn about the strategies and best practices that help other members develop great loyalty programs. I would like to hear more about the mistakes in our industry, lessons learned the hard way, and what we should avoid. We can learn just as much from failure as success.   

Many brands lack experience running a customer loyalty program, and they need the expertise of seasoned loyalty professionals.
 
 
Quick-fire Questions:  
What is your favorite word? 
Om.

What is your least favorite word? 
ASAP.

What excites you? 
Family and friends.

What do you find tiresome? 
Low quality.

What’s your favorite type of loyalty reward? 
Experiences.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 
Using technology for social good.

What profession would you avoid? 
Anything involving additive products.

Who inspired you to become the person you are today? 
My parents and schoolteachers.

What do you typically think about at the end of the day? 
Whether I hurt anyone.

How do you want to be remembered by your friends and family? 
Dependable.
 



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