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
Two-year contracts are nearly extinct: Now that Sprint killed them off, only AT&T remains (Digital Trends)
After Verizon gave in last week, Sprint follows T-Mobile's lead and kills off two-contracts. On a related note, the carrier also announced an "iPhone for Life" program that is similar to T-Mobile's Jump program. That's pretty impressive disruption for a company that was once fourth out of four big dogs in the industry.
Sephora Customers Are Protesting ‘Epic Rewards Day’ by Returning Tons of Product (Racked)
Backstory: Cosmetics giant Sephora teed up a bigtime promotion in which Beauty Insider members could redeem points for some fantastic prizes. Double/triple/quadruple points-earning opportunities preceded the event, which was supposed to launch on August 10. Except that it was late getting off the ground, and by the time it did, most of the rewards were gone.
So this week, many of their customers are joining together to protest by returning their items. According to The Consumerist, it's more than just a few customers, as well.
It's a good reminder to be as upfront as possible with loyalty programs. Similar to the common complaints of Prime Day a few weeks ago, some advance work could've helped - reserving the select few big time rewards for the most elite members, and having easily attainable options with mass quantities so everyone walks away with something.
4 Employee Engagement Lessons from the New York Times' Amazon Exposé (Access Loyalty Blog)
Speaking of Amazon, we read the NY Times piece with close interest like everyone else. Knowing the close ties between employee engagement and customer engagement, it's impressive that Amazon has created as much of a following as they have.
There's a lot to learn from the story. Not just things you shouldn't do, but actually some smart, engagement-building ideas that all of us can use.
40 Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Ideas (Access Loyalty Blog)
Don't let the Sephora story above scare you: saying thanks to customers is always a good idea. You don't have to give away trips to Paris; customer appreciation could be a bowl of candy at the front desk, or investing in a super-responsive customer service operation. And buy some jersey space on the local little league team, while you're at it.