The last few years have seen a considerable amount of technological innovations having a direct impact on consumers’ lives. We can now use apps to order food, rides, find dates and pretty much everything in between. But those innovations mainly change how consumers access those services, and rarely the way they are built.
One of the most significant innovations of the last decade is undoubtedly the blockchain, the platform upon which crypto-currencies and smart contracts are built. The blockchain is revolutionary in the sense that it allows transactions to be made between peers, without requiring that they trust each other or a third party to play the role of arbiter.
The advantages are significant: transactions are pseudonymous, requiring very little personal information, nobody and nothing can prevent two peers on the networks to trade together, and they do not need to trust each other to do so, only agree to a contract which defines the transaction.
These advantages and the promise of a world where trade is decentralised, and freed of the constraints of both middlemen and trust have been fuelling the continuing development of blockchain related technology to improve the products and services that we all rely on daily.
Today, we want to introduce one such improvement.
Today, we want to introduce Sandblock, the service that aims at redefining the relationship between businesses and customers, by leveraging blockchain technology to make customer satisfaction and loyalty a reality, rather than an afterthought.
The whole relationship between businesses and customers is unbalanced, and it harms both sides. Businesses which provide good products or services often fail because they do not get discovered by enough customers, while bad business can coast for a long time if they game the system well.
What if it became possible to seamlessly reward customers for giving an honest account of their experience?
Loyalty programs are a mess. They are implemented differently at each company, rely on different mechanisms and in most cases offer useless rewards. The rare loyalty programs offering decent rewards are complicated enough to enable a whole industry to make money by explaining how to game them, as can be seen with the airlines miles programs. Most people cannot waste time and money learning how to benefit from a program that is supposed to reward them for their patronage of a business. And if one loyalty program is too much, talk about several!
What if loyalty programs were simple to understand, to use, and were set up to be beneficial for both businesses and customers?
Some businesses spend considerable resources to try to understand their customers better, yet the tools at their disposal to improve their customers’ satisfaction often have the opposite effect, as customers who have already paid for a service or product can understandably refuse to provide feedback for free.
Worse, the customers who give feedback often are the ones who hated the experience so much they will never come back, or loved it so much that their opinion loses nuance and sounds fake. Either way, these kinds of customers tend to conflate everything, and cannot discern what truly led them to their opinion, which makes their feedback really hard to act upon.
The customers who can most easily offer actionable feedback are those in the middle, yet they are the least likely to spend the time to give feedback, and why should they do it for free?
What if it were possible to actually collect feedback in a way that is both frictionless and respectful of customers?
The blockchain technologies are now mature enough to provide the basis for a new kind of customer experience and loyalty program. Sandblock will offer the opportunity to both customers and businesses to finally seamlessly benefit from the relationship they have built, instead of having to concentrate on trying to extract value from that relationship, at the expense of time, money and each other.
How does Sandblock work?
Sandblock is based on a decentralised protocol on the Ethereum Blockchain, the Satisfaction Protocol, to ensure that all participants can benefit and prevent any one actor to concentrate too much power and thus bend the system to its advantage.
Each Merchant partner who wishes to use the Satisfaction Protocol creates its own cryptocurrency (a Merchant Token) to reward their customers for their engagement. Merchant Tokens are initiated by purchasing Satisfaction Token (SAT) which are ERC20 tradable tokens, have a limited supply and will be created during a public crowd sale (ICO).
Customers then have the following opportunities when making a purchase to a merchant using the Satisfaction Protocol:
Pay using cryptocurrencies
Use Ether, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to make purchases and automatically get rewarded with both advantages and Merchant Tokens! Each following purchase is taken into account, and the customer’s loyalty gets rewarded with Merchant Tokens.
The customer then gets the opportunity to rate and comment the business’ customer experience, or even fill a survey sent by the Merchant and gets rewarded with Merchant Tokens.
Autonomous Loyalty programs
No more wallets full of loyalty cards for programs that are complicated, waste your time, or are more interesting for the business than the customer.
Instead, enjoy easy to use and tradable loyalty points, each time you participate in a Merchant loyalty program you automatically receive Merchant Tokens!
Merchant Tokens = Satisfaction Tokens
Merchant Tokens are not tradable but SATs are! Earn Merchant Tokens and then either redeem them for goods and services or convert them for SATs and then trade them, convert them for any other currency, or purchase other tokens from other Merchants!
Enjoy earning tradable cryptocurrencies for being an awesome customer!