Finish off this week, in which we are still excited about soccer, with the news (and news you may have missed) that's going to impact your customers in the coming weeks and months.
In this week's customer engagement recap:
- Amazon unveils the Fire Phone
- First Major Mobile Banking Security Threat Hits the U.S.
- T-Mobile Offers iPhone Tests and Unlimited Music Streaming
- The Power and Pain of Points and Miles Programs
- Banks know that customers hate them
- Communication and Loyalty Programs: Three Steps to Increase Engagement
- GU Store to Let Customers Leave With Unpaid Merchandise
Amazon unveils the Fire Phone (Washington Post)
Similar to the failed "Facebook phone" and "ESPN phone," Amazon is creating a mobile device built entirely to steer customers to their goods. This one does have an interesting eye-tracking feature (plus a year of Prime, quickly becoming the most popular rewards program), but the $199 price + two-year contract seems a little steep for a piece of branded hardware. The "scan a product in a retailer to see how much it is on Amazon" feature is sure to make a lot of friends in the retail community as well.
First Major Mobile Banking Security Threat Hits the U.S. (Payments Journal)
A Russian trojan has moved to the US. The trojan looks for certain banking apps, locks the screen with an "FBI warning" that can only be lifted by sending money to Russia. That rule about not clicking on suspicious links or emails? It applies to your phones as well, folks (the virus is installed through phishing sites)
T-Mobile Offers iPhone Tests and Unlimited Music Streaming (New York Times)
A regular participant in our weekly customer engagement roundups, thanks to their disruptive business models, T-Mobile is in it again for offering unlimited streaming from Spotify, Pandora, Slacker and other music services. Even better, the data won't count against a user's data plan. They're also offering to let folks test drive the iPhone 5S for a week.
The Power and Pain of Points and Miles Programs (Access Loyalty Blog)
Just about everyone loves earning points, but their inability to cash those points out for any sort of value is a bigger deal than you might think - and a major lost opportunity for points and miles programs.
Banks know that customers hate them (CNN Money)
Summary: banks have lost a lot of customers since the 2008 financial crisis, resulting in billions off the books. The problem in their view: regulators. Something that they think might help: improving customer and employee satisfaction.
Communication and Loyalty Programs: Three Steps to Increase Engagement (Access Loyalty Blog)
You're a member of at least a dozen loyalty programs. Regardless of why you originally signed up for them, something about the brand attracted you. How many of those programs do you hear from? Lack of communication to these valuable, listening customers is low-hanging fruit that many programs simply aren't picking right now.
GU Store to Let Customers Leave With Unpaid Merchandise (WSJ)
Talk about a leap of faith. A Japan clothier is allowing customers to walk out the door with three pieces of clothing. The customers are asked to leave behind their names and phone numbers, and they're supposed to return or purchase the clothing by the end of the day.