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Posted by Andrew Graft on Jul 1, 2019 9:34:00 AM

Ray Bradbury – author of the space travel and colonization classic The Martian Chronicles – once wrote, “Half of the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.”

What did Mr. Bradbury mean when he penned this now famous quote? We may never know.

Don’t get the wrong idea, of course. We get the part about travel being extra rewarding when people get far off the beaten path into places they didn't even know existed. (Duh.)

What civilization will always wonder is this. Did he mean “half” in the general sense, as in give or take a third? Or “half” in the 50% sense, where if he’d meant 51 percent, he’d have said 51 percent?

Whatever the math behind Ray’s statistical calculations, one thing we know for sure…

People looooooove to travel.

Families and individuals of all ages, sizes and incomes. To faraway lands. For weekend getaways. To pursue new business deals. With kids. Without kids. On planes, trains, automobiles, boats and buses.

And when it comes to the best corporate discount programs, association member benefits, and membership perks in general, discounted travel is often among the most hotly pursued additions to the mix. Why? Because lots of money AND emotional expectation are wrapped up in most of our travel purchase decisions.

So to better understand today’s traveler, we at Access have compiled what we believe is a comprehensive “ultimate collection” of statistics having to do with the travel and tourism industry. We've tried to make this list as relevant as possible, which means we combed through recent research from travel and tourism related sources.

Most of these stats are focused on Americans who travel – though other nationalities may creep into the mix from time to time. We've provided source links for each statistic. Sometimes you’ll find the data conflicts with other sources - so we’ll leave it up to you to decipher which is most accurate.

We'll keep this list updated regularly with the latest and greatest. If you know of a stat we're missing, or want your own research included in our collection, leave us a note in the comments. Enjoy!

Posted by Ashley Autry on Jul 1, 2019 9:18:47 AM

Access is often used by subscription services as a way for them to bring extra value to their product and customers. Discounts offered on or with these subscription-based services are more relevant than ever before as their popularity continues to increase. And we’re predicting this trend will only continue to pick up steam as it’s already grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years.

But what do we mean by “subscription services” exactly?

A subscription service involves paying a certain amount of money in regular intervals to receive a product or service –  everything from magazine subscriptions (i.e. People), to TV and music streaming (i.e. HBO NOW & Apple Music) and subscription boxes (i.e. Birchbox).

15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions and the average amount of subscriptions an active subscriber holds is two, but nearly 35% have three or more.

And as popular as these services are becoming, they are just as popularly being canceled (known in the industry as "churn"). Overall, 40% of e-commerce subscribers have canceled their subscriptions, with more than one-third canceling in less than three months and over half canceling within six.

The subscription service game is a hard one to play. With high churn rates, consumers are looking for some kind of added value that makes them stay - a big part of the reason so many of them start working with Access. So what is it that influences consumers to 1) sign up for a subscription service, 2) cancel it, or 3) become a long-term customer? These stats offer some insight:

Why do people say they sign up for subscription services?

  • It was recommended by someone (68%)
  • They wanted to try something new (66%)
  • It came with a financial incentive (65%)
  • They specifically needed the product (37%)
  • They liked the subscription model (34%)
  • It had the flexibility to cancel (30%)

Reasons given for cancelling subscriptions:

  • Insufficient value for the money (78%)
  • Dissatisfied with product/experience (77%)
  • Preference to buy when needed (69%)
  • Lack of flexibility (45%)
  • Found better subscription (30%)

Factors that positively influence retention among subscribers

  • Personalized experience (78%)
  • Convenience (56%)
  • Value for the money (54%)
  • Tailored experience (49%)
  • Surprise and delight (38%)
  • Sense of community (24%)

Because of the current trendiness when it comes to subscription services and the fairly saturated market for them right now, we thought it’d be interesting to highlight 10 subscription service picks that we think are doing it right and bringing value to the customer.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Jun 21, 2019 9:56:27 AM

Last week, we released the article Superior Customer Service: Your Loyalty Program’s Secret Weapon. In it, we discussed the importance of customer service to any business, but especially to those with loyalty programs, which rely on a positive customer experience to succeed. In part 2 of this series below, we give some tips on how to enhance your own customer service efforts.

I worked in a call center. Briefly.

Fresh out of college, I wanted to be making money as I searched for a “real job” so I took a position that was notoriously easy to get, at a place that would hire just about anyone.

Admittedly, this company put a lot of effort into training according to client expectations. However, it’s very hard to make a group of teens, job seekers, recently laid-off, etc., really care.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Jun 12, 2019 10:49:54 AM

Confession time. Whenever I have to call customer service, I always cringe, waiting for that dreaded phone tree before I ever get to talk to a person.

I think my record is 18 selections before I got frustrated and pounded 0, which wasn’t listed but thankfully sent me to the operator anyway.

Seriously, I prefer to use a company’s website to find hours of operation, pay bills, and all the other automated tasks you usually find in a phone tree.

So unless one of your options is “If you would like to hear a duck quack” then I’m probably not going to find my answer automated in your system. No, if I’m resorting to dialing a number, I want to talk to a person, dang it.

Rant over.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jun 6, 2019 9:28:07 AM

When membership organizations make bad decisions, we can learn a lot from their mistakes. Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at ten easy ways to smother member loyalty and engagement.  About a 7 minute read.

My role as a marketing consultant has allowed me to work with all types and sizes of membership organizations. From large organizations with a million or so members, to small non-profit and trade groups with just a few thousand members. Most organizations seem to get it. They’ve figured out how to adapt to meet the unique needs of their members, and they can seamlessly integrate our discount platform into their existing suite of member benefits and privileges.

A few others -- dare I say -- are unprepared for success.

They have so many fundamental problems with how they run their organization that adding a powerful engagement tool like ours will actually make matters worse.

After more than a decade in working with various groups, I’ve noticed some important patterns among the few groups that struggle the most. The ones that have a knack for suffocating member engagement.

I think there’s great value in learning from the mistakes of others, so here’s my list of the ten easiest ways an organization can smother their member loyalty and engagement: 

Posted by Ashley Autry on May 21, 2019 8:03:33 AM

I have a confession to make.

I’m 31 years old (almost 32 actually) and I LOVE Disney more now than I did as a kid.

In fact, here’s a little list of all my Disney favorites:

Favorite Disney Character - Snow White

Favorite Disney Movie - The Parent Trap (Hayley Mills version)

Favorite Disney Channel Show – Lizzie McGuire

Favorite Disney Ride - Space Mountain (with Splash Mountain as a close 2nd)

Favorite Disney Park Food - Chocolate-covered Mickey Mouse ice cream bar

Favorite Disney Memory - On a family trip to Disney World, we did a character breakfast and my little brother had to be taken out of the room because he was terrified of Jafar.

Favorite Disney Apparel - An oversized Mickey sweatshirt I’ve had since elementary school that is still my favorite thing to wear to bed.

I’m sure there are a lot of Disney fanatics out there who can relate and have lists of their own Disney obsessions.

Well, for all you Disney lovers out there, we at Access have some BIG news around upcoming summer attractions and exclusive magical savings to the happiest place on earth.