Loyalty cards have become part and parcel of everyday life and are an increasingly important tool for businesses looking to reward customers who remain loyal to their brand. However, for the system to run smoothly, there is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes from the moment the customer completes the application form to when they use their reward points and the savings they bring.
After careful planning, Waterstone’s launched their own loyalty card, The Waterstone’s Card, in September 2007 giving their customers the chance to earn points every time they purchased books in their stores or online. The scheme also gave the cardholders the opportunity to take advantage of unique special offers, receive email newsletters and enter exclusive competitions.
To process all of the application forms being returned from their stores, Waterstone’s needed a partner able to manage this key part of the operation. The company would need the resources in place to receive and scan the incoming loyalty card forms before securely sending on the details. They consulted Careline Services, one of their trusted suppliers, who in turn was able to recommend ADEC Preview as the ideal partner to fulfil this role and a company they already enjoyed a successful working relationship with. Having some of the most comprehensive systems in the UK, ADEC Preview was well able to handle the requirements.
The national loyalty scheme is across 330 Waterstone’s stores in the UK and Europe, and on Waterstones.com. Customers were asked to fill out an application form, and these forms were then batched up at the end of each day and sent via Royal Mail directly to ADEC Preview from each individual store. Sending the forms straight to ADEC Preview meant that the process was significantly speeded up and allowed the customers’ details to be registered on the database as quickly as possible.
Upon arrival, the forms were verified and prepared for scanning. Once scanned, these images were forwarded to the CRM database where key information from the forms including name and address and email address were recorded. This all ensured that when their card was used in store, the points were added correctly, Waterstone’s knew which customer was shopping and could therefore track their behaviour, segmenting them into specific customer groups ensuring any communication to them was relevant.
The Waterstone’s Card has proven to be an overwhelming success and, as of the middle of August 2008 1,701,446 card forms have been scanned and the pace shows no sign of slowing which is good news for Waterstone’s and great news for the thousands of new cardholders joining the programme every week.