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How to Build Revenue AND Customer Loyalty Through Upsells

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM

I’ve been car shopping recently. You probably know the pain - hours of research to figure out which vehicle to pursue, finding the fair price for it, new or used, etc.

That part alone requires a lot of effort. Then there’s the typical dealership experience, which is akin to a slapfight in a dumpster. Regardless of the outcome, you’re going to emerge feeling a bit gross.

As the old saying goes, we love to buy, but we hate being sold.

That’s never been so true as it is today. With so much information at our disposal, we do more research than ever before making a purchase. 68% of us trust online reviews, 40% of us have “showroomed”, and 69% of us have “reverse showroomed.”

We think we know what we want, and we don’t need someone to try and convince us otherwise.

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Topics: upsell programs, ancillary revenue

The Customer Engagement Recap - August 28, 2015

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 28, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Finish off this week with the headlines (and news you may have missed) that will impact consumers in the coming weeks and months.

 

In this week's customer engagement recap:

  • A Happy Holiday Season Expected For Retailers
  • US Consumers Continue to Turn Off Pay TV Subscriptions
  • Ancillary Revenue: Moving from Extra Fees to Extra Value
  • Teens are shopping more like their parents
  • Loyalty Programs Gone Bad: When Loyal Customers Become Your Biggest Detractors

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Topics: Customer Engagement, consumer trends

Loyalty Programs Gone Bad: When Loyal Customers Become Your Biggest Detractors

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Consumer meets brand.

Consumer becomes customer.

Brand offers to “go steady” with the creation of a loyalty program.

Love blossoms.

As romantics are apt to do, brand makes grand loyalty program promise.

Customers swoon.

But then, grand promises fail to meet expectations.

Customers revolt.

It’s a story that’s been repeated for as long as brands and loyalty programs have existed. Few doubt the effectiveness of loyalty programs, but there’s a dark side to them, and to the modern “loyal” customer in general.

It’s a good reminder, or more of a warning: A brand’s most loyal customers can turn into it’s loudest detractors when their trust is abused by the brand.

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Topics: points programs, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

Ancillary Revenue: Moving from Extra Fees to Extra Value

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 25, 2015 8:34:00 AM

One of the hardest moves in business is transitioning a product from free to paid. The freemium model utilized by Spotify and other online services is do-able, but totally free to totally paid?

Nothing but grumbles.

Yet that’s where many travel companies have turned in attempting to create ancillary revenue. Luggage fees, seat selection, paid hotel room wifi, and $7 bottles of water in the mini fridge aren’t exactly winning customers over.

Revenue-wise, it’s working. Reports estimate over $38 billion in ancillary revenue was generated in 2014.

On the other hand, the travel industry is taking a beating in the minds of consumers. Airlines and hotels rank third and fourth in unfavorable sentiment on social media, and airlines in particular have some of the lowest loyalty scores around. (Click here for these and other loyalty statistics.)

The margins on travel, hotel and car rental bookings are admittedly thin, making ancillary revenue a primary matter, however.

The answer isn’t more fees and extra charges, it’s offering customers something of relevant value.

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Topics: upsell programs, customer loyalty, ancillary revenue

The Customer Engagement Recap - August 21, 2015

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 21, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Finish off this week with the headlines (and news you may have missed) that will impact consumers in the coming weeks and months.

In this week's customer engagement recap:

  • Two-year contracts are nearly extinct: Now that Sprint killed them off, only AT&T remains
  • Sephora Customers Are Protesting ‘Epic Rewards Day’ by Returning Tons of Product
  • 4 Employee Engagement Lessons from the New York Times' Amazon Exposé
  • 40 Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Ideas

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Topics: Customer Engagement, consumer trends

40 Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Ideas

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 20, 2015 9:44:00 AM

We spend a lot of time talking about customer loyalty here. It’s part of this blog’s title, after all. We’re very interested in the mechanics that lead a customer to enter into a relationship, of sorts, with a brand.

And like any great relationship, that affection can’t just be a one-way street. It’s pretty safe to say that no brand has ever suffered from showing some love back to their customers.

The great thing about customer appreciation is it takes many forms. It’s giving away expensive items, but it’s also having a staff that remembers first names and frequent purchases. The bottom line is there are many ways a brand can make customers feel like it cares about them.

Here are 40 simple and inexpensive ways any brand can express appreciation for its customers:

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Topics: customer retention, customer loyalty

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