Prime Numbers - The July 15 Customer Engagement Recap

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Jul 15, 2016 11:50:07 AM

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The News, Views, Insights, and Opinions affecting consumer engagement 

That You Need to Know

 

In this week's customer engagement recap:

Farm Bureau Member Benefits

  • Amazon Prime Day Sales Were Up 60%, and Robot Vacuum Cleaners Sold Like Crazy (AdWeek)

A lot of people lost their minds about Amazon Prime Day in 2015, but few could deny that it was anything but a success, financially and in the sense of a unique loyalty program member benefit. To see the company came back even stronger this year, with far fewer rapid sellouts and glitches is impressive (and quite frankly, intimidating to see how well monetized the Prime member base is).

The very nature of loyalty is supposed to be two-way, right? Relationships last because we find ways to enhance each other's lives. It sounds nice, but it doesn't always work that way in an office setting, and damn sure not in a consumer setting. It's profitable for businesses, but far too many get caught up in the idea of, "These people are locked in so let's just maximize how much we can get out of them." 

We haven't made customer loyalty something that customers should aspire to, yet we wonder why the condition is fading. Never lose sight of the two-way street your customers need you to travel on with them.

As Dale Carnegie wrote in How to Win Friends and Influence People, "Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

People like to be addressed on a personal level. Simple things like using a name, referencing a recent purchase or a points balance can go a long way to earning engagement and loyalty. 

Loyalty programs pull in a lot of data that can be put to good use. Writer Maria Pallante cites how Starwood allows members to declare their preferred bed type, rent workout gear, upgrade preferences, and so on. 

The use of data for personalization should be low-hanging fruit, but instead it's only being used by a few wise programs.

We've been following the ongoing Chipotle saga closely, and we lauded their turn to a loyalty program. Then, there were some raised eyebrows about the Chiptopia concept - why the complicated scheme? Or the ultimate reward being a burrito party? 

Sweet Tooth's Kirsten Burkard has a thorough look at the good and bad sides of the program. One point that's worth holding on to: there hasn't really been a program like this, from a brand this large and in this situation. It may or may not work - we'll all just have to watch.

We're obviously biased toward discount program benefits. It's kind of our business. The problem is, they're hard to maintain.

It's taken us 30+ years to get the network we have now, and each and every one of our 350,000+ merchant locations has to be managed on a personal level. Many of our clients are organizations that tried to build something on their own, or once went with a free discount program (which are mostly collections of public-facing offers), and realized that this isn't an easy game to get into. 

But, when a discount program works, either on your own or one managed by Access, members love it.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, consumer trends

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding.

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