Second Quarter 2014

Customer Service
Focus on
Propels Best Western
Xerox Engaging Call Center
Employees in Fun, Innovative Ways
JetBlue Badges Deliver
Gartner’s Gamification
An Introduction to
Social Customer Care
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3 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
In this Issue...
Focus on Exemplary Customer
Service Propels Best Western
Jim Tierney | Loyalty360
Duffy’s Enhances MVP Loyalty
Program through Highly
Targeted Email
Jim Tierney | Loyalty360
Xerox Engaging Call Center
Employees in Fun,
Innovative Ways
Jim Tierney | Loyalty360
4 Letter from the Editor
6 Loyalty360 on the Web
8 Your Voice
10 Behind the Brand
with Angela Sanflippo | PunchTab
14 The Challenge of Listening:
Lost in Translation!
The Adjacent Possible!!
Mark Johnson | Loyalty360
16 By the Numbers: The Loyalty360 Awards
17 Q & A: The Loyalty360 Award Winners
28 Behind the Brand with Kale Sligh | C Spire
30 Loyalty Innovation
32 Trending Now
42 Q & A: Ask the Experts
53 Q & A: Ask the Experts: Brand Focus
54 Loyalty Reads
Focus on Exemplary
Customer Service
Propels Best Western
Thanks to all who attended the 7th annual Loyalty Expo! This year’s
fascinating event acknowledged and awarded those companies who
are committed to building loyal customers and advocates of their
brands. Congratulations to all the winners of the inaugural Loyalty360
Loyalty Awards!
After the Loyalty Expo, I had the pleasure of speaking to many of you
who attended. You all expressed a great desire to learn more about
the award winners. What makes these companies different? What are
they doing that drives the success? Germane to this issue, we want to
share their insights:
For the Loyalty360 Awards, the field was highly competitive and the
winners were celebrated for the impressive success metrics that set
them apart. We share those metrics at a glance on page 16. Then on
pages 17 and 18, read insights on delivering on a customer-centric
promise from award winners at AT&T, Best Western, Dell, Global Hotel
Alliance, KeyBank, Telefonica O2, and TGI Fridays.
Best Western secured top honors, winning the 360-Degree Award
by registering the highest cumulative score across the five categories
evaluated: Reward Program, Customer Experience & Engagement
Strategy, Technology in Loyalty Marketing, Creative Campaign in
Loyalty Marketing, and Customer Insight or Voice of the Customer in
Loyalty Marketing.
We had the honor of speaking to Glen MacDonell, Managing Director
of Best Western Rewards. Beginning on page 19, we share the
compelling story behind what made Best Western stand out above
all other brands who entered the Loyalty360 Awards.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend the Loyalty Expo, we’ve
brought insights from some of the sessions you missed. Read Creating
Loyalty Beyond (and before) the Transaction on pg 40 for insights
from Transitions Optical and The Marketing Store and Leveraging
Customer Engagement Data for Maximum Return from Don Smith
with Brierley + Partners on page 50.
For Loyalty360, we’ll be switching gears preparing for our Engagement
& Experience Expo in November. We’ve already launched the
inaugural CX Awards. Enter before June 30 for your opportunity
to be recognized at the event! Information available on >
About Us > Loyalty360 CX Awards.
What’s more, we want to help you understand and define Customer
Experience. We encourage you to share how your organization looks
at customer experience by participating in our Customer Experience
Landscape survey. You can find the link to the survey on Loyalty360.
org > About Us > Customer Experience Landscape
As always, we encourage your feedback. Please feel free to call me:
513-800-0360 ext. 201 or send me an email (erinraese@loyalty360.
org) with your feedback, thoughts, ideas for new content, or if you’d
like to share your story with our audience.
We hope you enjoy this issue.
Erin Raese
Loyalty Management®
4 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Webinars, powered by Loyalty360,
are turnkey, live events on the topic
of your choice. Loyalty360 handles
all of the promotion, registration
and technology for your 1-hour,
sponsor-specific webinar.
Webinar sponsors benefit from highly-qualified lead
generation, thought-leadership positioning,
multi-channel marketing and promotion, online
archival of webinar content, and one-on-one
guidance from an experienced Loyalty360 account manager.
5 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
33 The Must Have Summer Trends for Rewards
and Recognition
Jessica Brown | Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
34 JetBlue Badges Deliver Gartner’s Gamification
Eric Favaloro | Comarch
36 Optimizing Promotions for Long-Term Loyalty:
Feasible or Fantasy?
Dr. Paul Helman | KSS Retail
38 An Introduction to Social Customer Care
Neil Morgan | Socialbakers
40 Creating Loyalty Beyond (and Before) the Transaction
Jeremy Ages | Te Marketing Store
44 Can Loyalty Be Managed in the Age of the
Empowered Consumer?
Bob Moorhead | Epsilon
46 The Journey to Customer Advocacy:
An Evolution in Loyalty
Mike McDonnell | Connexions Loyalty
48 Creating the Feel of First Touch Resolution
Dr. Patricia A. Sahm | Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group
50 Tuning In and Turning On: Leveraging Customer
Engagement Data for Maximum Return
Don Smith | Brierley+Partners
56 Dear Customer, We are Ready, Willing and Able!
Julie Harter | Ernst & Young LLP
© 2014 Loyalty360, Inc. and/or its Affiliates.
All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction and distribution of this publication
in any form without prior written permission is
forbidden. The information contained herein
has been obtained from sources believed to be
reliable. Loyalty 360 disclaims all warranties as
to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of
such information. The opinions shared are those
of the contributing authors and not necessar-
ily reflective of Loyalty 360 and/or its affiliates.
Loyalty360 shall have no liability for errors, omis-
sions or inadequacies in the information con-
tained herein or for interpretations thereof. The
opinions expressed herein are subject to change
without notice.
In this Issue...
Loyalty Management Editorial
& Production Team
Erin Raese - Editor in Chief
Mark Johnson - Contributing Editor
Christopher Schatzman - Design Director
Jim Tierney - Senior Writer
Crescent Printing Company - Print Production
Article Submissions & Advertising:
Erin Raese or
513.800.0360, ext. 210
Call f
now open!!
customer experience awards
An Introduction to
Social Customer Care
The Journey to
Customer Advocacy:
An Evolution in Loyalty
What’s New
What’s New
Browse Loyalty360’s growing library of articles featuring news
about the brands who are leading the way when it comes to
customer loyalty. The articles provide commentary about the
best practices, tools, techniques, partnerships and metrics that
top brands are using to win loyal and profitable customers. We
are pleased to provide our readers with an easy-to-use resource
to stay informed about industry trends and success stories, as
well as access timeless articles from our archives.
As Loyalty360 continues to talk with marketers and operations
professionals at top brands – including the winners of the
Loyalty360 Awards – our online articles highlight commonalities
and trends in customer loyalty and experience strategies.
Recent interviews with TGI Fridays, AARP, Hooters, Orbitz,
Orange Leaf, KeyBank and others all reference the role that
customer insights, personalization and segmentation play in
their loyalty strategies.
Visit to draw upon
the resources described above.
6 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
The new Brand Forum feature on is a “one
stop shop” for brand marketers and customer experience
professionals. Resources on the Brand Forum include the
Brand Corner – a collection of interviews and articles with
brands, a Find a Partner tool that helps you identify potential
partners and a growing set of tools to help you connect
with peers.
Loyalty360 is uniquely positioned to not only conduct research, but also to share the
research conducted through our members and partners. As a result, you can tap into
our collection of reports and case studies to help make informed decisions related to
your customer loyalty, engagement and experience strategies.
• Loyalty360’s Loyalty Landscape: The State of the Industry report shows that lack of
benchmarks and industry metrics is a pressing issue for loyalty marketers, and one
that is holding many organizations back from putting more resources toward efforts
that will lead to increased customer loyalty.
• The Retail Customer Experience & Loyalty report, by Maritz Loyalty Marketing,
highlights the challenges that retail organizations face for delivering consistent and
relevant customer experiences, as well as the importance of an internal champion to
steer a coordinated communications and data strategy.
• Clarabridge’s report, Using Big Data to Drive Customer Loyalty, provides actionable
insights about combining Big Data with Voice-of-the-Customer data to build
relationships with customers and influence buying decisions.
Visit to access the reports.
Now in its seventh successful year, The Prepaid Press Expo
offers the industry’s most informative and most affordable
conference program for prepaid services. These tracks were
created specifically to provide you with the critical information
you need to learn, adapt and thrive in today’s competitive
prepaid marketplace.
What’s more, The Financial Mobility Summit is now part of The
Prepaid Press Expo Conference program, giving you a better
understanding of the unique intersection of prepaid mobile
financial services, payments, prepaid wireless and top-up.
“The Prepaid Press Expo offers
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– Brent Watters, Director
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· Kris Kraft, T-Mobile
· Alpesh Chokshi, American Express
· Frederick Crosby, Western Union Digital
Loyalty360 invited our
members to share their
perspectives on the new or
innovative loyalty strategy
techniques and features they
predict may become more
mainstream in the next year, as
well as potential roadblocks that
loyalty marketers should
be aware of and plan against.
Loyalty Strategy
Rewards for engagement; giving members a small incentive to spend
time viewing and considering messages from the brand and its
products. Lifetime brand status, as a way to lock in customers over the
long term, can begin to structure your business and margins around
a base level of promised benefits. In retail: showrooming; scan and
retrieve product information in exchange for brand benefits in real-
time to compete with online options that may provide lower prices
and shipping incentives. Precision location targeting and rewards with
technologies like iBeacon. Testing loyalty program benefits with
enhanced technology in mobility and augmented reality, for
automotive and retail, in particular.
Stay focused and do not fall into the “fear of missing out” (FOMO).
While there’s always a shiny new trinket to chase, whether it’s a new
social network, or an exciting new predictive model, or real-time offer
engine, the smartest marketers will make sure they’re doing the right
blocking and tackling in basic customer segmentation, skillfully crafted
program design, with micro targeting or industrial-strength communi-
cations. Customers want you to know them – use and invest in current
technology and data-enabled ways to improve customer experience
across brand interactions. Perceived small enhancements to the brand
experience can go a long way. Take the time to watch and shape (or
test and learn) how your customers express and feel about the brand.
-Amy Barnett | SVP, Customer Engagement | Brierley+Partners
Which Current
Will Be Widely Adopted?
Stay focused and do not fall
into the “fear of missing out”
9 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
I believe that retailers and all merchants are understanding the value
of mobile and the power of having a real-time two way engaging
conversation with their customers. Mobile shortens the feedback loop
for program sponsors and provides them with flexibility to follow the
market and respond to the voice of their customer.
-Karen Moritzky Bigelow | Director of Client Relations | Mocapay
One interesting feature that a few companies have implemented recently is the ability for customers to
share value/rewards via social media. Customers can send a Facebook message or tweet at friends to give
them a digital coupon. Incorporating this into loyalty programs as another option for use of accrued value is
an interesting proposition that provides the customer choice, and enables building new brand relationships
via the social channel.
Gamification has been a hot term over the past year, and has been applied with success to a number of
loyalty platforms, but marketers should take caution—gamification is not for everyone. Many companies
find that adding a gaming experience to the loyalty program often appeals to a subset of customers who will
engage more as a result, but it does not necessarily equate to value or ROI. Just as importantly, gamification
has the potential to rub some customers the wrong way, coming across as childish or incongruent with the
broader brand experience. Marketers should explore gamification if it makes sense for their customers,
taking care to build a gamification strategy that will support and enhance the broader brand experience—
not appear as a bump in the road.
-Clay Walton-House | Senior Manager | Lenati LLC
The “one size fits all” mentality is old school and does not appeal to today’s participants that want immediate gratification, the
most desirable brands and the latest products. We encourage an experiential shopping event for many clients and the “wow factor” of
that environment has created a new twist as well. We must remember that Millennials now represent 53% of the workforce and
Boomers are exiting. The language is different, as are the expectations. Deliver what people want via the communication tools that
resonate with them most effectively.
-Paul Gordon | Vice President of Sales | Rymax Marketing Services
10 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Angela Sanfilippo is a marketing and communications
executive with a passion for what she does. Obsessive about
data and analytics, she’s never met a spreadsheet she didn’t
like. When she’s not measuring metrics or chatting about
conversion strategies, Angela serves as PunchTab’s resident
Superwoman where she uses her powers to drive successful
brand engagement for PunchTab and its clients. She’s got a
weakness for dogs and trying to be in two places at once.
PunchTab is an Omni-Channel Engagement and Insights platform. We
help brands in CPG, Retail, Entertainment and the Restaurant Industry
(QSR, Fast Casual, Casual Dining) to engage consumers across any
touch-point as part of a CRM program, traditional loyalty program or
specific campaign. Where we differentiate is the insights we derive
from tracking customer engagement across those touch-points and
marrying that to transactional data to understand the linkage between
online and offline and engagement and sales.
The biggest challenge for today’s marketers is understanding
how engagement correlates to conversion, loyalty, advocacy and
CLTV. Where are customers engaging? What is the nature of their
engagement? How does that increase frequency and share of
wallet? PunchTab is helping brands answer those questions.
Everyone is talking about big data and how to make sense of it across
multiple systems and in a consumable and actionable format. We’ve
discovered fascinating correlations between consumer behavior, brand
interactions and purchase intent, frequency and loyalty. Because we
are like “middleware” for marketers, we can help marketers access
data across systems (consumer facing and back-office) to individual
customers, analyze it to deliver actionable insights that marketers can
use to optimize current investment and resources to attract look-
alikes and retain existing customers while creating more personalized,
unique customer experiences at scale.
We think that IS the next big trend in engagement and loyalty.
11 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Focusing on the need of the consumer and doing that REALLY well.
That comes from the ability to deliver value, meet or exceed expecta-
tions and deliver a consistent and relevant experience. Not an easy
task and different for every product and every brand.
For example, I was incredibly loyal to Apple until recently. The simple
and clean user interface became too complicated and because that
was the single, most-important feature I paid a premium for, my
perceived value of the iPhone is declining.
It’s never a question of “if” it’s “how.” I believe anything is possible and
limitations come from people. The best inventions and innovations
have come from people who didn’t believe in convention and dared to
push the boundaries of what is possible.
“Your Network is Your Net Worth” by Porter Gale
We have to stop channel chasing and putting too little emphasis
at converting third-party audiences. This has a lot to do with how
organizations are managed, many times putting social media on its
own island. Social teams are narrowly focused on fan and follower
acquisition and audience reach instead of working closely with other
marketing teams to create an integrated strategy.
An example of where this has failed is Facebook. Marketers spent
hundreds of millions to cultivate fans on Facebook. Now that Facebook
has pretty much decimated organic reach, those brands have to pay to
reach these fans all over again.
We have to stop looking at social channels as an end-point and start
focusing on how to leverage it as a medium for driving acquisition,
loyalty and advocacy.
Continued on page 12
The best inventions
and innovations have
come from people
who didn’t believe
in convention and
dared to push the
boundaries of what
is possible.

12 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
* Inspired by James Lipton on “Inside the Actors Studio” we asked Angela to share her quick fire
response to the questions originating from the French series, “Bouillon de Culture” hosted by
Bernard Pivot.
It’s hard to pick just one! Born and raised in California, leisure
time is spent mostly outside as the weather is usually pretty
fantastic: hiking, going to the park, riding bikes, camping, you
name it. I’ve always found nature inspiring but it’s having time
to decompress that really stokes creativity.
The motto in our home is “leave it better than you found it.” I’m
drawn to causes that support the environment, education and
helping the disadvantaged. I’ve done everything from donating
time to the Family Giving Tree, providing free tutoring to students,
participating in fundraisers, beach cleanups, you name it.
I’ve also volunteered for the Taproot Foundation in the past
and encourage people to check it out! It allows marketers to
donate their time to non-profits in need of specific help around
branding and marketing promotion.
I measure success on whether I’ve learned something that
will allow me to improve in the future. I believe you have to
take risks and can’t be discouraged by failure. It’s applying the
knowledge that you’ve learned from that failure that sets you
up for future success.
The market changes so quickly, at end of the day, everyone is
a novice marketer. The most innovative (and sometimes
successful marketers) think bigger and challenge status quo.
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should
too. Be open to exploring and taking risks. Just be smart about
it. Start small. Learn. Iterate. L
Behind the Brand with Angela Sanfilippo continued...
“I measure success on whether I’ve learned
something that will allow me to improve in
the future. I believe you have to take risks
and can’t be discouraged by failure.”
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“The thing that pops out to me is the consistent quality of all
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it hard, we’re hitting it deep, and we’re hitting it with people
all over the country and all over the world that care passionately
about the topic. And it shows through not only in the formal
presentations, but in the discussions that you have in the
hallway and the exhibit hall and at the roundtables.”
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Mark Johnson
14 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
have had the fortune - or perhaps the misfortune - of
traveling more this year than in the past 18 months and
I have had the opportunity to attend more conferences
(both for business development and as a member of
the press to cover trends and topics related to the
bigger picture issues of loyalty). We continue to believe
that loyalty is undergoing a major transformation, a
renaissance unlike any we have seen before.
Yet, as we roll out the Brand Forum area of our website,
with the new councils, communities, and other tools
intended to proactively address challenges resulting from
this transformation, we continue to see brands struggle.
In the past, we have addressed the challenges of listening
and the need for simplicity. We spoke of expectation
matching and the 4, 5, and now 6 C’s of loyalty. We
have posited big ideas that resonate remarkably with
the market and we are also developing metrics – much
needed and long overdue - with our Landscape reports
and we continue to see the struggle of confidence.
It is quite fortunate that at Loyalty360, we continue to
see great innovations in technology and opportunity. We
have the pleasure of working with wonderful technology
providers. Yet most importantly, we continue to grow as
a trusted adviser for brands who are looking for the ideas,
insights, and metrics they can use to help increase the
performance of their programs and, more importantly,
the processes. Yet when we take a step back, we see that
the challenge is deeper. Most brands lack the confidence
(as we spoke of in the Loyalty Landscape report) to
prosper in this new marketing and customer-centric
paradigm. The challenge of confidence is growing and
can only be assuaged by the commitment to change.
I continue to see discussion about the increase of information,
the need to make insights actionable. Yet, I am amazed
at how vapid some of the conference presentations are.
We know that we live in a continually changing alphabet
lexicon, yet I honestly feel that the strategy of some
technology companies is to drown clients in new
acronyms, confuse them with nihilistic jargon that is
not intended to elucidate, but to obfuscate. I wonder
if they think: “If I make this problem so grandiose, so
arcane, and so vapid, that they will realize ‘I need them.’”
From the irrational perspective, what we see is that when
brands do not have the talent or intellectual wherewithal
to develop these programs, they are more reticent to
open up, admit they do not know, and ask for help. We
see so many brands (we talk to them) that know they
need help, but are challenged to define the program in a
manner that they understand and can communicate back
to their senior leadership. Yet this same senior leadership
is telling them to “make it work,” “prove the numbers, the
ROI,” and “operationalize the processes.”
So can one operationalize loyalty? Can you use Six Sigma
or Kaizen the idea of loyalty? Loyalty has emotional
connections that are hard to measure and even more
difficult to wrap a process around. I believe that the
contract of a loyalty process argues against the rigid-
ity of the process mentality. Yet without processes and
executional prowess, the programs are destined to fail.
Processes have to be put in place to increase the flow of
insight/data and make it again “actionable.”
Lost in Translation!
The Adjacent Possible!!
The Challenge
of Listening:
I read an interesting piece on LinkedIn about the “creative class” within enterprises
and those entities that are removing them and putting in place operational
imperatives that are needed to execute. While we all want to be creative and drive
that process, it has always been to me a way to “delay” the execution. We can
pontificate all day about what the customers want, and how we should engage them
and what loyalty means to the soccer mom persona. Yet this overcomplication of
the marketing process continues to call for simplicity. The big ideas are there, yet the
simplicity in approach and process and having a “roadmap” to follow (not necessarily
for the customer, but for the company) is the Clarion call we see today.
I am a bigger picture guy and have never been accused of having an operational
prowess, yet when I speak big picture, I relate it to the customer in a manner
they can understand, with an attempt to know how complex or rudimentary they
are individually, what the confines of the organizational structures are, and how
“confident” they are to execute and progress.
I continue to see individuals who know they face challenges, but are more reticent to
take risks or look at new options. They want their own roadmap; they need help and
the context of the approach is the key. Big picture can be wrapped in a process, yet is
time-consuming and challenging. Yet is that not what loyalty is? Understanding the
diverse expectations of their audience; market, sell, assist them in their journey?
At a recent conference, I sat in on a multitude of presentations and the buzzwords
without context flowed: “information,” “self-service,” “need for convenience,”
“transactional versus interaction,” “Analyze, Create, Optimize, Execute.” I already
have attention issues and I rarely walk away from a presentation with that “wow”
moment. Yet I look at all the brand presentations (where the most value is
exchanged–as a tangible process that was undertaken and effectively
communicated). Brands speak one language, yet I continue to hear so many
suppliers talk of the myriad of ills that they can solve for the brand: a cornucopia
of panacea. Yet who is defining the problem and who should be listening, and
why are people still preaching when eyes have glazed over and tuned out?
There was an idea put forth recently by a keynote
speaker who was very tactical in his approach and
from which I had an “a-ha” moment. He spoke of the
“adjacent possible” and the importance of understanding
the context of the situation, however challenging. We
need to look at this idea in most, if not all, situations.
He posited that there are always options when creating
a roadmap, yet factoring for appropriate context is hard.
We make the wrong decision so often just because we
can and it is easy. The adjacent (what is next) needs
context. He argues that just because it is possible does
not mean it adds value and is the right decision. The
easiest choice may be a rational or irrational decision,
yet in the context of this loyalty transformation, it needs
to make sense. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing
brands is really the challenge of the adjacent possible? L
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing brands is really the
challenge of the adjacent possible?
At a Glance
For the inaugural Loyalty360 Awards, the field was highly competitive and
the winners were celebrated for the impressive success metrics that set them apart.
The field was large;
a jury of experts
analyzed each entry
expert judges
total entries
58 brands nominated
A snapshot of their successes:
83% 57%
reduction in reward fulfillment costs
more spend for members
vs. non-members
decrease in complaints from top-tier
loyalty program members
43% 20%
increase in loyalty program enrollment decrease in call center volume
increase in unique website visitors,
resulting in 77% increase in online sales
Winners are taking calculated risks
with their loyalty strategies, using these
innovative tools and techniques
Easy Points Sharing
with Family and Friends
Intuitive Shopping
17 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
A Roundtable with the Loyalty360 Award Winners:
The inaugural Loyalty360 Awards showcased brands
that are leading the way when it comes to using
innovative tools and techniques to build lasting
relationships with customers. Our community has
asked us for insights from the winners to better
understand the strategies and tactics they are using
to achieve success.
In all of our conversations with the winners, some
commonalities emerged in their philosophies,
approach and focus areas. A customer-centric vision
is the driving force behind the loyalty strategies of the
winners. They are using customer data and feedback
to truly understand customers – their motivations,
preferences, habits, triggers – and are using that insight
to influence consumer behaviors in a way that leads
to a lift in revenue and customer loyalty. The plethora
of data that’s resulted from newly emerging
technologies is approached as an opportunity,
rather than a challenge. The key, they tell us, is
collecting as much data as possible, but focusing
on metrics that are directly tied to the organization’s
broad business objectives.
Herewith, a roundtable chat with some of
our winners:
- Ryan Massimo | Director, Customer Strategy
& Loyalty | Dell
- Mark Stevenson | Marketing Director of Priority
and Sponsorship | Telefonica O2
- Kristi Gole | Director of Loyalty Marketing
Global Hotel Alliance
- Michelle Malish | Senior Director, Customer
Relationship Marketing & Loyalty | TGI Fridays
- Mike Armstrong | Lead Marketing Manager | AT&T
- Glen MacDonell | Managing Director
Best Western Rewards
- Natalie Treibatch | KeyBank Product Manager
KeyBank Relationship Rewards
PERSONALIZATION. A warm greeting
by name at check-in. A relevant message
in your inbox. A video explaining details
of your telecom bill. No matter what the
delivery mechanism is, personalized
experiences are a focal point of the
winners’ loyalty marketing strategies.
Q: We know that personalization is a
critical component of creating lasting
relationships with customers, but what
degree of personalization is needed
and how are brands approaching it
with success?
“Personalization is extremely important. We
like to ensure our customers understand
we are constantly evolving our program to
meet their needs and interests. When we
are able to send personalized offers, we
tap into their emotional response and
raise awareness of our full catalog. We
are currently working toward increasing
personalization in our online store
suggesting technology based on
previous purchase/browse behaviors
and rewards balances.”
-Ryan Massimo | Dell
“Naturally personalization has to be
a key part of any marketing strategy
and we personalize based on what we
know about our customers from what
they tell us and also their behaviour. For
example, our ‘Thank-you’ rewards have
a personalized approach, and we’ve also
introduced a new HTK system to reach
our customers via all their communica-
tion channels–based on age, location,
sex and behaviour.”
-Mark Stevenson | Telefonica O2
“All of our Marketing communications
are personalized by language preference
(we currently support 7 languages),
membership level (3 public levels),
enrolling brand (24), and other
geographic attributes, stay behavior
or preferences. Personalization adds
complexity, but is necessary and
is expected.”
-Kristi Gole | Global Hotel Alliance
“Personalization is extremely relevant in
our CRM and loyalty strategy. Through
segmentation and personalization, we
are able to be much more relevant in
our communications and channel
interactions. Depending upon the
marketing program, we may use
behavioral and personal profile data
to tailor messaging content, copy
tone, offer strategy, channel, and contact
frequency. Our goal is to deliver
memorable guest dining experiences,
reward members for their loyalty, inspire
social sharing, and create brand fans.
We want to help our Give Me More
Stripes friends go out better and
maybe even go out more.”
-Michelle Malish | TGI Fridays
“We start and finish with personalization.
Without personalization, a generic
video could sit on the Web for anyone
to view at any time. However, I doubt it
would get the benefits we are realizing
with a personalized video. Where we
hit the mark is being able to deliver
this program (video bill emails) in your
personal email, address you by name
within the video, talk to you about your
specific bill and charges, and based on
your profile, be able to present products
and services that are relevant to you and
your account.”
-Mike Armstrong | AT&T
“One of the biggest requests from
frequent travelers is simply being
recognized by the hotel staff and
being appreciated for all the business
they bring to the hotel. Technology
is desensitizing consumers, and Best
Western’s entire organization is
focused on personally caring about
the experience of the guest standing
in front of you. The other part of this is
where big data comes in. When we’re
able to look at customer segments,
we’re able to customize messages to
our members and engage them to a
much better degree. It also makes the
program more efficient and allows
further resources to be placed in more
developing parts of the program.”
-Glen MacDonell | Best Western
Delivering on a
Customer-Centric Promise
Continued on page 18
18 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
LOYALTY FORUM: Q&A Customer-centric Promise continued...
INTELLIGENT MEASUREMENT. New technologies and platforms are
emerging at a rapid pace. As a result, the ways in which to engage with
consumers is also rapidly expanding. It’s difficult to make sense of the
data that is generated by those initiatives. The winners remind us of the
importance of identifying and focusing on the metrics that are tied to the
organization’s overarching goals.
Q: How has measurement of your loyalty strategy evolved in light of
the challenges presented by new technologies and ROIs?
“Three to five years ago, call shed or call deflection would have been
the only indicator of the video bill. Throughout the maturation of the
program, we have realized that the video also has had a positive
impact on customer satisfaction and a customer’s willingness to
recommend AT&T to his or her friends or family.”
-Mike Armstrong | AT&T
“KeyBank Relationship Rewards was enhanced in 2011 from a rewards
program, awarding only for debit card transactions, to now awarding
for a variety of banking activities as well as credit card. We continue
to explore ways to enhance our program with the new technologies
available. We have recently completed an in-depth analysis of our
program. Previously, we would have only reviewed ROI on debit card
activity. With our most recent review, we focused on the benefits
from engagement, profitability of the checking account, retention,
and cross-sell instead of before focusing on interchange from debit
card as the benefit.”
-Natalie Treibatch | KeyBank
“As our company continues to grow, so does the amount of data
we have to sort through to gain customer insights from. There are
so many ways to look at purchase behaviors, it is easy to get
overwhelmed so we’ve learned to stay focused and hone in on the
data that will tell us the most for our loyalty program-such as cost of
acquisition, retention and customer feedback. Once we have those
three data points, we can decipher what to act on or improve. While
the analytics have gotten more sophisticated, we have to remember,
at the end of the day, our goal is to delight our customers.”
-Ryan Massimo | Dell
TENETS FOR SUCCESS. You are building a new loyalty program from
the ground up. It’s time for your existing loyalty program to get a re-boot.
Putting the customer at the center of your loyalty framework and all that
it encompasses is critical for success.
Q: We are in the early planning stages of launching a new customer
loyalty program. What are some critical tenets we need to think
about focusing on in today’s complex environment?
“Focus on the customer-Best Western’s mission statement of providing
industry leading superior customer care extends throughout the
customer experience. Whether that be customizing the data we
have and promoting a specific offer to them, responding to them in
a timely manner through our call center, or simply providing them a
good experience at the property.”
-Glen MacDonell | Best Western
“One word: Simplicity. Dell Advantage has a simple value prop that
both draws first-time customers, such as free 2nd day shipping, as
well as incents loyalty and return purchases with a clear reward value
in 5% cash-back. We find with this value prop top-of-mind, customers
are more open to our entire portfolio of products beyond what they
initially turned to us for. It increases awareness for both those
customers and their networks through word-of-mouth.”
-Ryan Massimo | Dell
“360-degree integration. We deliver the program where the customer
wants it and allow them to choose how and when they want to view
the video. It is available online through, a personalized email,
and also available through the myAT&T mobile experience.”
-Mike Armstrong | AT&T
One word:

-Ryan Massimo | Dell
Jim Tierney
That is exactly what Best Western has done through its
Best Western Rewards® customer loyalty program, which
took home the 360-Degree Award, Platinum Winner
award at the inaugural Loyalty360 Awards at the 7th
Annual Loyalty Expo, presented by Loyalty360 – The
Loyalty Marketer’s Association.
Garners Top Honor at Loyalty360 Awards
The 360-Degree Award is given to the company that
earned the highest cumulative score across the five
categories evaluated: Reward Program, Customer
Experience & Engagement Strategy, Technology in
Loyalty Marketing, Creative Campaign in Loyalty
Marketing, and Customer Insight or Voice of the
Customer in Loyalty Marketing.
Glen MacDonell, Managing Director, Best Western
Rewards says the simple reason his company won the
award and continues to run a highly successful loyalty
program is its deep commitment to the customer.
“We’re in the business of hospitality, and taking care of
our guests, the customer, is our first order of business,”
MacDonell explains. “The loyalty element is only as good
as the guest experience in many ways. Clearly, the guest
experience is the essential part for someone to
recommend your brand. So the loyalty program is really
integrated into that.”
Loyalty Program and Commitment to Guest Satisfaction
“Hand in Glove”
MacDonell explains that Best Western’s loyalty program
and aggressive commitment to guest satisfaction work
“hand in glove.”
“We want to exude the spirit of hospitality to the guests
who come in,” he said. “There’s a lot of competition and
where you differentiate is really by having great customer
service. We’re not a luxury brand nor do we claim to be.
We provide great value. We want our guests to feel the
reservations and check-in process is easy. We want them
to have a clean, affordable room, and help them make
their travel less stressful. This ties back into our loyalty
program. Guest satisfaction and growth of our loyalty
program are interchangeable.”
Best Western uses guest satisfaction surveys, which as-
sess the entire customer experience from reservation to
check-in, breakfast, and checkout.
“We’re continually surveying our guests and measur-
ing all hotels on guest satisfaction scores and we hold
each property accountable to achieve certain levels,”
MacDonell says. “It’s vital we have a strong intent to
recommend from our guests. We continue to look at that,
grow that, and increase net promoter scores. It’s critical
because that’s going to make or break the brand.”
Customer Service
Some companies might excel in one or two areas related to their
customer loyalty programs and for most that is a notable achievement.
But to excel across multiple loyalty categories, with a steady eye on creating
exemplary customer service experiences on a daily basis while monitoring and
implementing new technologies, is an estimable tour de force.
19 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Focus on
Propels Best Western
Continued on page 20
20 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
While amenity offerings may vary by descriptor
maintains that the guest experience should
be consistent regardless of hotel type
or location.
“We feel there’s an appropriate way to take
care of our guests,” he says. “For elite level
members of Best Western Rewards, we want
to recognize them when they come to the
hotel. They travel frequently and by the time
they get to our front desk they’ve had a long
day. We want to quickly and efficiently check
them in, but we also want to let them know
how much we appreciate their business and
make sure their stay exceeds their expectations.”
To keep pace with changing what’s most
important with guests, MacDonell adds: “We
harvest comments from our guests, our call
centers and our hoteliers. It helps us keep
things fresh on what’s most important to
our guests.”
Shift Toward Growing Targeted
Customer Segments
Best Western has shifted from looking at
overall growth of the program to focus on
growing targeted customer segments,
MacDonell explains.
“When we are able to customize our promo-
tions and messaging, we get stronger and
more engaging outcomes, which make our
investments more efficient,” he says. “New
technologies have presented better ways to
reach out to these segments.”
Speaking of technology, MacDonell says
it’s an imperative piece of the hospitality
“In our space, it’s a matter of competitiveness,”
he says. “To be competitive, you have to be out
there, on the shelf. When we look at where
shopping and reservations occur, more and
more are purchased via mobile devices. So
we need to always have a product or service
that’s easy to consume on those devices.”
Loyalty Program Redemption Thresholds
Unchanged in Past Decade
Best Western has considerable, genuine
competition, MacDonell says. He cites Best
Western’s Status Match…No Catch® program
along with the fact the company has main-
tained its loyalty program redemption levels
for the past 10 years as two successful
strategies that still resonate with consumers.
“This shows our customers that we put their
needs first,” he says. “Our award-winning
Status Match…No Catch program was
another opportunity. It takes time to build
elite status with a brand, and we’re willing
to match the elite status of any other brand
to give those travelers an opportunity to
experience our brand without sacrificing their
hard-earned status.”
MacDonell explains the often difficult
dilemma of understanding customers’
disparate expectations.
“Some guests are traveling for business, some
for leisure, some for both and we need to
cater to each of their needs based on their
‘trip persona,’” he says. “We encourage our
staff to adapt to the customer standing in
front of you. If I’m in a suit, I’m looking for
something quick. If I’m in shorts, maybe I
need directions to some place nearby. It’s
difficult to know just from the reservation
what the purpose of the guest’s trip is. It’s an
area we want to further develop, but we’ve
done a good job of setting expectations
for what the experience should be like and
personal touches are the biggest hallmarks
of that.”
Best Western Rewards members earn 10
points for every U.S. dollar spent or airline/
partner rewards with each qualified stay;
hotel stay rewards with no blackout dates;
exclusive offers; points that never expire;
and Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Elite
status tiers.
What’s more, as an extension of Best Western
Rewards, Best Western offers co-branded
programs, partnering with AAA and CAA
in Canada and Harley-Davidson through its
Ride Rewards® program. Best Western also
offers Service Rewards for men and women in
the armed forces, Speed Rewards (targeting
motorsports fans), and Business Advantage
targeting small- and medium-sized businesses.
These partner programs are yet another great
way for Best Western to engage on a personal
level with its loyal customers.
Tying Together From a Value Standpoint
“We try and tie all that together from a value
standpoint,” he says. “From a loyalty stand-
point, we have different layers that resonate
well with our customers.”
Developing and growing its targeted customer
segments is a matter of being able to
communicate effectively.
“We’re always visible and promoting the
program in different ways,” MacDonell says.
“We identify our customer base and see
who will be in the market to travel again and
ensure they receive a relevant offer from us.
We look at our data very carefully and look
at a customer’s propensity to travel. We’re
constantly reaching out at the right time
using data that leads us to understand what
makes them tick.”
Returning to the topic of technology,
MacDonell says Best Western studies the
industry and trends very closely.
Best Western continued...
21 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014 21 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
10 Years of
Nights per Year to Elite Status
Status Match...
No Catch
Guests per Night
Hotels Delivering Exceptional
Customer Experience Consistently
Decline in Complaints
Facebook Fans
Best Western Rewards Program Members
Ranking in U.S. News & World Report
Best Hotel Rewards Program
Loyalty360 Awards - Platinum Winner
22 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Best Western continued...
Mobile is the Key Thing
“Without a doubt, the key trend is toward
mobile in the hotel industry and it’s absolutely,
positively a competitive necessity for us to be
visible in the space,” he explains. “Consumers
are searching, shopping and buying through
smartphones and tablets and we’ve made
sure we have integrated reservation capabilities
and the Best Western Rewards program into
these platforms.”
Recently, Best Western announced that it
will become the first hotel chain to offer rich
360-degree photography of all of its North
American hotels through Google Maps
Business View.
“Google is interested enhancing the user
experience by giving consumers the
ability see exactly what they’re buying,”
MacDonell says. “We’re confident in what
we’re selling. With Google Maps Business
View, you can look at lobby, fitness center,
breakfast room, and guest rooms all before
you make a reservation. We look forward to
showcasing our hotels and think that will be
another game-changer that will make
shopping and buying decisions much easier.”
MacDonell points to Wi-Fi as a recent
example of Best Western refining its offering.
“We’ve been offering free Wi-Fi at our hotels
for over 10 years and recently increased our
standards for bandwidth as studies show that
Wi-Fi is now valued more than breakfast,” he
says. “This is a perfect example of how we
respond to the ‘Voice of the Customer.’”
For MacDonell and Best Western Rewards,
which launched 26 years ago, only
opportunities exist.
“We want to get more customers enrolled
in the program and activate more of our
existing membership,” he says. “There is a
lot of competition out there and we need to
always listen to what is most important
to the prospective member. Once they’ve
enrolled in the program we want them to
know we know them, providing offers that
makes sense for them.”
Best Western aspires to deliver great value,
MacDonell says.
“Best Western hotels are available just about
anywhere you need a hotel, are competitively
priced, offer breakfast, free Wi-Fi with the
Best Western Rewards program as an added
benefit,” he says. “Keeping it simple and
focusing on the basics of delivering value to
them is a hallmark of the program. Make sure
you’re prepared to bring in the right data to
measure the business results and customize
promotional initiatives to your guests. Keep
the program simple for consumers.”
Loyalty Program Metrics
Best Western measures the effectiveness of
Best Western Rewards through revenue con-
tribution of the loyalty program to the brand,
incremental room nights, revenue added by
members, and member retention.
“Loyalty programs are an important marketing
program for many companies because
research shows that customers who enroll
are more likely to give that brand a greater
share of their wallet,” MacDonell explains.
“Competition in the hotel industry is fierce,
but with more than 300,000 guests per
night, Best Western has the ability to
cultivate a strong base of loyal customers
to grow its share of the market.”
Best Western’s brand promise, “Stay With
People Who Care®,” is a guiding light for the
company’s ongoing commitment to deliver
greater value to members.
Reward it Forward
One of the most recent additions has been
the brand’s award-winning Reward it For-
ward® employee recognition program, where
guests have the opportunity to recognize
a Best Western employee for outstanding
customer service. In 2013 alone, employees
received more than 20,000 compliments for
superior customer care.
The goals of the Reward It Forward program
are to:
• Promote random acts of kindness from
hotel staff toward guests, particularly Best
Western Rewards members.
• Ensure Best Western Rewards members
and Best Western guests know their
opinions are valued and that they have a say
in rewarding hotel staff.
• Create a seamless process for the guest
and Best Western Rewards member to
recognize a superior act of customer service.
• Integrate acts of customer care with
marketing efforts, content marketing and
social initiatives.
Launched in January of 2013, the Reward It
Forward engagement initiative comprised
the following components:
• Elite Best Western Rewards members
(those staying more than 10 nights per
year) were provided Reward It Forward
certificates to distribute to deserving hotel
associates, along with program details.
• Guests were also provided an email address
to which they could send positive comments
about associates’ superior service.
• Hotel associates who received the certificates
submitted them to Best Western in
exchange for 250 points which could then
be redeemed for rewards.
Best Western measures the
effectiveness of Best Western
Rewards through revenue contribution
of the loyalty program to the brand,
incremental room nights, revenue added
by members, and member retention.
23 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
• Best Western tracked certificate redemptions in order to further
recognize efforts by distributing gift baskets and other items to
the hotels and hotel associates with the highest number of
certificate redemptions.
What’s more, the customer service team has implemented many new
services to allow members greater access to information, reducing
20% of calls into the service center.
“This year Best Western Rewards account information was also
integrated into the brand’s Best Western To Go apps,” MacDonell
explains. “Each of these steps was designed from customer feedback
to create more program value.”
Best Western has maintained its point redemption thresholds for free
nights for more than 10 years, resisting the industry’s trend at devaluing
currency. Best Western Rewards has several award-winning loyalty
programs including Status Match…No Catch, Reward it Forward,
Travel Hero, and Vacation Citation.
Tripled Program Membership in Past Decade
Best Western Rewards has more than tripled its member penetration
since 2004.
“The program benefits are truly some of the most generous in the
industry and have been tremendously effective in creating loyal
guests for Best Western hoteliers,” MacDonell says. “Members
redeem millions of points each year for global free nights, partner
programs, merchandise, and retail gift cards providing great rewards
for their loyalty.”
The program is also an important part of Best Western’s global
marketing strategy to expand its customer base and move market
share to its hotels. The program enrollment growth, combined with
the activation of existing members, has helped boost the brand to
record financial performance.
“Delivering an exceptional customer experience consistently at more
than 4,000 hotels worldwide is a challenge,” MacDonell says. “We
teamed up with our most loyal guests to recognize hotel associates
who have gone above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction. The
Reward It Forward program leverages customer responses, data, and
emails to help provide a consistent experience at our hotels. The
program brought greater awareness of our brand promise to both
guests and hotel employees. We tracked the certificate redemptions
and customer emails across the brand, and we provided gift baskets to
top-performing hotels giving general managers another motivational
tool for their staff.”
Far Fewer Complaints from Elite Members
MacDonell cited a whopping 57% decline in complaints from elite
members of Best Western Rewards due to the company’s customer
experience and engagement strategy.
“This relatively small portion of our overall program membership
drives a very significant portion of our program revenue,” he says.
“Therefore, any program that reduces complaints and increases their
brand activation has significant ROI for Best Western.”
What’s more, the interactions and rewards were integrated into social
media programs.
“Every week we would highlight a ‘wow’ moment in customer service
on our social media channels based on a guest comment, generating
additional engagement with the brand’s more than one million social
media connections,” MacDonell explains.
Social media is the top-rated online activity currently with a 72%
participation rate from U.S. adults.
Huge Social Media Presence
“Knowing that engaging with existing and future guests via social
media channels is more important than ever, Best Western wanted
to design a campaign that would have a strong social component
and allow the brand to interact with its more than 1 million Facebook
fans, including its Best Western Rewards members,” MacDonell says.
“Recent insights shared through social media, coupled with a survey
conducted by the United States Tour Operators Association, reveal
a common sentiment that customers consistently leave their hard-
earned vacation days on the table, forgoing much-needed time off.
Best Western also partnered with a research firm to do some of its
own research surrounding this notion. Results showed that more than
half of U.S. travelers expected to leave unused vacation days on the
table in 2013. Further, when they did take time off, travelers found it
difficult to leave the stresses of work at the office.”
As a result, Best Western leveraged these findings to create a unique
spring Facebook “Be a Travel Hero” campaign, inviting travelers to
build a vacation for friends and family on Best Western’s Facebook
page and be entered to win great prizes and for being a “hero” to their
family or friends by using their points earned while on business for
vacation hotel stays.
“This engaging social media campaign also created an opportunity for
customer relationship management enabling Best Western to better
deliver promotions and programs that resonate with what matters to
customers based on their feedback, thereby extending the customer
life cycle,” MacDonell says.
Vacation Citation
In 2013, Best Western launched the Vacation Citation digital campaign
on Facebook. Participants who issued themselves or someone else a
“Vacation Citation” were entered in weekly drawings for prizes and a
grand prize of a dream vacation. What’s more, Best Western Rewards
members were automatically registered for the Spring Promotion and
a chance to earn a free night stay. The interactive social media cam-
paign successfully targeted business–in particular road warriors–and
leisure travelers that were not previously engaged with the brand and
the more than 20 million Best Western Rewards program members.
Best Western was recently awarded the No. 2
spot on U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural
list of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs. It also
garnered the TravelClick eMarketer of the Year
award for integrated use of multiple digital
platforms to drive bookings and engagement.
MacDonell says Best Western reaffirmed its
commitment to helping guests and loyalty
members through its online and mobile offer-
ings, introducing last year a redesigned version
of the Best Western To Go app for iOS, Android
and a specifically designed iPad app. L
24 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
“We always want to grow our program,” Nelson
explains. “Much of our marketing strategy is
built upon the MVP Program, so utilizing all the
insights we have in conjunction with increasing
our membership is very important. At the same
time, we do want to be sure we prevent fraud and
get usable data from our members. We require a
valid email address in order to participate in the
program. By switching to Paytronix email, we are
able to monitor and administrate this in real time.
With these types of added capabilities, we will
be able to move members with invalid data into a
tier that will prevent them from redeeming their
benefits, discounts or rewards for the first time.
If such a guest visits a store, the server will see
on their points receipt that their email came up
invalid, and we can capture the correct information
to update their accounts.”
Instead of resting on its laurels, Duffy’s Sports
Grill has expanded its loyalty program through
highly targeted emailing. Since the inception of its
MVP loyalty program in 2003, Duffy’s has seen
great success.
“We had an aggressive loyalty model that was
more robust than many competitors,” Nelson
explains. “Within a few years, we had 200,000
members, and as we were analyzing the data to
grow the program.
Nelson says Duffy’s has a “pretty intense” set of
triggered email messages and campaigns.
“Now we’re able to be a lot more strategic
on when and how we communicate with our
members,” she explains. “Before we could never
include someone’s points balance in an email.
Now we can include their points and reward
balance in real-time on every email we send. This
feature spurs additional visits for guests who may
not have realized they have rewards to spend or
for other guests who are getting very close to
earning a reward.” Nelson outlines the current
three-tiered loyalty program:
MVP (which is free to join): You earn 1 point
per each $1 spent. When you reach 100 points,
this automatically converts to $10 in rewards on
your card. We offer guests a “free gift” on their
birthday which varies based on their frequency
(varies between Free Dessert, Free Appetizer or
Free Entrée - any item on the menu). We offer
double points on Tuesday. MVPs get call-ahead
seating and 40% off our food menu weekdays
from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This discount is automated
through our POS so servers don’t have to search
for managers to manually apply discounts.
All Star MVPs (guests who spend $1,000 or
more in a 12-month period): All the regular MVP
benefits, but they earn 1.25 points per $1 spent.
They get a personalized silver “All Star” card;
“On Deck” seating, which allows guests to go to
the top of the list when the store is on a wait; a
dedicated All Star Hotline; and their birthday gift
is a $25 bonus loaded on their cards.
Hall of Fame Members (guests who spend
$3,000 or more in a 12-month period): All the
regular MVP and “All Star” benefits, but they earn
1.5 points per $1 spent. They get a personalized black
“Hall of Fame” card, free ticket offers to local
sports events throughout the year, the exclusive
option to make reservations, their own “Hall of
Fame” hotline, no cover charge for pay-per-view
boxing events and on their birthday they get $50
loaded on their cards.
Enhances MVP Loyalty Program through Highly Targeted Email
Sandy Nelson, Director of
Marketing, Duffy’s Sports
Grill, says that a staggering
73% of company sales are
loyalty-related across its 24
casual-dining restaurants
in southern Florida.
Jim Tierney
25 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Nelson says Duffy’s is doing a lot of things
with apps and alternate ways for guests to
access the MVP program. Duffy’s Sports
Grill has expanded its MVP loyalty program
with the addition of mobile check in, mobile
sign-up and real-time messaging capabilities.
Duffy’s MVP rewards program now boasts
more than 425,000 active members.
With check-level data and other metrics
provided by the POS integrated solution,
Duffy’s is able to strategically design messaging,
offers, and promotions tailored to each
tier’s behavior.
Duffy’s Sports Grill MVP program’s
enhancements include:
Mobile Check-in: Allows members to go
“cardless” and still earn points or redeem
rewards when they check in to identify them-
selves at the location; it also allows Duffy’s
servers to see who has checked in via the
POS so they can better acknowledge guests
and inform them of any rewards available on
their account.
Mobile Signup: Eliminates paper applications
and the store-level administration of the MVP
program in favor of digital enrollment. This
will provide Duffy’s with much better, quali-
fied data from guests when they sign up via
Duffy’s Mobile App, Text, or online via their
website. New members can also join via the
MVP Kiosk in the lobby of each restaurant.
Real-Time Behavior-Triggered Messaging:
Enables Duffy’s to quickly communicate with
guests on pertinent limited-time offers, new-
menu-item surveys, and distance to the next
reward, plus remind guests of rewards earned
as well as applicable expiration dates.
“With the integrated data available, we can
easily issue different rewards for different
segments,” Nelson says. “We’re able to
offer incentives and rewards based on the
MVPs’ behavior.”
Nelson explains that Duffy’s doesn’t conduct
formal surveys.
“Our MVPs are very engaged, and we get a
lot of response anytime there are changes to
the program. We have a Help Desk dedicated
to MVP Guest service, and we respond to all
emails we receive,” she says.
Nelson said Duffy’s maintains a slightly older
demographic, which is “not so tech savvy,
but value savvy. It’s hard to quantify, but a
good portion of each segment is trying to
move up to the next level. People are vigilante
about their points and rewards. We’ve been
successful in increasing both frequency and
spending levels of each of our segments.”
Duffy’s looks at other programs to see what
they’re offering.
“But it’s hard to find many programs as robust
as ours,” Nelson says. “Our percentage back
($10 on $100 spent) to guests is higher than
any other competitors we come across. We
spend much more time analyzing our data
and improving our results year over year.”
In fact, Nelson says Duffy’s conducts an
intense analysis of the MVP program twice
per year.
“Typically, we split the entire database into a
few predetermined segments and compare
to the previous year’s statistics for average
number of visits and spend per member along
with the growth of each segment,” she says.
“Since we have check-level integration, we
also closely monitor ‘promotion expense,’ or
the cost of the various discounts and rewards
that we provide to our members. It’s helpful
to see how that changes over time so we can
fine tune benefits and promotions to stay
aligned with our profitability goals.”
What plans does Duffy’s have for its
loyalty program?
“The most significant plan for the loyalty
program this year is to enhance the technology
and grow the program using digital platforms,”
Nelson says. “We just launched a new way
to join the program. There are no more
handwritten applications. Instead MVPs can
join online via our website, our Duffy’s app, in
the store’s lobby on a kiosk by ‘texting to join.’
Now, potential guests can join before visiting
or at their leisure instead of having to take
the time to write everything down. We think
this will enhance the quality of our data and
ensure we can effectively communicate with
our MVPs.”
In conjunction with this initiative, Duffy’s is
encouraging its members to go cardless.
“They can ‘Text to check in’ to earn points,
redeem rewards and access their discounts
using the cell phone that is listed on their
MVP account,” Nelson says. “This is a huge
upgrade for many folks who don’t want to
carry another card in their wallet and also
helpful if a guest forgets their card. They will
never miss out on rewards or points with this
new method. Guests who join can stay
completely cardless or get a physical card
when visiting any Duffy’s location.” L
26 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Too often, call center agents don’t receive
as much credit as they should as they are
relegated to the back-end-but absolutely
crucial-side of the business. At Xerox,
though, it has developed a game-changing
technology armed with gamification tools
that is engaging call center agents like
never before.
The technology is called Xerox Agent
Performance Indicator Software
(Xerox API).
Social scientists at the Xerox Research
Centre Europe in Grenoble, France studied
various aspects of how call center agents
work to gain a better understanding of
their daily challenges.
Two members of the Xerox Research
Centre Europe-Tommaso Colombino,
Researcher, Work Practice Technology;
and Francois Ragnet, Chief Innovation
Officer, Xerox Services Europe-discussed
the innovative technology with
Colombino says he and Ragnet set out to
study the life of a call center agent.
“We went to call centers and conducted
observational studies,” Colombino
explained. “We sat with agents, shadowed
them, and observed their work trying to
understand what their routine is. What
struck us was the call centers generate
a lot of data but because of the organi-
zational structures, it’s designed to push
data upstream and generate reports. So
they are not easily accessible to people
who do work.”
Colombino says their concept was
fairly simple.
“From a technological aspect, we wanted
to aggregate data from these various
reporting mechanisms and make it
available to agents,” he explains.
After ethnographers studied customer
care workers and wanted to increase
productivity, and address boredom and
feelings of isolation they reported
experiencing, Xerox data scientists
created a tool that uses gaming
techniques to provide feedback and
encourage teamwork.
The XAPI technology tool has already
been deployed with 1,500 agents in
Europe and achieved impressive results.
It will continue to be rolled out around
the world to other centers and agents as
Xerox has more than 40,000 agents. At
this time, it will not be sold as software to
third parties.
Ragnet refers to the XAPI technology as
“one of our success stories. It helps how
they do their day-to-day job, focuses on
interaction between team leaders and
agents, and how do we motivate everyone
to go further into their work. It’s a technology
that came out of research, bringing to
the agent the awareness of how well they
are doing.”
Here’s how the XAPI technology works in
the call center:
Over the course of the workday, Xerox
API provides agents with continuous
feedback on their performance in a fun,
interactive way. Using green, yellow and
red color codes, agents can see how they
are doing in areas such as time spent on
a call, number of calls handled, and other
key performance indicators. Traditional
feedback methods involve a manager
emailing performance reports to agents
once or twice a day.
This gives the employee immediate and
continuous feedback on his own perfor-
mance on the phone and his or her
position to the best performer in the team.
The team manager has a widget of his
entire team at a glance which he has
insight into the performance of his team in
real time.
Agents using the technology show significant
improvement on standard performance
measures such as the amount of time
Engaging Call Center Employees in Fun, Innovative Ways
The daily tasks of call center
agents around the world may
seem mundane to many, but
to brand executives, they are
the heart and soul of any
successful company.
Companies are constantly
seeking more efficient and
innovative ways to engage their
customers. But many times,
these same companies don’t
place as much emphasis on
employee engagement. Happy
and motivated employees act
as the fulcrum upon which
success and memorable
customer experiences rest.
Jim Tierney
27 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
spent solving a customer problem. The tool also has helped streamline
the relationship between managers and their teams.
What’s more, the XAPI technology encourages collaboration and
setting goals combined with some fun and healthy competition.
“It provides real-time feedback,” Ragnet says. “It’s also a tool for
helping agents and team leaders interact. It has been successful and
heightens the interactions between call agents and team leaders, and
everyone is performing better in a more customer-oriented environment.”
Colombino says throughout the research process, his team addressed
the problem of weekly coaching sessions.
“It was very difficult for agents to tell where they were based on
weekly coaching sessions and that’s where the original idea came
from,” he explains. “It’s important for agents to be able to self-monitor.
We felt it was necessary for them to have access to that information
whenever they need it.”
Ragnet says since the XAPI tool has been deployed, call center agents
have fewer questions because they know how they are doing.
“The sessions now are more to the point and more accurate,” he says.
“The technology allows them to focus on a lot of quality time and,
ultimately, it’s helping with the KPIs and with customers.”
Xerox started deploying the technology in early 2013 and is looking at
implementing it in its U.S. facilities this year.
Ragnet admits that, at first, the reception from call center agents to
the XAPI technology was rather cool.
“Initially, there was a bit of reluctance or distrust like Big Brother is
watching you,” he explains. “Once they understood the value of the
tool, and actionable KPIs (wait time,) once they have this in their
hands the feedback has been very positive. When the tool is deployed
correctly, it’s getting a lot of acceptance. Agents see value in their
day-to-day jobs and added some more motivation by bringing some
fun elements to the job.”
Ragnet says Xerox is looking toward adding badges and avatars, along
with creating individual and team challenges to increase the employee
engagement levels even more.
“The team leader can see whole team performance, knows what the
target is and what his own benchmarks are,” Ragnet adds.
Ragnet says the “big objective” with gamification was to make the job
more fun and turn it into an awareness tool.
“As soon as you have actionable KPIs, gamification could potentially
apply,” he says. “The model is mostly to run internally rather than
make it a commercially available product. Getting social media
engagement tools that allow us to spot trends and then engage
customers … we see that as future of our business. The goal is to have
agents have this data at their fingertips.”
Colombino believes the XAPI technology sets itself apart because
it’s deeply rooted in Xerox’s ethnography and was essentially
designed and built from observations of actual work practices in
Xerox call centers
“That is one significant difference from deploying tools based on
the perceived needs of call center management,” he explains.
“It was designed to address the challenges that were confirmed
and/or uncovered during the studies as well as learning from existing
current practices.”
A key element to better employee engagement is transparency,
Ragnet says.
“Enabling the agent to have easy access to their performance in
real-time as well as using the same information as a basis for their
coaching and communication sessions with their manager empowers
them in fixing different objectives that they are engaged in and
motivated to realize,” he explains.
The second element to better employee engagement is gamification.
“Gamification is an emerging business practice, applying lessons from
psychology, design strategy and technology, but it’s harder than it
appears,” Ragnet says. “PBLs (Points, Badges and Leaderboards) are
not enough to engage agents in a Call Center–it is important to find
the right balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, fun,
progression and engagement loops, using different channels to engage
agents and keep them motivated towards a common goal-making the
Call Center more effective and satisfying the customer. This ultimately
improves Customer Satisfaction (engagement and experience)–a
happier agent, with better feedback and control over his/her
performance will have a more positive interaction with the customer.
And, of course, Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance
metrics communicated to the agent. By using this technology, we are
turning un-skilled agents into to professional, empowered agents.”
Colombino says it was crucial for call center agents to be able to see
at a glance where their current performance stands with respect to
their goals, and how it is trending.
“This is important not just because goals have to be met to respect
the SLA, but because agents are expected to effectively balance
quality (i.e. taking the time to ensure the needs of any particular
customer are met) with quantity (i.e. ensuring all the customers are
attended to within a reasonable time frame),” Colombino says. “We
were already working on a technology concept designed to visualize
personal metrics and this was a different domain which seemed to
present similar challenges.” L
Over the course of the workday, Xerox
API provides agents with continuous
feedback on their performance in a fun,
interactive way. Using green, yellow and
red color codes, agents can see how
they are doing in areas such as time
spent on a call, number of calls handled,
and other key performance indicators.
The team manager has a widget of his entire team at a
glance which he has insight into the performance of his
team in real time.
28 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
I’m responsible for facilitating the creation and discovery of must-
have experiences and products. This includes planning, creation and
management of innovative, useful and intuitively designed consumer
products. I’m also responsible for all consumer products and experiences
in wireless, fiber to the home, mobile, web, applications, and our
loyalty rewards program
Being in the technology space, we are constantly evolving for competi-
tive, technology and customer expectation needs. We never rest on
our current product and service innovations. We consistently are
pushing to get better, go bigger and change the industries that we
compete in.
Specifically around loyalty, I see the biggest opportunity around
rewards programs and analytics platforms. I see rewards programs as
a key differentiator in the wireless space. In an industry where phones
are the same and network build outs will eventually be similar experi-
ences and plan pricing is a becoming more commoditized, service
providers will have to differentiate based on the service and support
experience and the rewards they offer.
Loyalty rewards, tied with analytic platforms that allow for incredible
targeting capabilities and access to data at the user level to help both
the marketing and operational side of the business become much
more efficient and effective, is an incredibly powerful 1, 2 punch.
1. Go back in time and tell my past self all the learnings we’ve had over
the past few years with our experiences
2. See into the future to better predict consumer behavior and
technology evolution
3. World Peace
People are consuming more and more information at a faster pace.
This gives marketers and brands more opportunities but less mind
share and time. Companies need to be much more agile and leverage
technologies to become more efficient with every dollar they invest.
Customer Inspired Simplicity – this applies to everything from the
user interfaces we create to the experience a customer has when
they come into a store for service. It should be simple to understand,
simple to use and not add complexity to their life. We start with what
is the best experience for the customer and work our way backwards
on how to execute.
Kale Sligh is Director of Brand Experiences & Products at C Spire.
Kale is a marketing strategist with extensive experience in innovative
and multi-platform development projects. He has a passion for
developing and managing talented individuals, including leading
the team that won the Platinum Loyalty360 Award - Best Use of
Customer Insight or Voice of the Customer in Loyalty Marketing.
Every time we do any type of usability research, there are always
generally a lot of these moments. The most memorable is one that is
always recurring…no matter how simple you may think you’ve made
something, generally there’s a way to do it better. There are always
moments where we just didn’t spell out the most basic things that
we thought everyone would assume. Never assume consumers will
understand what you’re alluding to and generally most people don’t
read a lot of detail. Keep your messages short, clean and simple…and
say what you mean clearly. Be upfront.
Quote from legendary UCLA Bruins basketball coach John Wooden:
“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” In my world, that means we must move
quickly to be competitive, but at no point should we ever jeopardize
an experience for speed.
Coaching or teaching
My wife, son and mother – for the obvious reasons and John Wooden
– very inspiring individual and could learn a lot about life and leadership
I don’t read a lot of books, but I read a lot. Mostly technology outlets
and publications. Good book as it pertains to business – “Good to
Great” by Jim Collins
Don’t over think things and trust your instincts. Generally what’s
valuable to you will be valuable to others. If what you’re doing doesn’t
seem valuable or isn’t something that you would act on personally,
then there is probably a problem.
Your internal communications must be as strong as your external.
Often in marketing, a lot of thought goes in to building incredible
marketing campaigns, but not as much as internal. Your internal
teams are your front lines and ultimately will make or break any
program, campaign, or product. Bring them along, help them believe
and consumers will follow. L
* Inspired by James Lipton on “Inside the Actors Studio” we asked Kale to share his quick fire response
to the questions originating from the French series, “Bouillon de Culture” hosted by Bernard Pivot.
Always ask myself: “Is this the
best possible experience for the
customer, is this valuable and is
this truly impactful?”
29 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Advancements &
Build lasting relationships with Wrapp
Wrapp is a social gifting app with a twist – all the gifts are free to give away.
Retailers who want to build lasting relationships with their customers can give
away sponsored promotional gifts and rewards through Wrapp. Wrapp's shopping-
loving users share the promotional gifts with their friends via Facebook, text
message and email. Millennials trust their friends more than brands, and Wrapp's
platform is built on what we call "friend-to-friend marketing." When a friend shares
your gift, they endorse your brand on social media and they send a friendly invite to
visit your store. And people do visit your store.
Wrapp's iOS, Android and web apps are built on existing infrastructure – social
networks and gift card processors. Wrapp has integrated with First Data, SVS and
more to deliver unique codes to the user. When redeeming a gift you simply hit
redeem on your phone and the store associate will scan the barcode or type in the
code. Wrapp is also a Facebook app that allows brand to get deep demographic
and like data in addition to the transactional data. It also allow brands to target
their promotional gifts to certain demographics and it makes it easy for consumers
to share gifts with their friends on Facebook.
Wrapp works with retailers such as H&M, Victoria's Secret, American Eagle
Outfitters and more. Wrapp's mobile app is used by millions of consumers who
enjoy interacting with the brands they love.
Wrapp was founded in Sweden in 2011 by
Hjalmar Winbladh (co-founder and
previous CEO Rebtel), Andreas Ehn
(founding CTO Spotify) and other serial
entrepreneurs with experience from
successful consumer services. Niklas
Zennström (co-founder Skype) and Reid
Hoffman (co-founder LinkedIn) joined
Wrapp’s board of directors as the venture
capital firms Atomico Ventures and
Greylock Partners also invested in Wrapp.
In 2012 Wrapp launched in the US and
partners with major brands like H&M,
Sephora, American Eagle Outfitters."
30 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
TouchCommerce, a provider of online engagement
solutions for market leading brands, has introduced
TouchConnect™ -- a unique collaboration solution for
contact centers aimed at improving the omni-channel
customer experience. TouchConnect seamlessly leads
customers off the traditional call channels via online
engagement and guides callers to self-service.
When customers reach a call center, they typically
receive verbal instructions that do not incorporate an
online component or encourage customers to
self-serve. The verbal explanation can be
misunderstood and misdiagnosed, causing
unnecessary frustration and adding time to the call.
TouchConnect addresses this gap in the market by
providing a way for call agents at contact centers to
streamline communications with customers through
a convenient, easy-to-use collaboration tool which
integrates co-browsing into the contact center
operations. TouchConnect features include
co-browse, transfer-to-chat, ability to offer rich
media content and special deals to customers, as
well as a call and chat history that can be integrated
into the call center's CRM system.
In addition to helping contact center agents expedite
callers' issue resolution with co-browse, transfer-to-
chat, and relevant content, TouchConnect also
enables contact centers to offer self-serve options in
an IVR environment. TouchConnect is offered as part
of the TouchCare solution suite.
More at
LRG – a Myaxs company is introducing a revolutionary, patented technology
into the loyalty space.
LRG (Local Redemption Globally) is a technology that allows the consumer to
convert their points and make a purchase on ANY e-commerce website in the
world that has been selected for the program. LRG will change the way our industry
looks at program rewards fulfillment both locally and internationally.
Global Redemption Simplified
More and more companies are looking for a fulfillment platform that delivers a
comparable user experience and value proposition both locally and globally.
As programs become more global in participation and non-core rewards become
an ever-increasing component, LRG is pleased to provide a global, multi-language,
multi-currency customizable solution to complement existing program core offerings.
Consistent Experience
The LRG platform provides participants with a consistent experience and value
proposition in any country around the world. The platform provides participants
with the ability to redeem their points on participating e-commerce retailers in a
seamless and easy to use process.

Customization and Flexibility
The platform is customized to reflect branding and communication style. The
platform can be segmented to offer different options and value to each segment in
the database. Customization can include minimum and maximum redemption
amounts, conversion value and offering by segment. Branding can also be changed
by segment to reflect each segment’s unique value proposition.

LRG Platform
The LRG platform is a robust, easy to implement platform that will increase
participant loyalty and satisfaction while still delivering a positive program ROI.
For more information on LRG please contact:
Ron Benegbi | President |
Swiftpage, a leading CRM and emarketing solutions provider, has unveiled its
newest innovation, titled the Saleslogix Xbar. The Xbar is an add-in that enables
users to access their most important Saleslogix information and functionality
through an intuitive, context-aware window that is “docked” within the Outlook®
interface. When a contact is accessed in Outlook® through opening e-mail
correspondence or calendar activities, the Xbar instantly displays key information,
activities and opportunities for that contact stored in Saleslogix.
A wide range of information and activities can be accessed, including interaction
history, follow-up action items, leads generated from e-marketing campaigns,
opportunity management, and more. Users can freely work with and modify the
Saleslogix information, taking actions and updating the information as necessary,
all from within Outlook® and without ever losing sight of their inbox.
Users can also quickly create entirely new contacts, accounts and opportunities
through the Xbar. This can often be done quickly and conveniently by dragging and
dropping existing information from e-mails into the Xbar interface. Contact, calendar
and interaction history changes made in Xbar automatically update within Saleslogix
in real-time, ensuring other team members can immediately see and access the
updated information.
The Saleslogix Xbar is the next major milestone in an overarching product
and business strategy from Swiftpage.
KLM Meet & Seat
KLM's Meet & Seat lets you find out about interesting
people who will be on board your KLM flight such as
other passengers attending the same event as you at
your destination.
Simply share your Facebook or LinkedIn profile details
to check other participating passengers' details and
where they'll be sitting. Of course you can also choose
your seat.
Meet & Seat is available:
• For bookings with 1 passenger on all KLM-operated
flights to and from Amsterdam
• Until 1 hour before departure
• Via My Trip or when checking in online
How does it work
• On, log in to My Trip or check in (from 30
hours before departure) and go to the seat map.
• Log in to your Facebook or LinkedIn account.
• Select the profile details you want to share with
other passengers and add your travel details.
Next, the seat map will show you:
• Other participating passengers' profile details –
regardless which social media account they or
you used.
• Which seat they have chosen.
• Which seats are available: you can select a seat, for
example, next to someone with similar interests
– and change as often as you like.
Plus, if you want to, you can sign up to receive an
e-mail 3 days before departure, in which you'll see
who has joined Meet & Seat on your flight.
For more information, visit the KLM Meet & Seat
website at:
(Information provided from the KLM website)
32 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Customers are aware of the trail of transactional and behavioral data left in their wake.
They are coming to expect that brands will use that information to serve up personalized
and customized experiences, whether it’s in the store, on the brand’s website, via
email, on social media, mobile or contact with the call center. Marketers and
operations professionals know this, but orchestrating personalized experiences for
all customer engagements on all channels is extremely difficult.
making it
Who to
Check Out:
Today, customers swiftly transition between multiple channels when interacting
with a brand and they expect the brand to keep up. It’s critical to break down the silos
that once isolated the data associated with those channels. Companies are investing
in CEM systems that collect voice of the customer data in real-time – across all
channels and business units – and provide insights to customer-facing employees
that allow them to improve customer experiences, identify and resolve problems.
This is especially complex and critical for organizations that interact with customers
across multiple business units.
Addressing the audience at the 7th annual Loyalty Expo, Loyalty360 CEO Mark
Johnson advised that a sixth C – Confidence – should be added to the existing five
C’s of loyalty marketing (Commitment, Collaboration, Community, Content, and
Commerce). Brands who are approaching loyalty as a process, not just a program,
are showing confidence in their approach by investing in tools, technology
and people. As exemplified by the Loyalty360 Award winners, the investments
are paying off in the form of incremental sales.
Trending Now
Jessica Brown
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Backpacks will be a huge trend this year. Travel and
outdoor activities make the backpack ideal for any
occasion. It is a stylish, sleek and practical way to
carry your items wherever those long summer days
take you. Coach and Michael Kors support these
trends with their summer launch of new designer
backpacks. Michael Kors will be debuting their
checkerboard backpack as well as a backpack
version of their highly popular jet set tote. Coach’s
backpacks will definitely not disappoint, as they
come in a new variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
Not into the backpack trend? Messenger bags and
totes will be equally popular this year in redemption
programs. Easy-travel bags are the way to go for
business professionals as we embark on another
busy summer. Aiding in the balance of work and play,
Kate Spade’s new totes and messenger bags come
in a variety of sizes and colors which give redeemers
the freedom of finding the perfect bag. Kate Spade’s
Cedar Street cross body comes in bright and neutral
tones, perfect for the day to night transitions. They
are a chic way to enjoy your summer, as they are
easily accessible, lightweight and fashionable.
Colors and mixed materials will be another trend this
summer. Designers are sticking to neutrals with a
pop of color, such as black, white and brown with an
accent pop of bright pink, bright blue or red. A must
have is Furla’s Candy Medium Satchel in rose or
cabernet. Pops of color are also being carried over
into the accessory world. Michael Kors recently
released their rose-gold tone watch with a hot
pink dial, which is sure to be a popular redemption
amongst younger generations.
For those who would rather stay with more of a neutral
palette, tortoise is always highly popular in the
spring and summer, along with rose and/or yellow
gold. The Bulova Caravelle watch in tortoise bezel
with a brown dial and rose gold band is always a safe
and stylish bet. This season watches have become the
ultimate accessory – no longer used for just telling
time, they are now more of a fashion statement.
Fashion is also making its way into electronics. The
evolution of wearable technology has men, women
and children of all ages redeeming electronic products.
Garmin’s Vivofit fitness bands come in an assortment
of colors such as purple, blue, green, black and grey.
Color options make these bands unique and stylish,
as they blend in perfectly for wear on any occasion.
The weather also plays a huge factor in the popularity
of these items. As the weather gets warmer more
people will be dedicated to outdoor fitness and/or
participating in outdoor recreational activities.
Skullcandy is staying ahead of curve and on trend
with the summer launch of their new women’s
headphone line. Headphones and ear buds will be
available for redemption in several different prints,
patterns, colors and tones that include fashionable
carrying cases, which is sure to be popular in your
rewards program. This line also feature adjustments
in clamping pressure and form-fitting female-specific
ear gels with Pureclean technology which will attract
women redeemers of all ages.
This season is filled with fun, new and exciting
redemption products that satisfy a plethora of
fashion needs and generational differences. When
partnering up with a loyalty rewards company or
when trying to revamp your current program, it is
imperative to stay on trend with what is new and up-
coming, in order to keep your assortment up to date
which will engage your participants, ensure customer
satisfaction and increase program retention. L
The Must Have
Summer Trends for
As we enter the heart of the summer, those within the loyalty, recognition and rewards industry
will see many new and emerging trends. Women and men are now looking at the hottest
summer retail items which will be mirrored in seasonal loyalty program redemptions.
Jessica Brown is the Senior Director of Luxury Goods and Gift
Cards at Rymax Marketing Services, Inc., a full-service loyalty
marketing provider that creates and manages programs with
targeted rewards and incentives.
34 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
amification is not exactly a new concept. The term itself has been rapidly growing in
popularity as of late, but its core elements have existed for thousands of years. While it
is hard to imagine the ancient Greeks compiling points in attempt to level-up or claim
the top position on a leaderboard, they were indeed using gamified concepts. When it
came to the Olympic Games – games being the keyword here – the glory of winning was
certainly a coveted prize, but the ancient Greeks also used olive-leaf crowns and other material prizes
to incentivize athletes to compete.
Winners of the Games had statues of themselves displayed at Olympia – think of this as a leaderboard.
A one-time winner would have his name featured on a generic male statue bearing no resemblance to
his unique appearance or features. If an athlete were to compile three victories, however, he would
have a bronze or marble statue sculpted exclusively to his likeness – an achievement for leveling up.
Clearly, gamified elements were used in ancient Greece, but whether or not that is to be considered
gamification plays into the ongoing debate over the term’s definition and implications.
In a recently published Gartner research document, “Redefine Gamification to Understand Its Opportunities
and Limitations,” analyst Brian Burke recognizes the fact that gamification is widely misinterpreted,
largely due to the lack of a clear and accurate definition of the actual term. In an attempt to clarify
gamification and its capabilities, Burke and Gartner have redefined gamification as “the use of game
mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”
From that definition, Burke also details the key components therein:
• Game mechanics: points, badges, leaderboards and other elements common to games
• Experience design: the journey players take
• Digitally engage: through digital devices as opposed to other people
• Motivate people to achieve their goals: gamification encourages individuals to change behaviors
in ways that work toward achieving their goals, which can simultaneously enable an organization to
achieve its goals in a business setting
Burke acknowledges that many businesses and organizations have long been using game-like methods
to motivate customers or members – take the ancient Greece example from above. However, what
has been missing in the past is the digital aspect: the ability to apply all of this through computers,
smartphones and other devices. This digital aspect, Burke points out, “is what distinguishes gamified
solutions from predecessors that used very similar methods to motivate people.”
While Burke explicitly cited Nike+ and Khan Academy as notable platforms using gamification as
Gartner defines it, he noted that there are definitely others that have successfully implemented
gamified solutions as well. Keeping that in mind, the success of JetBlue’s TrueBlue Badges program is
worth analyzing in the context of Gartner’s recent gamification research.
JetBlue Badges
Deliver Gartner’s Gamification
Eric Favaloro
With Badges, JetBlue
was looking to differentiate
its loyalty program from
the many others that
exist, and it did so by fully
committing to gamification
through a digital platform.
35 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Badges was added on to JetBlue’s existing TrueBlue loyalty program by
Comarch in late 2013. Like so many other organizations, airlines were
using gamified elements long before gamification became a household
term. Airlines have been rewarding customers since the ‘70s, with
frequent-flyer programs now an industry standard.
All frequent-flyer loyalty programs, in accordance with Gartner’s core
components of gamification, use points/miles and they all seek to
“motivate people to change behaviors or develop skills.” Likewise,
airline loyalty programs are constantly looking to align goals of the
flyers with the goals of the airlines, creating a mutually beneficial
relationship that instills loyalty and incentivizes additional transac-
tions. So why are other airline loyalty programs not considered to
be examples of gamification, and what makes JetBlue’s program
so gamified? Similar to Burke’s conclusion, the key lies in the
digital approach.
With Badges, JetBlue was looking to differentiate its loyalty program
from the many others that exist, and it did so by fully committing to
gamification through a digital platform. The Badges program rewards
TrueBlue members with digital badges – which often come along
with additional reward points – for completing various tasks such as
booking flights, flying to particular destinations, interacting with the
program’s partners and sharing activity via social media.
These badges are noticeably different than the typical point- or mile-
accrual system that other airlines use for loyalty programs. Members
can not only admire their badge collection, but as they earn points,
they can also view where they stand on both a global and just-friends
leaderboard, which ranks position based on number of badges, flights
and miles flown. With all of that in place, JetBlue undoubtedly cares
about the experience design – defined by Burke as, “the journey
players take with [gamified] elements” – of its Badges program as it
continues to differentiate its program within the industry.
In the Gartner document, Burke states that gamification “engages
players on an emotional level,” while loyalty rewards programs
typically do not. That being said, the story of JetBlue’s relationship
with TrueBlue member Paul Brown further establishes the airline’s
successful use of gamification. Considering the fact that Paul compares
his relationship with JetBlue to the one in the movie Her – which
depicts a man falling in love with an operating system – he certainly
seems to be engaged with the program on an emotional level.
With 81 badges earned, 42 flights and more than 65,000 miles flown,
Paul is No. 1 atop the Badges leaderboard. And on Valentine’s Day
2014, he had quite the unique interaction with JetBlue, earning a one-
of-one badge and reestablishing his emotional connection with the
program in the process.
Through this digital engagement, JetBlue offers over 300 different
badges, simultaneously deploying authentic gamification, rewarding its
members, fostering loyalty and incentivizing future interaction – and
the open-ended gamification design of the loyalty program creates
endless possibilities, evident by Paul’s custom badge. As Brian Burke
points out, though, it is essential to first understand the meaning of
the actual word gamification before effectively utilizing it. Aided by
Gartner research and successful implementations like JetBlue’s, we
are moving ever closer toward a loyalty industry greatly enhanced
by gamification. L
Eric Favaloro is the marketing copywriter at Comarch’s New York City ofce. Eric
has extensive experience writing on a variety of diferent topics, including CRM,
gamifcation and customer engagement.
Members can not only admire their
badge collection, but as they earn
points, they can also view where they
stand on both a global and just-friends
leaderboard, which ranks position
based on number of badges, flights
and miles flown.
36 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
any retailers have come to realize that their paths to
success cannot be primarily dictated by simply offering
low prices à la Walmart. While some competitive
matching may be important, prospering retailers are
focused on making moves that delight their most loyal customers.
Because while every retailer wants to attract new shoppers, the savvy
ones also know that their best marketers are happy customers.
They recognize that if they give their loyal customers a positive
shopping experience, they can increase their share of wallet among
these customers – especially by enticing them to explore new parts
of their stores.
But there’s a big difference between knowing what to do and knowing
how to do it. Imagine if retailers could know which promotions will
affect long-term customer behavior - and how. What if a retailer could
also predict what kind of customer a specific shopper will be three,
five, or ten years after participating in a promotional program?
That capability, of course, exists only in a relatively nascent form.
When it comes to pricing, many retailers are reaping the benefits of
using science-based, data-driven tools to optimize prices, analyze
market baskets, and develop reliable forecasts based on customer
behavior. Merchants should be able to use customer data to optimize
promotions for long-term loyalty, too. Understanding which actions
they can take today to positively affect customer loyalty behavior
many years into the future is the focus of cutting-edge research. And
this research will move what today seems like a fantasy into a very real
actuality tomorrow.
There are lots of reasons why a retailer sends an offer to a customer,
driven by the desire to drive incremental revenue. For example, the
merchant may be trying to introduce the shopper to a new brand or
sub-category that she doesn’t usually shop. Or the company could be
trying to reward a potentially loyal customer by sending a coupon for a
product she already buys, in order to thank her and save her money.
But how does the retailer know exactly which tactic will take them to
the ultimate goal of making that customer more loyal in the long term?
The sheer number of variables involved in the customer experience
makes this a vexing question.
This is why scientific forecasting and price optimization tools matter.
Because as married to their loyalty strategies and programs as retailers
can be, and as dearly held as their ideas about promotions can be,
a statistics-savvy outsider will always ask a single question that
can throw them for a loop: “How do you know?” This is a natural
question, coming from someone who is used to operating on
principles that have been proven by science to work. But it can feel
threatening to merchants used to operating on gut feel, or even on
anecdotal evidence.
It’s important to move past any negative feelings resulting from the
enquiry, because answering the question with refined, robust data
will help to understand the essence of what the retailer is doing – and
enable them to be more successful, now and in the future.
One big benefit from these emerging capabilities will be segment-
specific strategies for optimizing promotions for long-term loyalty.
Every retailer has its own set of customer segments that it uses for
different purposes. They might give them titles like Super-Loyal,
Potentially Loyal, New, and Defecting in order to capture shoppers
at various ends of the loyalty spectrum. Each of these groups should
have their own discrete strategy in terms of promotions: The offers a
retailer serves to one segment – and how they present them – should
be based on its objectives for that group and the segment’s known
preferences and requirements.
With these capabilities, retailers will also be able to differentiate
the types of offers they give based on how they characterize the
trending of a given customer segment. So rather than broadcasting
certain sales to entire TV audiences, it may be more effective to
target a specific segment with a particular offer. For example, a retailer
may want to appeal to the Potentially Loyal segment with an offer of
a relatively modest price cut, but in a way that makes these shoppers
more aware of the store’s private-label product assortment. Recent
developments in sophisticated, real-time advertising could enable
them to present that message via online display advertising that will
be seen only by customers in their potentially loyal segment. Email
marketing and direct mail might also be delivery mechanisms for
these targeted offers, in an even more personalized manner.
for Long-Term Loyalty: Feasible or Fantasy?
Dr. Paul Helman
KSS Retail, a dunnhumby company
37 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Dr. Paul Helman is Chief Science Ofcer of KSS Retail, a dunnhumby company.
He was previously a founding partner and Chief Scientist of Standard Analytics.
Dr. Helman is a professor emeritus of computer science at the University of New Mexico,
following a 25-year career of active academic research.
While there is not yet the rigorously scientific proof needed to validate
a promotional strategy, these indicative measures are bound to be a
big part of the solution. Until the industry has even more statistical
validation of these indicators, it behooves any retailer to attend to
each one with care, as these measures are each potentially relevant to
the success of a promotion.
Bottom line: The ability to reliably analyze the effect of promotions
on long-term loyalty may be a few years away from being reality, but
smart retailers are beginning now. This means ensuring that they are
collecting the right data and striving to understand what it tells them
about their customers’ perceptions of them and their promotional
programs. Waiting on the sidelines for this so-called fantasy to
become an established reality may be an option, but it’s certainly
not the wise one.
Treat your best customers like kings and queens. It’s more effective
to hold on to a loyal customer than to turn a non-customer into a loyal one.
Moreover, your best customers are most likely to advocate on your behalf,
and bring new customers (who are similar to themselves) your way.
Define more sophisticated measures of promotional
success than number of baskets containing the
promotional item. Look at frequency of shopping visits,
diversity of basket, and product affinities (e.g. sales of
snacks when soda is on offer, and vice versa). Tracking
for these will build a more complete picture of what
success really means, and how it is achieved.
Pay particular attention to the
diversity of the total basket when
promotions are redeemed, including
the customer segmentation correlated
with specific market basket compositions.
A promotion that leads to the customer
shopping across more categories, brands,
and pack sizes tends to suggest a trend
toward long-term loyalty for those customers.
If you are a retailer, here is what you can do now,
while waiting for this capability to be built into scientifically
robust forecasting and price optimization tools, to give
yourself the best possible chance of increasing long-term
loyalty with promotions:

Understand your customers.
That means knowing what they
want, what they need, and how
they are most effectively engaged.
Have rational segmentations for
your customers. Know the types
of customers you’re dealing with,
what their key characteristics are,
and your objectives for each segment.
38 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
The benefits of Social Customer Care
In brief, there are three significant advantages to doing Social Customer Care,
which apply to all brands. On social, your brand is:
1. Providing customer service where your customers demand it (increasing value
of relationships).
2. Promoting its mission and values (reputation management).
3. Steering the conversation (the return of the spokesperson).
Should you dedicate time and resources to Social Customer Care? We believe the
key advantages above apply to all brands in all industries. It’s a form of advertising
that breeds loyalty and conversions through conversation and care. By meeting
customers on their terms, by providing Social Customer Care, you promote your
brand and steer the conversation.
What is “Social Customer Care,” and do you need it for your brand or business?
If you are dedicated to creating a loyal customer base, then your answer should be an emphatic
yes. In order to visualize the benefits of this new and essential marketing strategy, let’s take
a look at how one major airline evolved from a traditional into a realtime social business.
Neil Morgan
There are many examples of Social Customer Care done right,
but few more exemplary than KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
KLM’s digital success was birthed out of a formidable
event in the airline industry: a travel crisis. By 2010, the
airline had already been using Twitter and Facebook. But
with the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in
April of that year, KLM found itself in a lava flow of
customer queries. Flights had been delayed for days,
passengers stranded in airports grew impatient, and
KLM’s call centers were critically overrun.
“At that time,” says KLM Social Media Hub Manager Gert
Wim Ter Haar in an interview with Socialbakers CEO Jan
Rezab, “we were already using social media on a small
scale, experimenting with Twitter and Facebook.
“People started posting questions on these pages because
they were desperate to get in contact with the airline.
“We worked for four days and four nights, as hard as possi-
ble, to answer all the questions. The press picked up what
we did. Of course, it was very bad that we couldn’t fly for a
couple of days, but for social media, it was our kickoff.”
By December 2013, it was evident that KLM had made
tremendous strides in their social evolution. That month
alone the airline responded to 6.3 thousand queries posted
to its Facebook Page.
Receiving an average of 219 questions per day, this is no
small feat. But KLM’s commitment to nurturing its customer
relationships, and their desire to be of honest assistance
to their travelers, has bolstered the airline’s reputation in
a way that no traditional form of advertising can.
Customer Care
Customer Care
An Introduction to
How KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became one of the most responsive brands on social media and created a legion of brand ambassadors
e Num
tions Pe
t Questio

In Answered 6300
Unanswered 491
With KLM Surprise, the airline proactively
takes customer care to new heights.
“In early 2010, KLM experienced
first hand the power of responding
to users on social media. Instead of
holding on to traditional methods
of customer communication, we
decided it was critical to dispatch
a social media management team
in order to provide high quality
customer service around the
clock.” said Anna Ketting, Social
Media Manager at KLM. “ Today
our social two way communication
results in more efficient customer
service and enhanced internal
product development and
processing. But most importantly,
KLM employees are proud to be a
part of the most socially devoted
company in the world”
-Anna Ketting, Social Media Manager | KLM
How to master Social Customer Care
So, how can you restructure your brand or business to
master Social Customer Care and get ahead in this new
frontier of social business?
KLM’s Koen Spiers emphasizes that the airline realized
it would have to integrate social media into its business
processes. He states that transforming a 93-year-old com-
pany into a Socially Devoted brand is “all but easy.”
“One of the first big lessons we learned,” Spiers explains,
“is you really have to break the silence between different
departments. None of these departments can do it alone –
you really have to work together.”
KLM actively made Social Customer Care part of the
culture and mission of the company. Gert Wim Ter Haar
explains, “Set very clear goals within your organization.
Don’t do social [care] just because everybody is doing it.
When you respond on social media, you must do it with a
clear strategy and a clear vision.”
Wim Ter Haar advises that in practice, Social Customer
Care starts with listening “to what your customers are
saying, and then make a very clear strategy on how you
want to respond and on which platforms.”
“Finally,” he concludes, “make sure that you have the tools
in place.” A social media management system (SMMS) is
an essential tool to keep your customer care organized and
on point.
How to create brand ambassadors through
Social Customer Care
The ability to manage your reputation on social – with
campaigns and especially customer care – you can
proactively convert your fans into customers.
With KLM Surprise, the airline proactively takes customer
care to new heights. KLM Surprise is a campaign in which
the airline uses its “social media toolkit” to search for
passengers that have checked in to an airport on
Foursquare, and deliver a personalized gift while they
wait for their flights.
In a video touting the success of KLM Surprise, the airline
says, “By surprising 28 passengers with personalized gifts,
we generated over 1,000,000 impressions spread over 88
countries. All within three weeks... on Twitter alone.”
As KLM demonstrates, Social Customer Care not only
converts fans into customers, it can also turn customers
into ambassadors. Each responsive post is an advertise-
ment, and each satisfied customer a public testimony.
Social Customer Care is a heavy element on the periodic
table of social marketing. As such, it bonds with all aspects
of your brand’s marketing. Brands that recognize this fact
are in an actionable position to implement Social Customer
Care into their business. L
Neil Morgan, CMO of Socialbakers, is a career marketer with over 22
years experience across all marketing disciplines including product
management, product marketing, channel marketing, public relations,
analyst relations, and strategic marketing management.
Beyond (and Before)
the Transaction
Jeremy Ages
Te Marketing Store
Too often brand
marketers think that,
since loyalty is what
they want, they
can simply build
a rewards program
to deliver it.
Think about the
proliferation of
loyalty programs that
have emerged over the
past 10 years. How many
you have signed up for?
And how many have
inspired your loyalty
toward a brand?
Loyalty Beyond the Transaction
In a recent study conducted by The Marketing Store, we discovered that two-thirds of customers
don’t feel that being loyal to a brand, product or service is important. Yet nearly every one of
those two-thirds are members of loyalty programs. That’s telling. Most customers are willing to
start a loyalty relationship, even though too many do not feel compelled to stay in a loyal relationship
with a brand. This fact equals plenty of opportunity for brand marketers.
A simple way to think about this is to imagine a basic graph with true loyalty representing
that elusive, but desirable, upper-right quadrant. Put transactional loyalty on one axis (ideally
something like a lifetime value calculation). Put emotional engagement on the other axis (think
brand affinity or the strength of the relationship between brand and consumer).
This helps create a simple framework to envision what needs to happen to create true loyalty. If
you can start to map your customers on this grid, you can see not only where the opportunities
live in order to move groups of your customers to higher value areas, but also the importance of
growing the relational side of the equation.
While it’s safe to say that all brands want to understand who their loyal customers are,
few know how to measure how likely their customers are to enter into and develop a
real relationship with their brand. “If” customers are loyal to your brand is not nearly as
important as to “why” they are loyal.
A Forrester report from 2013 summed it up thus: “Loyalty programs are stuck in a
transactional engagement rut. Although program evolution from transactional to
emotional engagement is on marketer wish lists, few programs successfully execute
on that goal… ”
To understand the “why,” brands need to think about loyalty beyond the transaction –
about how to put a strategic plan in place to move from transactional loyalty toward
true brand loyalty.
Imagine a basic graph with
true loyalty representing
that elusive, but desirable,
upper-right quadrant.
Loyalty Before the Transaction
All brand-consumer relationships will start with some awareness/
consideration-building activities along the path to purchase. But if
we’re thinking about the path to loyalty, most brands think that that
relationship starts with a transaction. But should it?
For Transitions Optical, the journey to true loyalty needed to start
much earlier. Due to the nature of the product and the category,
Transitions® lenses are sold through a number of channels before
reaching the consumer. The penultimate influencer – the Eye Care
Professional – carries significant sway on the purchase decision, and
also manages the direct-to-customer relationship.
Sherianne James is the Director of Global Marketing at Transitions
Optical. “One of the biggest challenges we faced when we embarked
on a CRM program a number of years ago was that we didn’t have
direct access to our customers [or their transactional data],” said
James. “That has forced us to find a different path to build relationships
with our customers - one that often starts well before a transaction
takes place. We’ve realized that finding a mutual passion point that
sparks a relationship - where we can come alongside, relate, and
empower them to see the world in the best light possible – has been
an important catalyst in helping us, ultimately, build loyalty.”
Through a strategic program developing partnerships with brands
like Disney, and through brand ambassador relationships across key
strategic pillars such as travel, sports and music, Transitions Optical
has created opportunities to develop authentic, shared moments that
serve as the foundation from which to nurture a relationship through
to a transaction. With incredibly strong repurchase rates, there are
significant long-term benefits to focusing on loyalty well before
the transaction.
Changing the Transactional Trajectory
To do this successfully requires a deeper understanding of who
your customers are – what they think, what they feel and what they
do – and turning that knowledge into interactions that are relevant,
valuable, and foundational to the relationship. But it has to go beyond
customer data. You need customer life-experience data. If customer
data is our content, then an examination of your customer’s loyalty
journey is the context that gives it meaning. It’s looking at how, where,
and why a customer engages with your brand, and how that changes
over time. It’s also examining their personality and life experiences
outside of your brand to really appreciate how your brand can relate
and become relevant to your customer. And it’s recognizing that, as
their journey continues, you need to evolve your relationship along
with it.
Here are a few key thoughts that can make the difference in loyalty:
• Do you know which of your customers are more likely to be loyal,
and what motivates their purchase decisions? Identifying which of
your customers are more likely to be loyal can help you adjust your
marketing mix and your communications plan in a strategic manner.
• Do you know where your brand and your consumers share moments
of mutual passion? How can your brand support those points along
the journey in an authentic way?
• Have you mapped your customers’ experience journey and identified
the most effective touch points where true brand connections can
be made?
• Have you calculated your customers’ lifetime value? Do you have the
triggers in place to properly measure that?
Brands need to revisit what their programs are really meant to do –
to actually drive long-term loyalty. The reality is that, every day,
your customers live life loyal to something: to convenience, familiarity,
budget, status, self-image, or even an aspirational way of life. If
they choose your brand is less important than why – and to truly
understand why, brands need to think about loyalty beyond (and
before) the transaction. L
Jeremy currently leads the strategy group at Te Marketing Store, helping to develop
high-value customer relationships through insights-driven CRM & Loyalty solutions
for clients like Nissan, Infniti and Transitions Optical.
42 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Ask the Experts:
What are the must-have attributes of
successful loyalty programs today?
What are the basic tenets that a loyalty program
needs to get right in order to be successful?
“Mobile engagement; know customers, know what they want to hear about and what products
they want to be the first to know about.
Opportunity for members to actively self-serve, retrieve and manage information including
communication profiles based on their needs and preferences across their channels of preference.
Data gathered and insights learned from loyalty programs should enhance the brand
experience and provide data-enabled journey maps.
Rewards, benefits and perks need to be designed to drive incremental frequency and
customer engagement.
Omni-channel member engagement and message refinement.
Segmentation that includes lifestyle, attitudes and intentions.
Offers that are based on the most up-to-date information possible, real-time context preferred”
-Amy Barnett | SVP, Customer Engagement | Brierley+Partners
“First and foremost, loyalty programs must add recognizable value to the customer’s experience.
Too many programs find themselves heavily constrained in the value they actually provide due
to design flaws and overall financial considerations. Customers are far too savvy and experienced
with loyalty programs to engage with anything that is not value-added; the implication is that
marketers must find financially leveraged means for providing value—whether that be expe-
riential rewards/benefits that costs little for the company to deliver, rewards from partners
whom will pay for the opportunity to acquire new customers, etc.
Beyond adding value as the core tenet of successful programs, many best-in-class programs
features the following attributes: (1) Technology—use of technology, often mobile, is a basic
opportunity provided by loyalty programs to ease, simplify, and optimize the customer experi-
ence—when done correctly, this can be one of the primary value propositions of program
membership; (2) Stacking benefits—customers want to know they are being rewarded for
their business, and this is often predicated upon providing increasing rewards/benefits based
on customer value. Stacking benefits ensure your most valuable customers are rewarded well,
and keeps your financial model right side up by investing more in valuable customers, and less
in customers who bring the company less revenue. (3) Customer control & choice – many
customers desire the ability to influence their loyalty experience; finding ways to give customers
control goes a long way toward engendering trust and loyalty.”
-Clay Walton-House | Senior Manager | Lenati LLC
“Loyalty programs need to be able to measure a consumer’s brand engagement, social activity
and spend and then connect the channel specific data back to each individual. In addition,
loyalty programs need to offer rewards that excite customers.”
-Adam Trisk | SVP, Marketing | CrowdTwist
“When we talk with our customers – and their customers
– “a positive experience” keeps coming up as a must-have
factor in today’s loyalty programs. As programs continue
on their quest to create that “ultimate” customer experience in
order to drive long lasting engagement, many have begun
using apps to help integrate real world experiences with
digital ones. In the retail sector, for example, shoppers
armed with mobile apps increased their total store visits
29.6% during the 2013 holiday season compared to 2012.
Related technologies, such as Apple’s iBeacon, which
enables location-based marketing to iOS devices using
Bluetooth, are giving retailers more ways to drive loyalty.
Even though technology has become a critical part of the
consumer experience, loyalty programs still need more
than apps or Bluetooth messaging to be successful. Making
brick-and-mortar relevant in a seemingly mobile world re-
quires a solid loyalty foundation. With that in place, mobile
apps can certainly reinforce loyalty in many different ways –
but they are one of many factors in a program’s success.”
-Jennifer James | Director of Marketing | Kobie Marketing
“The key to success of any loyalty program is to make it accessible for the consumer and easy to engage. Accessibility comes
from multiple touch points of engagement so that the consumer can “enter” the program easily. In today’s highly mobile
marketplace, smartphones and apps are the fastest way to get a consumer engaged. Once the consumer is on board it’s
imperative that a loyalty program is rewarding. Consumers want to feel like they are earning with their program with easily
achievable goals. For example, a simple 10 percent program is manageable for the merchant and easy for all consumers to
understand. In a 10 percent program a consumer may earn 10 points for joining and they receive a $10 coupon/rebate for
every 100 points (assuming each point is equivalent to $1). It’s clear for the consumer, easy for the merchant and keeps
customers coming back.”
-Karen Moritzky Bigelow | Director of Client Relations | Mocapay
“There are five building blocks to effective customer
engagement which can be applied to develop an
innovative customer loyalty program. Emotional drive,
which is being able to understand your target, speak
their language and provide rewards that appeal directly
to them. Audience motivation, which is setting clear goals
that are attainable and well explained. Practicing relevant
differentiation by keeping your rewards program fresh
with name brand products and “must have” rewards.
Communication, which gives program members a sense
of comfort and trust by updating them with any new
information or changes within their program. Finally,
delivering on promises which is a commitment to repeating
the program and implementing a platform that is nimble to
adjust to changing needs. Smart and successful companies
know that all five elements are a key component of every
loyalty program. Set your program apart. Implement an
online reward and redemption platform as well as a mobile
app that can be accessed from any web-enabled device to
guarantee real-time reward offerings and help increase your
customer loyalty program’s success.”
-Paul Gordon | Vice President of Sales
Rymax Marketing Services
44 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
e’re living and marketing in the age
of the empowered consumer. The
tech-savvy consumers we serve
today have the ability to know everything
about the brands from which they purchase.
They can engage as never before with a
simple click of a mouse. As a result, the
customer journey has drastically changed.
Today’s empowered consumers expect two-
way communication with brands and relevant
marketing and advertising on demand and in
a seamless experience across devices
and touchpoints.
The empowered consumer is not a new
concept; we’ve been working through the
business model and organizational implications
of empowered consumers for the past few
years. However, what is new is that marketers
must move beyond simply thinking about
effective multi or omnichannel communication
strategies. It is now imperative to focus on
the proactive management of the customer
experience during the purchase and in all
post-purchase touchpoints as a critical
component of building brand loyalty and
customer value.
The Empowered Consumer 101
What do we mean, as marketers, when we
say “empowered consumers”, and how did
this shift occur? Technology has empowered
consumers to take greater control of how
they interact with brands, and consumers
wield far greater influence than ever before.
By embracing the customer path-to-purchase
in all of its facets, brands have an enormous
opportunity to positively impact brand
loyalty as a core tenet of product and service
delivery. This includes service after the sale –
ranging from product warranties and product
recommendations, to problem remediation,
which continues to have an important role in
positively influencing brand loyalty.
As consumers we are all interacting with
brands differently due to access to more
information, new purchase paths, different
touchpoints and new ways to experience a
product or service. Whether it’s a hotel stay
or a CPG product that we find in a different
packaging, a new place or more convenient
delivery model, innovation continues to drive
new consumer experiences in familiar places,
both in the physical and digital worlds.
As loyalty service providers, it has become
essential to understand the purchase process
from the consumers’ perspective. Innovative
customer experiences and management
holds the key for brands to create even more
loyal customers, and the stakes continue to
be raised.
Why ‘Yelling at a Stick’ is the New Face
(or Sound) of Loyalty
Amazon’s rollout of the Kindle Fire TV Dash
device changes the consumer’s ability to
interact with the retailer. Amazon is focusing
“on technology that breaks down the barriers
between humans and content, be it video
consumption… or milk consumption”.
To do this Amazon is providing a vertical
integration of the buying experience from
the digital interaction through the physical
consumption, with enormous implications
for personal information, preferences and
product recommendations in the process. As
eRetailing commented in their newsletter:
Key Insight (from 4/8/2014 eRetailing
newsletter, a division of Catapult):
Coming on the heels of the launch of Amazon
FireTV, which uses the same voice recognition
technology, Amazon continues to focus on
technology that breaks down the barriers
between humans and content, be it video
consumption…or milk consumption. Rather
than trying to make online shopping “as” easy
as offline shopping, they’re working hard to
one-up traditional retail with solutions that
are ever more convenient – while staying two
steps ahead of the competition.
Additionally (which shared the
phrase, “Yelling at a stick”) wrote, “In all
likelihood, Dash is the first of several initiatives
aimed at making the internet [more] invasive
than a mobile browser could ever allow.
Amazon, more than any other company,
wants to destroy the distinction between
online and physical retail. This will increase
the importance of its home cyber-turf while
forcing physical competitors to step-up
online, where Amazon reigns.”
Does This Mean the Death of
Physical Retail?
Just as technology has empowered
consumers to take greater control of how
they interact with brands, so too has technol-
ogy empowered retailers to change the way
they interact with their shoppers. Just ask
Steve Abdo, Senior Vice President at Catapult,
a full service shopper marketing agency that
specializes in the art of conversion, who said,
“The changing path-to-purchase has forced
traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to think
differently, and deliver a more compelling
experience to their shoppers – both in and
out-of-store. Retailers and brands that are go-
ing to win with shoppers are those that focus
on engagement versus episodic relationships.
Just look at some of the things that The
Kroger Co. is doing to provide value beyond
price to their growing base of loyal custom-
ers. It’s not just about having good everyday
prices, but it’s about improving the shopping
experience overall. To that point, Kroger’s
faster checkout initiative has gained praise in
recent weeks where their pioneering
QueVision technology uses infrared sensors
and predictive analytics to arm store front-
end managers with real-time data to make
sure registers are open when customers need
Bob Moorhead
Can Loyalty Be Managed in the Age of the
45 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
them. As a result, customer wait times have
been reduced, on average, from four minutes
before QueVision to less than 30 seconds
today. Meeting the needs of time-starved
consumers is not only helping create loyal
shoppers for Kroger, but it is also positioning
the retailer to compete with non-traditional
channels like”
Robert Stephens, former CIO of Best Buy,
recently commented in an interview with Julio
Ojeda-Zapata of Pioneer Press, that Amazon.
com, "…is not going to kill physical retail, it's
going to kill mediocre retail." This was after
he recently released an internal memo from
2012 when he was CIO of Best Buy. The
points that Stephens makes in the memo
are relevant to all retailers as we address the
changing landscape of technology-assisted
purchases and design around a continuously
evolving customer experience.
“In this era of ‘Too Big To Fail’, a very fair chal-
lenge is this: ‘What is the purpose of being
a large organization?’ Our customers expect
us to use our size TO their advantage. Both
customer and employees should easily feel
the benefits of our size, scale, and design.”
In his memo, Stephens proposed what some
might say is a radical restructuring of the
business to empower customers and employees
with access to the best digital resources. “We
are Digital & Mobile First…Put the entire
business under ‘dot com’…Make the stores a
part of the dot com universe,” he wrote.
This is a compelling model of how all retail-
ers need to reorganize all manners of their
customer relationships, loyalty, service and
product delivery into a cohesive integrated
model, rather than thinking about various
contact and delivery ‘channels’.
Importantly for this audience, Stephens
also recommended that Best Buy’s loyalty
program, My Best Buy, be retained as a core
offering – i.e. benchmark, evaluate, change
and keep the loyalty program as a central part
of the customer value proposition. The ‘My
Best Buy’ name reinforces the personalized
benefits within the core brand experience.
Traditional loyalty levers (points, redemption,
customer preferences) can be orchestrated
through the lens of an overarching digital
customer experience surrounding both digital
and in-person customer interactions.
What It Means for Loyalty Marketers
The consumer’s ability to discover and
communicate with brands 24/7 has
created numerous opportunities for
marketers. However, this ‘always on’
environment can be disruptive to loyalty.
If we do not meet consumers where and
when they want us to in order to serve their
needs—in the online and offline space—we
risk losing their loyalty or worse, not gaining
it at all.
We all run through a mental equation when
we purchase from a brand, even one that is
already a favorite. This quick mental calcula-
tion runs along the lines of “price + ease of
interaction + value + recognition = happy.”
And happy satisfied customers return. When
brands are able to incorporate their loyalty
initiatives within this overarching approach to
customer experience, the program becomes
that much more relevant to the consumer.
What’s Next?
The strength of loyalty programs continues
to lie in the consumer data that is tied to the
purchase and re-purchase experience. Loyalty
marketers have traditionally been instru-
mental in fostering a brands’ most valuable
customer data, including transactional,
self-reported behavioral, preference and
customer care data.
Marketers understand more than ever
lifestyle, needs-based behavior and how to
effectively use segmentation and
personalization within marketing efforts, offer
structures and communications. It is critically
important that loyalty programs now structure
the program value proposition to occur
seamlessly within the customer purchase
and post-purchase experience.
As Amazon’s Dash demonstrates (their
tagline is “Shopping made simple”), just as
the iPhone and other products have before it,
brands are required to continuously innovate
the ways that consumers purchase and interact.
Technology changes consumer experiences:
the way consumers shop, how they choose,
what they’re aware of and when they
purchase. Technology has been and always
will be disruptive. The lessons for loyalty
are significant. Whereas loyalty programs
have often been one of the most effective,
personalized means for a brand to capture
their customers’ share of wallet, the
environment where that value exchange
occurs is rapidly changing.
Easier personalized brand interactions are
more important than ever. Loyalty programs
must embrace these macro-environment
changes in the path-to-purchase and weave
the program benefits into the consumer
touch points. The benefits of loyalty programs
remain a crucial part of the consumer
relationship when executed within the new
digital realities of the retail environment. L
Bob Moorhead is responsible for ensuring successful
program management for loyalty and database clients
supported from Epsilon’s Cincinnati ofce. Clients
include leading companies in the fnancial, fuel/c-store,
retail, and hospitality industries. Bob has 20 years of
experience in database marketing, software, and
business development with expertise in focused on client
service, loyalty, direct marketing, and CRM initiatives.
If we do not meet consumers where and
when they want us to in order to serve
their needs—in the online and offline
space—we risk losing their loyalty or
worse, not gaining it at all.
How do you transform your perspective to create advocacy? At bare minimum, a brand must deliver
on its promise to consumers. Delivering on promises can create loyal customers and maybe even
some advocates. As the goal evolves from loyalty to advocacy, brands must focus on creating memorable
experiences for their customers. As important as delivering great experiences is, your brand must
have a plan for when things go wrong. How companies deal with their customers in times of adversity
can make or break relationships. Companies need to acknowledge their mistakes, apologize and
amend the situation. Adverse situations offer an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and create
even greater advocacy.
An interaction between a customer and a brand is at stake here. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore
argue in their seminal article about the Experience Economy that, “Businesses must orchestrate
memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product—the ‘experience’.”
It’s one thing to create new products with shiny bells and whistles, but if a brand can’t deliver memorable
experiences, those products aren’t worth much. As Jeffrey Philips eloquently states in his blog,
Innovate on Purpose,, “Any good innovator must climb Maslow’s
hierarchy, moving from product innovation to service innovation to business model innovation, and
then to the ultimate self-actualizing innovation, customer experience innovation.” In a world where
products can be quickly replicated, customer experience can be the key differentiator.
In this era of hyper-connectivity, every customer experience matters. Each interaction is a part of the
overall experience, and to be memorable and engaging, perfection is expected. Through technological
advances to drive continuous availability, the evolution of e-commerce sites and the improvement of
contact center training, companies need to strive to create a memorable experience each and every
time they interact with their customers. While the artifact or end product may be forgotten over time,
the memory of the experience can last forever.
The Journey to
Mike McDonnell
Connexions Loyalty
An Evolution in Loyalty
With brand evolution comes change - change in perspective and vision. There
is a key difference between the definition of loyalty and advocacy. While loyalty embodies
a feeling of strong support, advocacy takes things a step further by recommending a
course of action or promoting outright. This active support differentiates advocacy
from loyalty and should be the vision for all brands. It’s one thing to have an emotionally
attached customer come back to purchase goods from you again and again. It’s quite
another to have customers actively engage in recommending your services and telling
your story to friends, family and colleagues.
“Businesses must
orchestrate memorable
events for their
customers, and that
memory itself becomes
the product
—the ‘experience’.”
loy·al·ty \loi(-ə)l-tē\
a loyal feeling : a feeling of strong
support for someone or something
47 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
The evolution to an experience-based system starts with the consumer
and requires a thorough understanding of their needs and expectations.
Low activity rates within some loyalty programs are due to the inability
to keep pace with those needs and expectations. Consumers are more
savvy and discriminating than ever before and they have lost their
appetite for the “one-size-fits-all” transactional approach to loyalty so
frequently used today. They want relevance with their experiences.
Consider this fact about brand advocacy: contextual experiences driven
by “small data” create a new level of memorable experience. Never
before have consumers carried such powerful tools like smart phones,
Fitbit®, tablets or Google Glass. Technology allows us to know where
our customers are and what they are doing. We need to harness that
data to create and serve up relevant and memorable experiences.
Since loyalty is emotional, it can be very difficult to measure. Repeat
purchases have become the benchmark metric, but unfortunately, that
is not very accurate. Progress has been made in methods to quantify
advocacy but the field is still in its infancy. Metrics like NPS (Net
Promoter Score) or ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index)
are a great start, but for an effective customer advocacy program,
brands need to close the loop on the recommendation. If a consumer
says they will recommend your brand, do they follow through? NPS
and ACSI are good benchmark scores that enable brands to compare
themselves with competitors, but there is more work to be done to
inspire and measure advocacy.
Perhaps this is the big lesson—look inward at your processes and how
they impact each of your customer touch points. Instead of racing to
create the next big innovation, focus on better ways to deliver experi-
ences. Create a culture of “surprise and delight” with your customers.
As Sergio Zyman wrote in his book, “Renovate Before You Innovate,”
begin by changing your mindset. My advice: change your mindset to
move from loyalty to advocacy. L
As the Group Vice President of Product for Connexions Loyalty, Mike McDonnell is
responsible for leading and managing the product organization, including product
management, development and marketing.
loy·al·ty \loi(-ə)l-tē\
a loyal feeling : a feeling of strong
support for someone or something
ad·vo·ca·cy \ad-və-kə-sē\
the act of pleading for,
supporting or recommending
a cause or course of action;
active espousal
NPS and ACSI are good benchmark scores that enable brands to compare themselves
with competitors, but there is more work to be done to inspire and measure advocacy.
Customer Advocacy continued...
48 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Driving Customer Complaint Success
CG’s research study identified two trends: 1) The business benefits of great customer
complaint management are measurable and powerful and 2) with increased consumer
demands for engaging and rewarding experiences, and expectations of instant
gratification, today’s customers have little to no patience for poor customer service.
So what can financial institutions do? Here are four recommendations that can help
drive customer complaint management success at your organization:
1. Manage customer expectations
Leading financial institutions are managing customer expectations more than ever
before. They are cultivating behavioral and attitudinal customer insight, communicating
the type of service level that customers can expect, and sharing problems and solutions
with transparency. However, significant gaps remain.
To give consumers what they want, financial institutions must invest in processes,
people, and technology. These three levers are what employees need to better manage
problems and help customers.
2. Simplify core products
For many people, the experience with a financial institution begins with core
products such as a personal checking account or a credit card. To expand the
customer relationship across the course of a lifetime, it’s critical that core products
are easy to use, and the customer service associated with them is personalized as
well as speedy. To reduce service problems, simplify core products by limiting
features and making fees transparent to the customer.
If you are not able to solve customer problems with these foundational products,
it makes it extraordinarily difficult to grow the relationship into investment type
products like IRAs, CDs, and mortgages.
Financial institutions can turn service issues associated with core products into a
positive by addressing them appropriately with customers.

First Touch
Dr. Patricia A. Sahm
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group
Consumers have raised the bar for customer experience expectations
based on their personal life experiences. Today, consumer expectations
are being formed by service experiences outside of the financial services
industry, where content, interactions, and features are rich, delivering
an engaging and rewarding experience.
ccording to a national consumer survey of
1,002 U.S. consumers conducted by Carlisle &
Gallagher Consulting Group, poor complaint
management yields bad experiences for customers
and a financial institution’s future relationship with a
customer is dependent on the customer experience.
The “aha moment” for us was learning just how
quickly customer satisfaction levels can plummet
and relationships can deteriorate from the first to
the second interaction.
Customers are satisfied when financial institutions are
able to resolve problems in a single interaction. In fact,
22% of survey respondents stated that they would do
more business with their bank if their problems were
resolved in one interaction. That’s the good news.
The tipping point comes at the 2nd interaction.
When inquiries require two or more interactions to
be resolved, it has a negative impact on the customer
experience and a significant break down in the relation-
ship begins to happen.
If a financial institution can’t resolve the problem at all,
63% of survey respondents indicated they would do
less business or end the relationship. While this finding
makes sense for core products such as checking and
savings accounts, it is not practical for mortgage or
credit card products where existing debt constrains
customers from ending the relationship with the
financial services firm.
Creating the Feel of
49 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
3. Create the feel of first touch resolution for the customer
You get one shot to earn customer trust and confidence. Leaders in
financial services are creating the feel of first touch resolution for
the customer by implementing a rapid resolution team, anticipating
customer complaints, and driving a culture of customer advocacy.
Without a comprehensive view of the customer, and given current
resource and regulatory constraints, solving a customer problem with
one touch may seem like a daunting task. However, while institutions
may not be able to completely resolve the issue with one interaction,
they can take ownership of it.
The first step is to empower employees to take quick action and do
what’s right for the customer, within set limits. Giving the customer a
sense that the issue will be resolved - maybe not instantaneously but
soon - and keeping that promise is a huge lever for customer satisfaction.
For example, if a firm promises to call a customer back at a certain
phone number within a specified time frame (i.e. 24 hours); the firm
should fulfill the promise and call the customer back, even if there is
no new information to share. This will demonstrate personal attention,
improve communication, and most importantly, create customer trust.
By keeping their word, institutions can eliminate the needless worry
and frustration that comes with dreaded radio silence.
4. Learn from your customers
Listen and act on the complaints that customers are willing to share.
Financial institutions that provide the best customer service are
learning from their customers, developing active and robust listening
programs, and enabling employees to take quick action to do what is
right for their customers.
Opportunities to do what?
• Evaluate how well you are doing
• Obtain fuel for your innovation programs
• Identify weak points in your system and processes and
make them right
• Develop an active and robust listening program, or take
the one you have to the next level
• Improve customer satisfaction
• Create long-term loyalty – handling disgruntled customers
well often leaves them feeling more positive about your
organization than before
• Create resolution
Yes, the ultimate goal is to create resolution for your customers and
deliver a great customer experience. This is more important now than
ever before as complaint resolution is being more closely scrutinized
by regulators.
In an environment where customer complaints generate operational
risk, we believe it is prudent to collect customer complaint data in a
central repository and begin building a 360-degree view of the
customer. This approach enables financial institutions to tackle the
data management problem through the lens of customer complaints.
With this central repository as a starting place, financial institutions
will be able to add product inquiries and continue to expand the
database over time.
Getting past the hurdles requires financial institutions to manage
customer expectations, simplify core products, create the feel of the
first touch resolution for the customer, and listen to and learn from
their customers. And their ability to do so may seal their fate. Those
firms who improve complaint management will reap the rewards.
Those who don’t may go the way of the dinosaur. L
Resolved in
One Interaction
Resolved in
Two or More Interactions Not Resolved
Not Addressing Customer Concerns
Can Lead to Less Business and
Terminated Relationships
First Call Resolution Can Lead
to More Business
Inquiries Requiring Additional
Interactions have a Negative Impact
Dr. Patricia Sahm is the Customer Experience & Channels practice lead for CG. She
has over 20 years of experience serving clients in the fnancial services industry.
It’s only natural to bask in the glow of a
compliment, but who wants to hear a
complaint? You should. Complaints hold
hidden value and they are opportunities.
More Business No Impact Less Business or Ended Relationship
50 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG 50 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Leveraging Customer
Engagement Data for
Maximum Return
Don Smith
In the past few years, the number of touch-
points through which customers engage
with brands has exploded. Everyone
wants to incorporate all these different
nodes on the journey map into their
customer relationships: data from
social media and SMS engagement,
e-commerce, mobile app usage, and
more. We realize that data from these
inflection points needs to be part of a
marketer’s single view of the customer.
But finding and using this data is a lot
trickier than it appears.
There are a few key questions marketers
typically ask. How do I get that data
and tie it to a customer? Once I get
that data how do I figure out how much
I need? How do I keep the process
simple, streamlined and manageable?
What do I do with that data once I get
it? What are the best practices? At
Brierley+Partners, we have narrowed
the process to three key recommendations
for leveraging customer engagement
data that, with minimal effort, can
bring maximum return.
Augment traditional programmatic
incentive structures with non-transactional
engagement opportunities, rewarding
members for engaging with your brand
at personalized touchpoints.
When you do that well, you go through the
process of satisfying a privacy policy, getting
the customer to buy in so they see that
engaging with your brand is inherently
empowering for the customer. The customer
is getting something and what you get is the
golden key – a mechanism to tie each customer
to her or his behavior in a social channel.
Programmatic loyalty and engagement
touchpoints can pull together very cleanly.
What brands are doing this effectively? Express
Next is a “best-in-class” example that has
augmented a traditional point structure with
specific engagement incentives like giving
customers points for retweeting and for following
the brand on Twitter. Customers who go online
and write a product review earn points. These
are non-transactional engagement opportunities
within the context of a loyalty program where
customers are rewarded for interacting with
the brand – and customers love it. They feel
empowered. They’re earning points and getting
something without actually spending.
Similarly, GameStop PowerUp Rewards gives
customers points for watching videos, reviewing
products, and reacting to collateral. Members
get points toward rewards and the brand gets
valuable information about a customer’s interests
or purchase intent.
From these examples, it’s clear that there are
many ways to tie customers to their engagement
data. Once data is tied to the customer, the next
big hurdle is figuring out which data you need
and which you don’t, so you can keep the process
simple and straightforward. Just because there’s
a veritable “buffet” of data doesn’t mean you
should eat 700 pieces of sushi. This leads to
our second recommendation.
Tuning In and Turning On:
Audition data from each new (customer-linked) source to identify the minimal
winning coalition of data fields that can inform marketing efforts.
Each time you have a new touchpoint or a new API comes online, take some of
the data and test it. Go through a methodical process asking can this work? Can
a marketer use this data and does it pass statistical muster? How does it cor-
relate with other attributes you already have in your customer data?
What we typically find is that if we do concurrent validation and ask which of
the fields are tied to high customer value or frequent cadence or brand loyalty
– we’ve got some valuable information. The diagram here outlines a six-step
audition process for narrowing engagement data to the key fields. If you go
through the process, you’re more likely to be successful at narrowing the sea
of data to what’s relevant. For example, every time a customer visits a website,
online data from an engagement channel like Omniture or Coremetrics typically
has 150-200 fields that are tracked. They provide way too much information
down to what types of browsers customers are using. But you can audition all of
those variables, see which are tied to value, and easily get the list of hundreds or
thousands of fields down to a “dirty dozen.”
Once the most valuable data is defined, we can roll it up on a daily basis and
get that data into a regular ETL file process, where the data joins the customer
repository. What looked like it was going to be big, scary data is actually small,
manageable data that’s been tested, because we’re always putting this new data
up against actionable scenarios.
So, there’s a way to get the “dirty dozen” out of web analytics. Similarly there’s
a way to get the social media data that will tell you what you need about a
customer’s viral marketing potential through the same type of process. By audi-
tioning the data, you will end up with a manageable, ongoing data stream that
is actionable from a marketing perspective. That leads to our third recommenda-
tion. Now that you have actionable engagement data, what will you do with it?
6 Step Data Audition Process - Minimal Winning Coalition of Fields from New API
Sample the Entire
Data Menu
Create Exploratory
Time-Series Data Set
Develop Recurring
ETL Process
Optimized Process
for SVOC Repsitory
Further Reduce the
Set of Contenders
Factor Analysis, PCA
and Index Derivation
Narrow the ‘Field of
Fields’ by Analysis
Concurrent and Predictive
Validation Approaches
Begin with the
Prime Suspects
Recency, Frequency
& Immersion
Prepare Data Fields
for EDA
Transformations, Flags
and Indexes are Essential.
Incorporating Data From Each Point On Journey Map
Respect and empower customers
by serving personalized marketing
content based on how they engage
with your brand.
51 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Continued on page 52
Respect and empower customers by serving personalized marketing
content based on how they engage with your brand.
You were transparent with your customers. They agreed to let you
continue to collect information, use it, and engage with you in these
touchpoints, which means you have an obligation to use that infor-
mation and empower them. This model of consumer empowerment
stands in marked contrast to that adopted by companies that collect
data and sell it to others. The new paradigm is a trust relationship
with your customer where they have provided data and you have
agreed to use that data to their benefit. Customers have opted in
to this relationship.
This is also an upfront relationship. For example, if you’re tracking
customers’ behavior as they browse your website, respect their
privacy, and make sure you communicate with them that you’re
showing them items based on their past browsing history. Or come
up with offers that are specific to what a customer may have browsed.
Once we do these things with customers, we generally find very high
lifts at the customer level. Of course, some customers will participate
and engage with you and some won’t – but when you can get a
customer to engage with you, that’s the best-case scenario. An
engaged customer is worth five times more than a customer who
doesn’t choose to do so and doesn’t receive personalized content.
There’s a final benefit to all of this. Not only can you serve up personalized
content, but also all the existing blocking and tackling that you already
do – like the segmentation and predictive models you already have
– can benefit from this engagement data. Adding this new data to a
model is like injecting steroids into the algorithm, helping the model
really focus on what’s important to the customer. Imagine knowing
that an inactive customer has been to your website three times in the
past month. What would that do to a model that tries to predict churn
from the brand? The model says the customer is gone. But we see he
or she is back checking the brand out. That’s a customer who is probably
worth investment from an ROI perspective.
These are just examples of ways customers say, “know me – and the
next time I come to your site or store, show me things that interest
me.” Customers who are engaged with personalized content at this
level are the most valuable to a brand. Creating this type of relationship
with customers is by no means accidental – it can be achieved by
following the recommendations described in the article.
Set up a way to use this engagement data. Be smart about it and
manage it. Turn engagement into something simple for the brand
and something meaningful to the customer. That’s the real key to
successfully using customer engagement data. L
Don Smith, Senior Vice President, Consumer Innovation and Insights,
Brierley & Partners, specializes in building econometric models and creating
segmentation schemes, with an emphasis on marrying customer engagement
data (web analytics, social media, communications response) to shopping and
purchasing patterns.
52 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
We’re a specialty grocery and restaurant
(a restaurant plus separate wine bar in
the same building). We have a loyalty program,
but are still struggling with how to keep customers
engaged. Suggestions?
Ask the Experts:
Great question! Many restaurants and retailers encounter the challenge of keeping loyalty program
members engaged once they've signed up for the program. A great place for brands to start
increasing engagement is through setting up simple, incentivized actions for program members to
complete. These actions can be taken both digitally (e.g. engaging with your brand through social
channels, referring friends/family to the program, sharing on-site content, etc.) and in-store (e.g.
ordering special items at a discount for program members, attending events, entering sweepstakes,
etc.), depending on your goals.
Although a nice mix of in-store and digital rewards make up the best restaurant/grocery loyalty
programs, I find that digital rewards are usually the best choice for driving engagement because of
their non dollar-backed delivery. When fulfillment logistics are removed from the equation, brands
have more flexibility, resources, and budget to reward a higher number of customers for completing
actions that matter most to the brand. Digital rewards do not require brands to store inventory and
pay for extra employee resources in order to reward customers with valuable, sought-after rewards.
Additionally, the incentivized actions you set in place should align with actions your program members
are already open to taking. The more natural and organic your loyalty program's engagement-
driving actions feel, the more likely your customers will be to complete them, which will drive
your engagement metrics up and to the right!
-Joanna Lord | CMO | BigDoor
There are two secrets to keeping customers engaged in a loyalty program. The first is by running
interesting promotions on top of the existing core reward structure. Here are three promotion ideas:
1) Surprise and delight them with a special, limited-time reward. Sophisticated loyalty software
can identify a set of guests you define and do this automatically based on distinct rules. 2) Spark
guest engagement with a visit challenge. With a visit challenge, guests earn an increasing amount
of points or program currency for each visit within a given time-frame. The call to action for most
of our clients’ sound something like “visit us 3 times within the next 30 days and get X.” 3) Instant
Wins promotions drive both visits and enrollment. In this case, the customer has a 1 in X percent
chance of winning one of a number of items with each visit. Our clients set the odds based on how
many of the prizes they wish to give away. For example, 1 in 5 customers may get a free drink. But, 1
in 10,000 may get a $500 gift card.
The second is keeping email and other messages relevant to the recipient. If you’re not using your
loyalty data to create 1-to-1 messages based on member behavior and preferences, members
quickly become disenchanted with your brand. Local store marketing and real-time behavior triggered
messages are two ways to add relevance to email campaigns. Irrelevance kills engagement.
-Michelle Tempesta | Head of Marketing | Paytronix
54 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
54 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Engage Me: Strategies From The Sales Effectiveness Source
Kevin Higgins
Fusion Learning | October 1, 2013
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter,
and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
Joe Pulizzi
McGraw-Hill | September 3, 2013
The content of this book has developed
over 10 years. Kevin Higgins and his
Fusion team have worked with hundreds of
companies and thousands of sales leaders
building the philosophy of a Great Sales
Culture - an Engaged Sales Team. But many
firms have a common problem of retaining
staff even before working on improving the
sales culture. Sales people seek greener
pastures when not enjoying proper coach-
ing, developed or motivated to be their
best. Engage Me: Sales Strategies from the Sales Effectiveness Source will help
ensure the team not only stays but thrives.
The practical approach in Engage Me is based on attitude, skills and sales
management disciplines in the three parts of this book. Attitude: the first
building block to creating an engaged and winning sales culture. It is the
way we do things around here . Part I will demonstrate that a strong sales
culture is a mesh of elements and attitudes. Skills: The fundamentals of
great sakes management are coaching and feedback. These basics, when
done correctly and frequently, will elicit engagement. Part II will examine
how you are using the skills to deliver strong results and engaged sales
team. Sales Management Disciplines: add value to your sales people and
create productivity in your organization. If you have a process, the disci-
pline is in consistently exercising it. Part III will ensure you have a structure
for each sales management discipline that helps engage your team.
The Fusion Learning Sales Culture Survey identifies the hot-button issues at
the beginning of each chapter, followed by a real-life story from author,
Kevin Higgins considerable experience in the sales industry. In addition,
within each chapter you’ll find: Lists of samples, tips and examples to help
you implement concepts, tools and forms to put theory into action, and
real-life stories to motivate and inspire you and your team. In a nutshell,
Engage Me helps sales leaders and salespeople perform better. Fusion
Learning has been recognized as one of the best sales training organizations.
Recently named one of North America s Top 20 Sales Training Companies
by Selling Power magazine for the third consecutive year, they were also
named in Profit magazine as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies.
One of the world’s leading experts on
content marketing, Joe Pulizzi explains how
to draw prospects and customers in by
creating information and content they actually
want to engage with. No longer can we
interrupt our customers with mediocre
content (and sales messages) our customers
don’t care about.
“Epic Content Marketing” takes you step by step through the process of
developing stories that inform and entertain and compel customers to act
- without actually telling them to. Epic content, distributed to the right
person at the right time, is how to truly capture the hearts and minds of
customers. It’s how to position your business as a trusted expert in its
industry. It’s what customers share and talk about.
With in-depth case studies of how John Deere, LEGO, Coca-Cola, and
other leading corporations are using content to drive epic sales, this
groundbreaking guide gives you all the tools to start creating and dissemi-
nating content that leads directly to greater profits and growth.
Voice of the Customer Marketing
Ernan Roman
McGraw-Hill | September 27, 2010
I wrote this book to help marketers treat customers
the way we, as consumers, want to be treated, and at the
same time, achieve double-digit increases in response
and revenue.
You can only truly engage customers and prospects if you
understand their “Voice of Customer” insights. These
insights will tell you how your company can meet their
expectations for relevance, relationship, competitive
differentiation and on-going value-added communications
and offers.
The 5-Step Voice of the Customer, (VOC), methodology is
designed to help marketers in all size companies, from
Fortune, to Growth and Start-ups. The process has been
battle-tested for over 30 years in the marketing trenches,
helping clients such as Microsoft, NBC Universal, IBM,
HMS National, and Life Line Screening achieve consistent
double-digit increases in response and revenue.
I hope you will test the 5-Step VOC process and see
for yourself how you can “do right” by customers and
prospects and achieve significant increases in response,
relevance and revenue.
Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy.
David Williams
Wiley | February 19, 2014
In Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-
Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy,
David Williams, CEO of Merkle, explains why
customer-centric marketing is much more
than a tactical implementation plan.
Executed correctly, it is a fundamental shift
in your organization’s framework, affecting
every department, and putting marketing at
the heart of the business and leadership
strategy. Customer centricity can become a
new source of visibility and accountability for the CMO and a new basis of
competitive differentiation for your company. Within Williams’s Connected
CRM model, CMOs and marketing professionals of the future will play a
much larger role in all aspects of marketing, sales, service, and technology.
Through years of work in data-driven customer relationship marketing and
observations of successful (and unsuccessful) implementation efforts,
Williams has developed a Connected CRM blueprint for organizations,
regardless of industry or business model. This book explains in practical
detail exactly how to make customer centricity a reality for your business
by achieving organization-wide commitment from every department,
resulting in a sustained competitive advantage.
Today, there are generations of consumers who have grown up in the digital
age, never having known a life without the free flow of information and
consumer data. Companies that utilize this data and master CRM as an
organizational competency will thrive. To do this, brands must put the
customer at the center of their business strategy. What marketers have
been talking about in theory for more than a decade is now a reality.
You now have the power to communicate, with individual precision, to the
right person with the right message at the right time through the
right touchpoint.
Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business
Strategy goes beyond the what and why, with the intention of helping
businesses delve into the how. How to gain vital executive sponsorship;
develop overarching customer strategies; define measurement platforms;
execute campaigns; and make the necessary operational preparations that
will bring a customer-centric business strategy to life. In other words: How
to monetize your customer strategy.
55 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
12 Game Strategies for Driving Improved Results in Your Business
Jeri Quinn
Driving Improved Results | December 14, 2013
Recognize Them!: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value
Zane Safrit
BookBaby | January 21, 2014
Recognition by peers and by one’s immediate bosses is one of the top
ways to instill engagement and passion for their work among your
employees. What’s often overlooked by the well-meaning leaders in
the employee recognition industry is the power of the simple steps to
recognize another person. Employee recognition, in these simple
steps, acknowledges our primary drivers as people and employees.
Those drivers are overwhelmingly intrinsic not extrinsic. These include
the ability to be recognized among their peers and by their immediate
managers, the chance to grow, the tools and resources to accomplish
their work, the authority and autonomy to work as an adult, the chance
to fail and learn from that failure. Extrinsic motivations, salary and
bonuses, are important. But ranking them among all motivators leaves
them near the bottom of the list.
The reason I shared this list along with inspiring
quotes and the story of a successful leader who
realized he could be even more successful if he
invested a few moments each day in recognizing
those around him is I understand the challenge of
business leaders in building and sustaining their
business. I understand the barrage of distractions
demanding their time and the easy lure of pretty
colors and the shiniest, newest, management buzzwords. Employee
recognition is one of those trendy buzzwords. But it’s execution is
timeless. These steps can be used with any sized company in any
country in any industry.
Did you know that a 5% increase in customer loyalty
could add an extra 25-100% of profit to your bottom line?
Did you know that it costs 5-8 times more to get a new
client than to keep an existing client?
Did you know that loyal customers who buy regularly help
you have predictable cash flow?
This book gives you the ‘WHY’ and the ‘HOW’ of customer
loyalty so you can have these benefits in your business.
Just like in sports, your business can have a playbook, a
notebook that contains the game plays that make a team
successful. Each chapter has a play diagram followed by an
explanation, a case study and discussion questions to use
with your team.
The 12 Game Strategies are organized into four sections that
build customer loyalty infrastructure into your business:
Leadership | Engaged Employees
Designing the Customer Experience | Targeted Marketing
Inside the book:
-9 compelling reasons why you want to improve customer
and client loyalty
-12 executable and customizable winning game strategies
you and your team can use
-online resources to aid you in implementing these
strategies with your team
56 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
Creating a customer-first culture that builds trusted and unbreakable lifetime relationships
We are Ready,
Willing and Able!
A leading global education publishing company has to shift its strategy for a digital,
direct-to-customer interaction future. A major telecommunications organization
has to prepare its workforce for new integrated partner offerings while maintaining
customer intimacy. And leading health care providers and insurers seek to maintain
ongoing relationships with their customers beyond their care and claim interactions.
These are some examples of the issues our
clients face. An atmosphere of hyper-connected
customers, highly competitive environments
and digital interaction platforms are driving
organizations to revisit their entire customer
engagement life cycle.
1. Design holistic customer experiences that
embody brand attributes
2. Trigger experiences through agile operational
levers, including change management
3. Generate organizational enthusiasm and long-
term commitment through employee engagement
Designing a full-bodied customer experience and
creating lifetime loyalty requires trust. And trust
needs to be earned — one insight, one interac-
tion, one experience at a time, over and over
again. Experiences begin with perceptions that
messages deliver to prospects and customers
through advertising, media, friends and family.
Brand attributes, such as approachable, friendly,
innovative, trustworthy and affordable, quickly
form the picture of a brand personality. That
personality becomes distinctive and carries
forward through the design of all experiences.
Experiences come alive when employees know
how to demonstrate the brand attributes.
Translating an attribute such as “approachable”
requires an organization to describe that
behavior from a people, process and technology
standpoint. To be “approachable,” the organization
might consider providing its customers with
access to experienced resources at all times,
encourage feedback on processes, connect
people to problem solvers through technology
and deliver dialogue that is open, welcoming
and sociable. The powerful alignment and
measurement of these observable behaviors
helps the organization consistently deliver the
experience customers expect.
Questions to Consider
Where does our customer’s
experience journey begin?
What perceptions of our brand
are important?
How can we make it easy for employees
to understand the behavioral drivers
that direct the “moments of truth?”
Dear Customer,
Julie Harter
Ernst & Young LLP
57 Loyalty Management™ • SECOND QUARTER 2014
Marketing Sales Service
Breakthroughs in
Customer Value
Driving a Deep Understanding
of Customer Needs
Integrating a Compelling
Customer Experience
Streamlining Basic Customer Management
Unbreakable Lifetime


Triggering experiences through agile operational
levers requires diligent up-front effort. New
experience engineering teams are appearing
across many large organizations. These teams
typically operate between corporate innovation
and product groups and operations (marketing,
sales and service) and include rotational cross-
functional representation from the field. They
help vet ideas from experience design through
to operations. As the organization architects the
experience design, this team liaises with operations
to gain a full perspective of the impact and levers
required to achieve success. The experience
engineering team maintains the impact map so
that the organization can quickly target and trigger
future changes. By working with the field, the
engineering team has also built the collaboration
necessary to quickly and seamlessly implement ideas.
Complementing the experience engineering
team with a customer-first culture requires
organizational introspection. Assessing five
critical change success factors — the five Cs
—enables an organization to understand the
challenges it faces, the level of support needed
and the pace at which to enact change:
1. Capacity. The extent of the organization’s
resources and ability to absorb the change, given
other simultaneous change efforts underway
2. Capability. The organization’s adaptive culture,
its level of cross-functional collaboration, process
and systems linkage, and ability to embed and
accept new business requirements
3. Competence. The organization’s experience
with change, as well as new processes
and systems
4. Commitment. The degree of alignment and
dedication of the organization’s key stakeholders
to the change initiative
5. Critical success factors. The key change
process metrics and operational metrics that the
organization needs to achieve for the program to
be successful
The results of this assessment will allow the
organization to take concrete steps toward
successful change. Sometimes this includes:
new recruiting profiles, enhanced performance
goals, incentivized compensation structures and
revised training to prepare every employee to
deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Throughout the customer-first transformation
journey, the organization must provide direct
support to its employees. Support may range
from various forms of in-person and online
group communication — town halls, webcasts,
newsletters, emails, a dedicated internal website,
social media — to one-on-one personal interac-
tions that provide direct support and resolve
issues as they arise.
Once the customer-first culture appears fully
embedded within the organizational fabric, some
level of support needs to continue. This may
include coaching for improved performance,
celebrating ongoing achievements, converting
lessons learned into opportunities for improve-
ment and introducing the customer-first culture
to all new team members and employees.
Questions to Consider
How can we effectively and efficiently
align around our customers’ needs?
How can we be agile in our response
time to address our customers’
shifting needs?
What do we need to know about
ourselves as a company to shift to a
customer’s point of view?
Continued on page 58
Experiences come alive
when employees know
how to demonstrate the
brand attributes.
Ready, Willing and Able continued...
Generating organizational enthusiasm for a customer-first culture is easy. Sustaining it takes work.
It’s similar to getting involved in a new relationship. At first, the relationship is exciting and filled with
high energy. Soon it needs to be refreshed through regular infusions of feedback, change and activity.
Tracking the energy level of our relationships is important. Just as we regularly conduct surveys to
gauge customer satisfaction, imagine if we measure the heartbeat of our organization to gauge the
health of our employees.
Employee engagement is a leading indicator of customer engagement. Companies with high levels
of engagement saw a 3.74% increase in operating margin and a 2.06% increase in net profit over a
one-year period (versus low engagement companies, which saw a decrease in operating margin of
2.0% and 1.38% decline in profit)
. Additionally, companies with high employee engagement scores
had twice the customer loyalty (repeat purchases, recommendation to friends) than companies with
average employee engagement levels
Orienting success through a customer lens enables employees to better understand the customer’s
needs and journey across every touch point and more effectively collaborate to improve interactions
that cultivate trust. To facilitate this reorientation, the organization might consider:
• Aligning employee goals and career advancement with delivering consistently good customer
experiences, one interaction at a time
• Involving and engaging employees in change activities to promote understanding and awareness
• Creating excitement to motivate people to move beyond a self-first or company-first approach
and toward a customer-first approach
• Setting and communicating achievable goals that clearly define an end point and a deadline
Actively engaging employees in customer-first programs produces a level of value and respect that
emboldens employees and helps organizations accelerate their path toward being a trusted com-
pany. Having an open and candid communication culture is integral to aligning employee vision with
organizational vision. This enables leaders to incorporate active feedback and translate them into
desired improvement opportunities. It also enables them to retain top performers. Further, the brand
perception of a company is partly attributed to what its employees say and blog about the company.
In a disruptive social, mobile and digital era, two experiences exist: one with the brand and one out-
side of the brand. Products and services have crossed the perimeters of physical attributes to include
“memories of the experience” that can now be broadly communicated. Did the company take care of
me? Did they make things easy for me? Am I important to them? Are they thinking of making my life
better even when I am not asking for it? Am I a part of them?
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to
make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon
An organization must decode a customer’s untold, complex and sometimes fickle feelings. It then
needs to translate them into tangible interactions that create strong and lasting memories in the
customer’s complex mindscape. Organizations must listen and respond to customers and employees
in ways beyond their expectations to ensure a living brand promise that fits the customer’s lens. L
Questions to Consider
How do I get my work force excited about
delivering a great customer experience?
Can my organization sustain a high level
of employee engagement?
Does employee satisfaction really
affect my bottom line?
Kevin Kruse, “Why Employee Engagement? (These 28 Research Studies Prove the Benefits),”, 4 September 2012,
©2014 LLC™. See the article:
Aon Hewitt, 2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement, 2013, ©2013 Aon plc. See the report here:
Pamela N. Danziger, shopping, WHY WE LOVE IT and how retailers can create the ULTIMATE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, pg. 147
(Kaplan Publishing, 2006).
Julie Harter is an Executive Director in the Customer Advisory practice of Ernst & Young LLP. She has over 20
years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and globally. She has extensive experience in
customer experience strategy design and implementation, service center design and implementation and operating
model transformation.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ernst & Young LLP.
58 Loyalty Management™ • LOYALTY360.ORG
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