#558: Insights on Emotional Loyalty with Comarch's Jessica Lavigne

This episode is available in audio format on our Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast, and in video format on www.Loyalty.TV.

The idea of “emotional loyalty” has been raised many times on our show, but never before in such breadth and depth as in today’s conversation.

It’s a really big idea and one that brand marketers and loyalty marketers know is critically important but often struggle to achieve.

My guest today is hugely passionate about the topic and she wrote an article about it (in French) for herself and her clients back in 2023.

It was SO well received, that it was firstly translated in to English, then it became an ebook featuring some incredible statistics and insights and now, we’re here to share it on Loyalty TV.

Jessica Lavigne is a CRM and Customer Loyalty Professional for Comarch, based in France, so I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation, all about the importance and some suggested ideas to create true “emotional loyalty” for your brand.

Show notes:

1) Jessica Lavigne

2) Comarch

3) Gallup Research: Become your customers’ most trusted partner

4) Emoloyalty ebook

5) Beyond Transactions: Emotional Loyalty and Sustainable Brand Relationships

6) LTL: #323: Ikea Family – Beloved Retailer Shares Its Latest Loyalty Innovations

7) Watch the full interview episode at www.Loyalty.TV

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. 

Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. The idea of emotional loyalty has been raised many times on our show. But never before in such breadth and depth as in today’s conversation. It’s a really big idea and one that both brand marketers and loyalty marketers know is critically important, but they often struggle to achieve it. My guest today is hugely passionate about the topic and she wrote an article about it in French for herself and her clients back in 2023.

It was so well received that it was firstly translated into English. Then it became an ebook featuring some incredible statistics and insights. And now we’re here to share it on Loyalty TV. Jessica Lavigne is CRM and Customer Loyalty Professional for Comarch based in France. So I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation all about the importance and some suggested ideas to create true emotional loyalty for your brand.

So Jessica Lavigne, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and to Loyalty TV. 

Jessica: Well, thank you. I’m really excited to be here and to be able to share some and discuss some insight with you. 

Paula: I know there’s an awful lot of insights coming through today, Jessica. And first of all, I want to thank you. I know English is not your first language and I don’t speak very good French. So really want to thank you for having this conversation in a way that I can understand and share with our audience. 

Jessica: Yes, we’ll do it in English with a perfect French accent, it will be fine. 

Paula: Sounds beautiful, Jessica. Great stuff. Well, listen, I really, really love the work you’ve been doing over the last couple of years since you joined the Comarch team. I know this is a topic very close to your heart, so we have an awful lot of topics to talk about in terms of insights and actionable behaviors that we can talk about for our audience in terms of driving emotional loyalty. So it is a favorite topic and I always think people just don’t know how to do emotional loyalty well. So I’m looking forward to your insights. 

But before we get into that big topic for today, Jessica, as you know, we always love to start our show with one question, which really gives us an insight in terms of what you admire either as an individual or or as a loyalty program professional. So let’s get started with that one.

Please tell our audience, what is your current favorite loyalty program? 

Jessica: Yes. It was quite difficult for me to choose. Actually, I would have loved to pick some functionality from this program and from this program and make them together. But so I finally choose one. I try not to take one of my client because it will be cheating, of course.

The Decathlon loyalty program. So the sport retailers, the French loyalty program for, for various, various reasons. And the first one is that because in 2018, actually Decathlon decided to stop the loyalty program in France. Yes, it was quite a basic loyalty program, a standard with some couponing and some discounts, but it wasn’t, well, it wasn’t really a great loyalty program, they said, and they decided to stop it to offer more discount to all the consumers and not only through the loyalty program.

So this is already interesting because most of our clients, they have a loyalty programs. They don’t really know why at the end anymore because the loyalty program is running since 10, 15, 20 years. And so Decathlon decided to stop it. And what is even more interesting is that in 2021, they relaunched it again. So this is even more interesting for me as a loyalty consultant because I stopped it. They tried for three years without any loyalty program and they decided to relaunch it. So here is also a proof that loyalty programs are actually a nice, add that nice option, a nice, how to say it and you’re messed up actually to any, to any company.

Paula: Yes. 

Jessica: Yeah, so this was the first reason. And the second one is that the loyalty program they relaunched is very also, emotionally based and not only transactional loyalty, but also emotional loyalty. And they added a lot of different of different functionalities such as the fact you can you can earn point by doing sport with their different apps that you can also earn point by doing some actions and they also added a nice reward catalog, actually, they added charity donation.

So it was one of the first big brand in France to add charity donation to the loyalty program at the time. So it was highly interesting. You also have the opportunity to spend your points, to have some experiences, to, to go on holidays with Decathlon. Well, it’s really, it’s really nice and rich loyalty program at the end.

Paula: What a brilliant example, Jessica. My goodness. I really love that. And I know we have an awful lot of people listening around the world actually who might not even know the Decathlon brand. I personally do just again, coming from Europe. It’s just so famous in terms of, I think, first of all, getting the basics, right. It’s obviously a sports retailer and incredible value. Actually, we have it here as well in Dubai as well. But I didn’t know the story of their loyalty journey. 

So first of all, I’m glad that they stopped it in 2018. If it wasn’t working, I think there’s so much you know, I suppose weak loyalty propositions that I feel are just again, like a waste of money. Like if it’s not driving the business, if it’s not creating some sort of incremental spend that you can measure and prove, then why would you continue investing? So, particularly as you said, if it was overly reliant on coupons and discounts, then really it probably wasn’t a loyalty program, although they probably thought it was when they created it.

So, absolutely amazing they’ve come back with all of these things and particularly the non transactional piece. That’s one that I find is. Still not done enough, dare I say it. And I know there’s probably reasons for that, but you know, it, it seems that they’ve identified, I suppose, more of the insights in terms of what matters to their customers and then try to match that with their loyalty currency.

Jessica: Yeah, I totally agree. We, there are a lot of brands today that have like really standard loyalty program and it works actually. We did a survey in France called with the famous research company, and we realized that the transactional part of the loyalty program is highly important and you need to have it and Decathlon still have it. You are earning points because you are buying product at the store. So this this should be the base actually of any loyalty program. So actually Decathlon could have continued only with this transactional part, but they really It’s really important to add this non transactional part, this emotional one.

It’s the emotional loyalty to, well, to, to have a nice knowledge program today. It’s a must have. And I think most of the brands today that are going there slowly, but surely, we are going there. And Decathlon, of course, is a nice example. 

Paula: It totally is. Absolutely. Yeah. And I, I really think you know, we’re going to talk about this ebook now that is really impressive actually. I think 28 pages in total talking about emotional loyalty, all inspired by an article that you wrote about a year or so ago, which we’re definitely going to explore. One of the things I liked in that ebook was that very simple thing that you just talked about. You know, loyalty programs used to be a competitive advantage, but now they’re an industry standard.

So you really do have to have those basics in place before you can then go, now, how can we build emotional loyalty? But there is a baseline that has to be in place, particularly in super competitive sectors, I guess, like sports retail. 

Jessica: Yeah, definitely. And as I said, you need to have this loyalty program because people are asking about loyalty programs. And once again, the study we conducted in France, we realized that more than 90 percent of the French customers actually are enrolling to loyalty program and they love loyalty program and they’re not afraid to, to enroll to different type of loyalty program, even competitive brands. So it’s, it’s highly important to have a loyalty program.

Of course, just to know your customer, to get to know them, to have data, because data is gold today, so this is one part, but one big subject on its own, but you need to have this competitive advantage, you need to have this transactional loyalty program that, because actually in the mind of, of customers, loyalty programs are made to get discounts.

So for more than 76 percent of the French customers, you are enrolling into a loyalty program to have discounts. So you need to have this transactional base to, to reach actually your customer and satisfy this image they have of the loyalty program, but it’s not all actually. 

Paula: Totally. Yeah. Well, you’re certainly preaching to the converted, Jessica, with this audience. We all love our loyalty programs and we’re here to, to learn from each other. So delighted to be able to to learn from you today. 

So give us your backstory. First of all, Jessica, before we get into our conversation about emotional loyalty as a, as a topic, how did you fall in love with this industry?

Jessica: Well, it was at first I was working in market research industry in Europe in Belgium, Brussels. I worked there for five years. And so still in marketing, still in retail with mostly FMCG brand. It was highly interesting. And I switched to, to commerce to be a loyalty consultant and still in retail. So actually retail and FMCG has always been, yeah, in my career, like in the background, always working for retail.

And switching to loyalty was yeah, highly interesting because I was switching from the figures. So the KPIs, all the KPIs that are important for brands and retailers to actually have an impact on those KPIs with the loyalty program. So it’s highly interesting. And what I mainly love is that I’m discussing with brand with retailers, and I see directly the effect being a final consumer. Also, I can have my feedback for them. I can experience what we build together, so it’s really nice, and I love it every day. 

Paula: Yes, wonderful. Yeah, it’s always the reason I did like consulting as well, Jessica, because you do get that comparison, as you said, so you can advise all of your clients, knowing what’s possible, maybe from one industry or one client without naming anything, you can tell them and inspire them with new ideas based on your industry knowledge.

So, so wonderful to hear that you’ve got first of all, the analytical background, which I don’t have a brain like that at all. So I always really admire people who do have that level of understanding and then moving more into the consulting side and designing programs, particularly with this emotional loyalty at its core must be very rewarding for all of you.

So tell us, first of all, now about the article you wrote. I briefly referred to it, but I know you sat down one night at home and you felt that something was missing in a lot of programs and and you started to write about it. And that seems to have really resonated with an awful lot of people, not only in France and hopefully with all of our audience. So tell us what moved you so much that you felt had to be written about. 

Jessica: Well, it’s yeah, from my work experience, I’m seeing a lot of brands, a lot of, a lot of marketers that want to do a lot of change, but are sometimes stopped, stopped by the technical aspect. If they cannot do anything, they want technical aspect or financial aspect anyway.

Sometimes you have great ideas, but it’s difficult to actually put them in place. So I thought, okay, what if we don’t have any barriers? What if everything was possible? And most of all, what would I like to see me as a client? Because I always have the feeling sometime have the feeling that people are thinking more. Okay, what are the competitors doing? What is my competition doing? What should I do? What are the industry called the industry standard? We’re going to do this. Maybe a bit of this of this, but not thinking okay, what I would like to see as a final customer. How I would like brands to react with me? 

And so I started from here. So I was really harsh. Maybe, but I was entirely honest of, okay, what I would like to see at the client and working from there, working from my experience, because I’m a, I’m a great customer actually, and working what I like, what I did not like, and working on this to have, yes, the best emotional experience possible from my point of view.

Paula: Well, we always say, particularly when it comes to you know, you as a, as a loyalty consultant and you know, when we have so much social media now, one of the great things is anyone who has a strong opinion is someone people want to hear from because it’s guaranteed to be provocative. And I think you’re absolutely right to come at us with a consumer hat on, like from your own personal experience.

So given that you sat down and wrote all of these ideas out, give us some insight in terms of what do you feel is currently missing as we talk about emotional loyalty. And I would just say from my perspective, you know, I always feel like on this show, we talk about it a lot, but we very rarely have either good examples of how it’s done or even a how to of where to start. So give us any of your suggestions in terms of what could it look like if, you know, a brand is really connecting emotionally with that, that member of the IRS and putting it at the center of their activities. 

Jessica: Well, I think first of all and once again, I’m talking about my personal experience and my personal feelings. I think that if you want to build emotion, if you want your customers to have feelings, to have memories, to build memories, you should absolutely not try to sell them anything. From my point of view, the moment brands start to sell me something, or even if I’m having an experience with a brand and all of a sudden they want to sell me something, even if it’s like slightly details, but I feel okay. It’s brand products just behind here and they want me to buy it. Well, it kills absolutely any emotion right away. So I think first of all, brands should remind that emotion and selling don’t go together, actually. You should first try to focus on the motion of on experience on having. Yeah, building memories for your customers and selling will come after.

Okay, it’s two separate things. So this will be my first my first advice. Build relationship with your customer memories filling without trying to tell them anything. It will come after. 

Paula: Yep. And I did like one of the quotes I saw that you guys talked about the idea of moving from like an acquaintance to a friend. And I think that’s a very big mind shift that a brand can think about actually, because again, we all have short term pressure, particularly sales pressure. So we all know why we are sending out our coupons and our discounts. But I think when we put ourselves with this intention of building that relationship longer term, I actually think the members feel it and I don’t know how they feel it, but we all do. There’s no question in my mind that that intention comes through in the activities. 

Jessica: Yeah, totally. I think you should, yeah, building a friendly relationship or even a couple relationship sometime. I think we are even closer to that. Because yes, small tips. When we are in a relationship, we always say you have to make the other talk. You have to be interested about themselves to really build a relationship. And today, brands don’t do this anymore. We say that for a couple to last, you need to have surprises. Well, I’m not really surprised by any brand. So I think all those small advices we are giving to relationship, we should actually apply them to brand customers and it will be great. Great. 

Honestly, I would love to see a brand sending me surprises for my birthday. Putting some thumple in my in my order without, not asking me what sample I want. Yeah, I think this is, this is really missing. And it’s sometimes just small emotion can, can do a lot at the end and can build a lot.

Paula: Yeah. And I think that’s a really important point, Jessica. I don’t think anyone listening to this show, or even you or me, we’re not talking about building emotional loyalty just for the sake of it. I do think the commercial value is quite proven. 

And I wanted to actually share with our audience, one of the quotes in the actual ebook that we’re going to, of course, link in the show notes for anyone who is interested in this topic. But there was a really nice quotation from Gallup. I think we all know that the research brand and it just says that fully engaged customers represent a 23 percent premium in share of wallet profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to the average customer. So that’s a very powerful statistic in terms of what’s commercially possible.

If we do invest in the relationship, rather than, as you said, just kind of treating it as let’s try and sell somebody something today. 

Jessica: Yeah, I think it’s a longterm investment and we are not really into this today. Of course, most of the company, one direct investment and direct ROI. But I think sometime you can have a direct investment strategy, but also have a long term one. And with emotion, of course, we are, we are talking about long term. 

And this is also interesting because so about the survey we conducted in France, we asked a French customer, what does it mean for you to be loyal to a brand? This is a big question.

And maybe because I’m a loyalty consultant, I thought, okay, it means you are involved emotionally with the brand that you always choose this brand. And actually, no, the first answer, but by far was being loyal to brand mean being in a long term relationship with the brand. And today, actually, really a few. I don’t have any example of any brand or loyalty program rewarding the client because they are client for years. It’s only on the moment. And I think this is, this is clearly missing here today. And talking about share of wallet, it makes me think about, about something else and my past in market research.

Paula: Yeah. 

Jessica: We always said we are, one of the main KPI we were using was the share of wallets. Okay. So the, on your total budget, I don’t know, sport budget, for example, if I take again the sport example on all my personal expenses on sports, how many percentage am I spending at Lake Atlanta, for example, and this is a share of wallets, this is my share of wallets.

Unfortunately, when we are talking about loyalty, brands don’t have this KPI. It’s impossible to have, except if you ask your client, how many are you spending at my store? How many are you spending at other stores? And this is super interesting because actually today loyalty program and direct investment, when you are looking for direct investment, you are rewarding actually your biggest client with the biggest value, but not necessarily those with the biggest share of wallet at your stores.

And this is also, as a consequence is liking of personalization. I can spend 100 percent of my budget at Decathlon, but being actually a small customer, because I don’t like sport, for example, and so I would feel loyal to Decathlon, but I wouldn’t be rewarded as a big client. And this, I think is, so is, is, is quite lacking. It’s quite impossible actually to measure and to put in a loyalty program, but it will be interesting, I think, to explore this part also. 

Paula: Yeah. I love that you went and did all of that research as well, Jessica. And of course, we’ll make sure it’s available in our show notes and with the copy that it is in French.

So our ebook on Emotional loyalty is in English. And of course, your article is available in English and French. But wonderful to know that French consumers particularly are willing to have those relationships that they actually feel like they do want to invest. I think sometimes there’s a bit of cynicism in some companies in terms of wondering whether those people, their, their actual customers want to have the relationship in return.

But certainly I think, you know, whether it’s coming from the other side of the pandemic, for example, you know, there was this, you know, I suppose so much isolation. I feel like we do now want to connect more, of course, with each other. And I know we’re going to talk about things like community, for example.

But for me, that’s a really important insight as well, is that the people themselves feel like they want to connect with the brand and engage with them. And hopefully again, share more of their wallet with the particular ones that take care of them. 

Jessica: Yeah, definitely. And also in this study, we realized that if the loyalty program is is great for the client is great for the customer. If they love the loyalty program, they’re more willing to talk about it to go in store for the brand, to buy the product to, to, to actually to, to involve with the brand. So actually it’s, I think it’s a win win concept. Long term value, of course, but I think at the end, everybody’s winning the brand, but also the customer, because who doesn’t want to have a great relationship with the brand they love?

Paula: Totally. Yeah. And it comes back to the point that we made at the beginning, actually about, yes, we re reward our transactions and that’s important, but non transactional behavior and advocacy, of course, is one, I think, again, a lot of people listening to this show really, would love to do more of that type of activity.

Whether it’s recognizing the people who are talking publicly on social media, or even in store, if there was a way to to reward them for, you know, again, being so loyal and in terms of their share of wallet. I think that’s something that we could definitely do a lot more of. I think there’s some ways, and I’m sure there’s plenty more people listening who have more expertise than me on that, but I think some of the payment cards, for example, are starting to make that data available.

So, you know, people can go and understand as a brand, what share am I getting of the wallet versus what share are going to maybe competitors. So there’s probably a lot of opportunity in that space. And again, you or I certainly, if we’re running programs, I think share of wallet is probably the most important KPI. Dare I say it, because then you’re getting everything that’s available rather than just, as you said, maybe a small percentage of a big budget. So, so different ways of looking at things. 

Jessica: Yes. And I think also one interesting thing is that most of the time my clients say, okay, we have transactional loyalty and we have investment on this and we have direct, direct return, direct ROI, but for emotional loyalty and non transactional loyalty, well, it’s difficult and it could have a big impact on our ROI actually.

But you have some tricks that are possible to avoid this emotional part of your loyalty program to have an impact on your ROI. You tell a lot of possibilities, gamification is part of it, to reward your customer differently than just with coupons and, and direct discount. 

Paula: Brilliant. So I did want to ask you exactly that. So when we, you know, agree so clearly that emotional loyalty is the next opportunity for differentiation, if I use that terminology, what do you think are some of the tools you’ve mentioned just there, gamification, but what are the big ideas that you’re talking with your clients about or hearing from them that they think could drive that differentiation for their programs? 

Jessica: Well, emotional loyalty is not, it’s not you actually, we, we are talking about it since years, but it’s always renewing itself thanks to the technology, et cetera. 

But one really nice concept that is emerging since I would say a year, maybe a year or so is the community concept. And I love this one. Really, I love it. And I think it has a great future. And actually, we all know community its existence at the beginning of the internet with the forum and helping question asking question, having people answering questions, but we are seeing a new, new concept of community now in France, I suppose, also in other country and that are quite renewing the experience and the concept.

So we have actually, those help communities that you can find online. Some of them can be managed by the brand. You also have the big passion and sharing community, like the Sephora Community Insider. If you’re a beauty insider, you have the legal, well, you have a lot of Strava. Of course, if you’re a fan of sport, you have all those community where people are exchanging their passion and their achievement. And this is quite interesting. 

And what is interesting also is that for some of those communities, like Sephora, they are starting to give rewards. So we are getting closer and closer to loyalty program here and actually community and loyalty program have the same goal at the end. It’s to create brand engagement. So I think it’s also natural to see both of them slowly reaching each other.

And in France last year we saw two really nice innovations. The first one was from I don’t know if you know Carrefour or FMCG retailer. And they gave the opportunity for people to exchange, but in an inner circle. Okay. We are not talking about country or world level, but really the people that are close to me. So we are getting closer to my family and my inner circle.

And so Carrefour gave the opportunity to its members to exchange points between them to buy products for the sport club. So, you know, in August there was this big campaign, a game point, not only for yourself, but for your sport club to have sport equipments. 

We also had another initiative from a cloth brand, and the idea here was to exchange points, but between friends and family. So it was Gemo to exchange points to give points to my friend, for example, for her birthday or because she needs points, et cetera, et cetera. So we are seeing those initiatives coming up and it’s, it’s new, and it’s working. 

And we also have personally at Comarch one client that we are working a lot with on community and they will launch this innovation in for the back to school summer. I’m really looking forward to be able to talk about it and it will also be really innovative and yeah, I’m looking forward to to see the results of this loyalty program and this community concept. 

Paula: A hundred percent, Jessica. For me, the community piece is the next big thing. Like, so when we talk about waves and as you’ve said correctly, we’ve been talking about emotional loyalty for a very long time, as I’ve said, so many people are like, yes, I agree in principle, intellectually, but how? So I think that is a brilliant example of how. 

And again, just from, I think we’re over what, 540 episodes now of the podcast, we still have very few examples, even of this community concept. There are a couple, and I will make sure to link to those again at the show notes. So we definitely had IKEA. So the IKEA Family Program, now that episode is a couple of years old, we’ll definitely link to it, but we have an upcoming episode with that, with Lego, which have also adopted a community strategy.

And of course, as soon as you guys launch your program, Jessica, with your client, which I know is still top secret of course due just to the timing today, but we’d love to have them on the show to give us the real life launched example of what does community look like with all of the consulting expertise of yourself and your colleagues at Comarch to see what they bring to life. Like, can you even say what sector it’s in, just to give us a sense? Is it a retail brand or what kind of client is it that you’re working on? 

Jessica: Well, I’m mainly working with retail. 

Paula: Okay. So we’ll guess it’s a retailer. 

Jessica: So it’s a secret but it’s a retail.

Paula: Okay. Okay, perfect. The other piece I just wanted to pick up on as well, Jessica, and it was again in the ebook. I do want to encourage everybody to download it. It’s about 28 pages. One of our former guests actually was in there among many other interviews you guys did on this topic. Again, building on your own article from last year, but Ben Lipsey was in it, from Air France. And I always like his perspective. And I think again, our audience would appreciate it because he said he feels it’s even more important in Europe that community piece seems to be coming through more strongly. And again, he’s based in France himself. And of course there, you know, they have both airlines, KLM as well, but it was really interesting.

He feels that in the US market, for example, there’s more of a sense of commoditization. Maybe just because of the scale of the country. But again, we know Sephora has done an incredible job with their program, harnessing that Insider program to create those feelings that we’re talking about. So yeah, I thought that was really interesting that geographically, I think Europe might be ahead of the US in this particular example.

Jessica: Yes, for once we are ahead. No, but I think it’s interesting because we have, we are working worldwide. So we have consultants in the entire world. And it’s nice to see that for some trends, it’s US, our heads, like the NFT or the all the, the crypto money. Well, it wasn’t really a thing in Europe. So clients were not asking about it. They were not pushing us for doing innovation and putting it in the loyalty program, but it was the case in the US. So, yeah, now communities more ahead in Europe. So it’s it’s really interesting for me to have this one project. We are thinning and to have it with all the different initiative worldwide. It’s really nice. Honestly, it’s done yeah. 

Paula: It totally is, and it would be remiss if we didn’t touch upon sustainability as well, Jessica, because I know that is, again, particularly relevant for certain demographics. We just had an episode last week talking about Gen Z, and of course, it always comes through with that particular profile. So are you hearing clients, I suppose, thinking about sustainability as part of their loyalty propositions and incorporating it together? 

Jessica: Yes, more and more. It’s definitely a must have. So we have the sorority donation. We have a lot of different functional, that functionality that can be implemented into the loyalty program.

And once again, on this French study we did, we realized that actually people, customers want to do the action. If you are proposing any sustainability rewards or functionalities, people want to do the action and not the brand doing the action. So, for example, charity donations. I love it. Of course, but it’s not them doing the action. Actually, it’s the brand making the donation. So they would rather prefer to bring back old clothes, empty products, empty bottles. I don’t know, recycling themselves, doing themselves the action and being rewarded for this. So all type of sustainability actions can be rewarded. But the one customers are doing our way, way more favorite.

Paula: That’s a really big insight there, Jessica. The fact that they actually physically want to to take, as you said, action, I don’t know any other way of saying it, but yes, it is one thing to admire, I suppose, the brand that has, whether it’s a CSO initiative or making a donation on my behalf. That’s quite passive.

But what you’re saying is it’s the active participation of, you know, for example, an airline, perhaps, you know, choosing to take less baggage. Again, I know was an example quoted, I think from Etihad in your in your ebook. So it’s really interesting that they, they need to see that they’re making the difference personally, but facilitated by the brand.

Jessica: Definitely. It’s exactly as this. Yes. They want to do the action rather than the brand doing it for themselves. 

Paula: Amazing. Amazing. And the final point then it would be again, I suppose remiss if we just didn’t touch on the personalization because we’re not going to build those emotional connections if we don’t first of all, capture the data and secondly, use it.

I think I’m hearing from certainly any consumer research I’ve seen more dissatisfaction, unfortunately, than satisfaction. And again, I think everyone listening to this show knows that they want to do more personalization and is probably still at the early stages, I think, of the journey. What’s your view on personalization? How’s it going for your clients in in Europe? 

Jessica: Well, I think personalization is a must have. And yeah, when we conducted this research, research, sorry, in France, we realized that customer was saying we don’t really like personalization anymore, and it was decreasing.

And it was really difficult for me to see those results. And I get nervous, like how I’m going to explain that customer don’t like personalization when I really personally trust in personalization and push personalization also to my clients. So we thought about it, and we realized that actually, if you are customers and personalization is not well done, you directly fill it.

Okay, and I think If you do personalization, you need to be really precise and 100 percent sure about what you do. Because if I bought, I don’t know, a coffee table and after you send me an offer for some chairs, but actually already have the chairs. So your offer doesn’t work for me. I would rather buy a sofa. I don’t know. This is like missed personalization. It doesn’t work and I don’t like it and I feel it. So that’s it. This is why I think customer, I think we don’t like personalization anymore. You need to have it really precise and well done to be efficient. But I still personally trust personalization, really. And I think it’s also has to go with a loyalty program, definitely. 

Paula: A hundred percent. Yeah. Well, I think it proves the point. Yeah, exactly. You know, if two out of 10 in that bond research study specifically said they were only two out of 10 were actually content or satisfied with the level of personalization, then of course we are, you know, in an 80% you know, I suppose, disappointing or underperformance.

So no wonder people are expressing their dissatisfaction if we’re not doing it well. And again, I don’t think it’s anyone not wanting to do it. Well, I just think it’s. taking time for people to get on board, of course, with their platforms and take advice from people like yourselves to to execute and make sure they have the underlying technology first and foremost, to capture that data and to use it for the benefit of those people.

Because again, there’s nothing worse than even capturing data and they’re not using it. So, so I think consumers are very wise and they know that their data has value. So it’s up to us as responsibility to take care of it. Of course, first and foremost, from a GDPR perspective and then use it in ways that both surprise and delight people to your earlier point about building our relationships.

Jessica: Yeah, I definitely agree. You should do personalization, but you should be 100 percent precise and rather not doing it rather than doing it a little bit. 

Paula: You have shared some wonderful words of wisdom, Jessica, as we said, lots of research in the French market, your own article a full ebook available for anyone listening to this, who wants all of the insights and expertise from lots of industry leaders specializing in emotion loyalty. I was amazed at how many people you found who had a strong perspective on this. So really made excellent reading. 

So are there any other, I suppose, words of wisdom, parting thoughts that you want to share with our audience before we wrap up? 

Jessica: Well, I would say we, often tends as professional as thinking only for our brands and sometimes forgetting we are also customers. So the best advice I could, I could give is think as one of your client, as one of your best clients and have fun. Actually, loyalty programs have to be fun. And so have fun building it and customers will, will enjoy it definitely for sure. 

Paula: Oh, I love that. Brilliant way to end up, Jessica. And just in case anybody wants to reach out and talk to you about some of their ideas, Jessica, are you comfortable with us including your LinkedIn profile in the show notes for this episode?

Jessica: Of course you have my permission. I will be happy to answer any questions. 

Paula: Incredible. Great stuff. Well, listen, we’ll leave it there for today. So Jessica Lavigne, CRM and Customer Loyalty Consultant with Comarch. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Jessica: Many thanks.

Paula: This show is sponsored by WiseMarketer Group, Publisher of The Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news, insights, and research. Wise Marketer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally  through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. 

For global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty, check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education for individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org. 

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