Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been all the rage on the internet for some time now, with ChatGPT - an AI-driven chatbot - making headlines for helping people pass exams or fail exams, for enhancing search engines in China and in Silicon Valley, for helping students possibly not write essays, for helping you make travel plans, write music, commit cybercrime, and more.
This is all very interesting but how does it impact those of us in the loyalty business?
In April last year we asked 150 loyalty programme owners what they thought of AI in loyalty and 50% indicated that they were considering implementing the technology into their programmes. Nineteen percent actually claimed to have already implemented it or were implementing and the remaining respondents either hadn’t decided or weren’t considering it.
When asked to rank the impact of various challenges their brand might face in the medium term, AI and predictive technologies driving programme marketing decisions came last.
We’ll be repeating our research again in 2023 and look forward to seeing how AI continues to feature in the responses.
Where does AI fit in?
So, what role will AI play in the loyalty programmes of the future and how exactly can loyalty leaders use it to improve on today’s offerings and what threats does it pose, if any?
We thought it would only be fair to ask ChatGPT (available on www.OpenAI.com) for the answers and let the tech speak for itself. Here’s what we asked, and the verbatim responses received back.
Q: What role will artificial intelligence play in the loyalty programmes of the future?
A: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to play a significant role in the future of loyalty programs. AI can be used to analyse customer data and behaviour, predict future purchasing patterns, and personalize rewards and incentives for customers. Additionally, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can be used to automate customer interactions and provide personalized support, making it easier for customers to interact with and manage their loyalty program accounts. Overall, the use of AI in loyalty programs is likely to lead to more personalized, efficient, and effective loyalty pro-grams for businesses and customers alike.”
Q: How can I use artificial intelligence to improve my loyalty programme?
A: …(Authors note: This answer took a while to generate, read into that what you will, bullet points added for clarity).
“There are several ways you can use artificial intelligence to improve your loyalty program, including:
- Personalization: Use AI to analyse customer data and create personalized rewards and offers for each customer based on their preferences and purchase history.
- Predictive modelling: Use AI to predict customer behaviour and identify opportunities to in-crease loyalty and engagement.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: Use AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to provide personalized customer service and support, and to assist customers in managing their loyalty program accounts.
- Behavioural analysis: Use AI to analyse customer behaviour, such as purchase history, website interactions, and social media activity, to identify patterns and trends that can inform loyalty program strategy.
- Recommendation systems: Use AI to recommend relevant products or services to customers based on their purchase history and preferences, which can help increase customer engagement and loyalty.
- To implement these solutions, you can use pre-trained AI models or hire experts to develop custom AI models that are tailored to your specific business and use case.”
Q. What threat does Artificial Intelligence pose to loyalty programmes?
A: “Artificial intelligence (AI) can potentially pose a threat to loyalty programs by automating certain tasks and processes that were previously done by humans. For example, AI-powered chatbots can be used to handle customer service inquiries, which could reduce the need for human customer service representatives. This could potentially lead to a reduction in the number of jobs available in customer service. Additionally, AI-powered systems may be able to analyse customer data and predict customer behaviour more accurately than humans, which could make it easier for companies to identify and target their most valuable customers, potentially reducing the value of loyalty programs for less valuable customers.”
Coming back to our own 2022 Business Loyalty Landscape research, we’ve already discovered that AI is one of the main innovations being considered by those in the loyalty industry but is also the challenge that is least worrisome for most of our respondents (check out the research to find out what is keeping them up at night). However, it also reveals that the loyalty leaders in Financial Services & Banking are the ones for whom AI & predictive technologies are the single biggest future challenge.
Adopting a nascent technology is, necessarily, uncharted territory. And ChatGPT’s replies to our questions above are a little repetitive. Whether AI is mature enough to play a major role in loyalty programmes right now is up for debate. But we will continue to watch closely as AI will definitely impact the schemes of the future, no doubt giving competitive edge to early adopters quick to experiment and exploit its potential, even before it is perfect.
Whatever you think of AI and how it may impact the future of loyalty, it’s not going away any time soon. Google have just announced it is launching a rival to ChatGPT called Bard. Is the future finally here?
To understand more about the role of predictive technologies in loyalty, contact Collinson here.
Give ChatGPT a try too here!