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Posted by Kendra Lusty on Sep 10, 2019 8:26:55 AM

Congratulations! You’ve attracted yourself a new member and you’re bound to be best friends forever, right?

The reality, unfortunately, is that most members won’t stick with you beyond the first week, and even more will disappear by the end of a month. 

Those that stick around for the long haul are your loyal members and your best source of income.

But first you have to get them to stay.

New members are notoriously quick to abandon loyalty programs when they don’t see immediate value. They delete apps, leave points unredeemed, fail to continue a free trial and basically forget you exist. This happens when people don’t immediately see the value of membership.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Jul 18, 2019 10:07:28 AM

I live in a small town and our only shoe store, Payless Shoes, recently went out of business. And while their liquidation sales were awesome – $2 per pair boys dress shoes? I bought one in every size! – now what?

Between my elementary-aged kids’ ever changing shoe sizes, and my inability to be comfortable in anything more confining than a flip flop, I never buy shoes online.

In case you missed it, Payless Shoes recently closed every store and its ecommerce operations in US and Canada “as a result of a challenging retail climate.”

If you believe the news, you’d probably say Payless is just the next chain in a long line of mega-retailers to fall victim to the dreaded retail apocalypse.

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 Gary Toyn on May 9, 2019 8:06:23 AM

When it comes to running a member benefits or loyalty program, your mama had it all figured out.

In honor of mothers everywhere (including mine who's been a mom for 71 of her 90 years), I’d like to share some life lessons learned from the mother hen herself – and how they can be used as best practices in running a successful membership discount club or loyalty program.