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We’ve discussed often on this blog how customer engagement begins with employee engagement. In fact, we strongly believe the best path to happy customers is to start internally.

It’s why we invest so much of our heart into making sure our own employees feel valued.

The fourth quarter here at Access has been both rewarding and humbling. That’s because our employees have honored us in return.

As we’ve been evaluated for end-of year recognition by a variety of organizations, they’ve examined our benefits, work-life balance, company culture and more. More importantly, they surveyed the employees themselves to anonymously learn how they feel about working here.

And what do you know, we even won a few awards.

Most recently, Access Development was named one of Utah’s best companies to work for by Utah Business Magazine.

During the survey process, employees reported, “The culture at Access is more like an extended family than a workplace. We value each other for their personalities and their skills to work together to accomplish a common goal. Our company also emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance and believe that the employees are the most important part of the company. The general feeling here makes me want to come to work everyday and focus to get my job done the best I can.”

Access has also received recognition from 4 other diverse organizations in the last year.

“We owe it all to our excellent employees,” said Lisa Oyler, HR director at Access Development. “If we’ve done anything right here at Access, it’s been to hire the most amazing people who bring energy and talent to our workplace.” 

Speaking of amazing employees, we’re looking for a few more “A” players to add to the team. So if you know someone looking for a more satisfying job, try nudging them toward one of these available positions.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 12, 2018 4:00:00 PM

(New: Only want the latest data? Check out our collection of 2017 loyalty stats.)

Customer brand loyalty is a rich and complex subject to grasp. 

What is it? (Here's a definition.)

How is it earned?

Is it worth the effort?

For your convenience, we've compiled dozens of statistics to help light the way - from how many people are active in loyalty programs to what they're looking to get out of them and how they'd like to be communicated with.

We've tried to make this list as relevant as possible, which means we combed through recent research with a focus on the US (with the occasional global stat thrown in).

These stats are culled from a variety of sources, and we've provided source links for each of them (though some are gateway pages that require you to register or submit your information to receive the actual research).

Sometimes the data conflict with other sources - we'll leave it up to you to decipher which is most accurate.

We'll keep this list updated on a weekly basis 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.

Ever walked away from a brand you love with a sour taste in your mouth after joining their loyalty program? It’s telling that while consumers belong to an average of thirteen loyalty programs, they are only active in about six of those. Clearly, a large percentage of programs are dropping the ball when it comes to connecting with their members.

So then, what is it members expect from their loyalty programs? Well, for starters how about valuable rewards (not a logo’d beer koozy) that are easily redeemable (not points that expire or take forever to accrue before they can even be used).

Let’s take a look at what the world’s best loyalty programs have in common. If you examine the most successful programs – and probably the ones you are active with – they’ll have these four common traits:

Whose job is it to create member / customer loyalty for your organization?

Account managers? Customer service reps? Maybe YOURS?

You may even have a team in your organization dedicated to the client experience, like we do.

According to our VP of Client Success, Emily Hayes, EVERY SINGLE employee is an important player in the member retention and satisfaction game. From web designers to shipping clerks to payroll representatives, each employee should understand how their efforts contribute to happy members.

Because when organizations get it right, and members are loyal, the payoff can be huge. Research shows that 81% of emotionally connected consumers will not only promote the brand among their family and friends, but they will also spend more.

And we’re not talking pennies.

Repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones, according to one study.

So…member retention, engagement and loyalty are clearly a big deal.

But what about the employees at your organization… the ones expected to create engagement-invoking, loyalty-inducing experiences for your members?

What about THEIR retention, engagement and loyalty? Does THAT matter?

Human resource departments are typically tasked with keeping workers happy. And in the tightest labor market the U.S. has seen in 5 decades, HR professionals are learning that it absolutely matters.

A lot.

Engaged Employees Lead to Engaged Customers

Studies show that if you are looking to engage customers, the best place to start is with engaged employees. In fact, a study conducted at Cornell University linked companies on Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For with higher customer satisfaction scores.

The payoff comes in both retention and revenue. One report suggests companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue.

We’ve written before about how engaged employees = engaged customers, but it’s never been more evident than it is today.

See the Slideshow

The unemployment rate recently descended to 3.7% - the lowest it’s been since 1969 when millions of men were pulled out of the workforce by the Vietnam War Draft. The Fed considers the “natural” rate of unemployment to be between 4.5% and 5%. So at a rate this low, there are more open jobs than workers to fill them.

And, frankly, it’s impacting the customer experience.

I’ll never forget how tiny my daughter was when she learned to say “thank you.” If you gave her a marshmallow, you were guaranteed an enthusiastic “thank you.” So people kept giving her marshmallow after marshmallow after marshmallow…

The 2018 holiday season is officially here, and you can bet your bottom dollar that consumers everywhere are preparing for it.

The question is: are you?

Whether you're in the business of customer loyalty, employee engagement, or member retention, the holidays represent a major opportunity to strengthen the relationships you value most.

Here at Access, we want to help you get ready. After all, 91% of consumers say they plan to "celebrate the season" this year, giving you a chance to fill a stocking with goodwill. Read on to learn more about how (and why) a little extra care and consideration can go a long way during the holidays.

Holiday Spending: Bigger Than Ever

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, people are feeling pressure to stay on top of their holiday shopping. 18% of U.S. consumers started their yuletide spending as early as September, with another 21% beginning before November and 60% before Thanksgiving.

There's no intention of slowing down the festive spending this year as retail holiday sales in the U.S. are predicted to grow between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017, with Americans projected to spend up to $720.89 billion this year. Last year, 58 of the 60 shopping days in November and December resulted in over $1 billion sales ALONE.

It's no secret people are spending larger-than-usual sums of money to get ready for the holidays. So what exactly are they spending their hard earned dollars on this time of year?

Consumers plan to spend a total of $1,007 on average for items like decorations, candy and gifts. When buying gifts for others, the most popular purchases are gift cards/certificates (54%), clothing (53%), toys/games (46%), books (43%) and food/liquor (39%). And many consumers, 78% to be exact, are looking simply to shop for themselves. When they do treat themselves, 42% say they'll choose food/liquor, 40% clothing, 26% shoes, 22% books and 21% cosmetics/fragrances/health & beauty.