Posts Tagged ‘Customer Value


Gift cards on-demand, has announced the launch of Amazon Gift Codes On Demand™ (AGC On Demand), a real-time electronic gift-card distribution option available from the Amazon Corporate Gift Card program. According to the company, “AGC On Demand is a simple Web service API that integrates Amazon’s proprietary gift-card technology directly into customer loyalty, employee incentive and payment disbursement platforms. With AGC On Demand, companies are able to reduce physical gift-card fulfillment overhead while providing gift card recipients with a customized experience and instant gratification.

Previously, gift card values were fixed and management of inventory for active gift cards and gift codes purchased in bulk required secure facilities. With AGC On Demand, gift codes are created individually in virtually any denomination and can be immediately issued in almost any format — based on the client’s preference — including e-mail, HTML, customized/co-branded cards and paper receipts.

“This is a great solution for developers and incentive companies who are looking for a more cost-effective way to manage a gift card program,” said Marcell King, senior manager of corporate gift cards with ACI Gift Cards, Inc. “The AGC On Demand service offers a quick and secure way to deliver gift cards and stored value to program participants.”


The art of scorecarding

The term “Scorecards” originated with the Kaplan and Norton’s definition of the balanced scorecard and was meant to create a strategic method of management. Scorecard software, for its part, is intended to encapsulate a company’s strategic plan and allow operations to be measured against it.

In this way, the scorecard considers information not from the bottom up, with an “in all this data there must be a pony some where” perspective, but from the top down. In other words, What is strategic to our business and can we measure it from the highest levels through the lowest levels of detail to support decisions and action plans?

Scorecards help put these myths to bed by pulling back the wizard’s curtain to reveal critical business data that is specific to authorized executives, managers and departments, in a format which is graphical and makes clear the relationship between content. In effect, scorecards makes visible the results of all the “accounting” being performed in the organization and even step beyond what is typically thought of as accounting to include operational metrics.

Thanks to


Delivering Customer Experience – Good news & bad news

1-to-1 Media has some interesting perspectives on the challenges companies face to deliver a seamless customer experience. Take a look:

What do you believe is your organizations biggest hurdle in delivering an excellent customer experience?
Departmental silos 35.2%
Commitment from the top 17.0%
Recruitment and training 15.9%
Technology 14.8%
Focus on reducing operational cost 10.2%
Lack of investment 6.8%

… well customer-centricity has permeated their organizations. On the good news side, the majority of attendees work in organizations that think delivering an outstanding customer experience is everyone’s job. The bad news: 5 percent actually have no one responsible for ensuring that customers have a positive experience.

Who is responsible for customer experience in your organization?
Everyone 64.6%
All front line employees 15.2%
Contact centre employees 7.1%
Customer experience team 8.1%
No one 5.1%

How would you rate your company’s performance against its competitors in terms of customer experience?
Much better 12.3%
Better 32.9%
The same 38.4%
Not quite as good 13.7%
Worse 2.7%

Interesting, right?


Are banks ready to shift gears to attract and retain Gen X and Gen Y?

According to a survey by Maritz Research, Younger Generation of Customers are Less Loyal to Banks. 

At Cequity, we agree this is a challenge for banks and we do recommend banks must change the way they service this generation. They need a whole host of new services which makes it convenient for the young generation to bank with them. Also, there is a need to understand their financial needs and configure products that can fit into their life. Take a look at what the research revealed:

“For the most part, the current customer experience model at banks caters to the Silent Generation and Boomers, who more frequently bank in-person at branches. But, younger generation customers are much more mobile and rely more heavily on online interactions,” says Thad Peterson, division vice president, sector strategy and solutions for Maritz’ financial services sector.

  • 37 percent of Gen Y and 36 percent of Gen X believe they would get better customer service at a different bank, compared with only 24 percent of Boomer and 16 percent of Silent Generation respondents.
  • 22 percent of Gen Y and 21 percent of Gen X reported being upset in the past year about high fees, whereas only 14 percent of Boomer and six percent of the Silent Generation respondents reported the same.
  • 18 percent of Gen Y and 17 percent of Gen X reported being upset about a lack of ATM locations, compared with only 11 percent of Boomer and three percent of Silent Generation respondents.

Washington Mutual is one institution that successfully caters to the needs of younger customers. WaMu no longer requires a signature to open a checking account. The bank simply uses the first signed check as the authorization signature — incenting new customers to do business with the bank by simplifying the process and eliminating a trip to the bank. It appeals to the Gen X and Y customer desire to just “get it done,”

Read more


Loyalty data translates in better marketing

According to a Nielsen report on consumer insights, stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships can be achieved by a sound analysis of shopping behaviour, leading to targeted marketing programmes.

At Cequity, our belief is that loyalty marketers don’t really use their loyalty marketing data effectively for creating tangible business impact. Our belief is that loyalty data has to be effectively used in real-time(week after week in grocery retail or month after month in lifestyle, CD/IT retail) in target marketing campaigns to build ” value perception” & ” personalized service/rewards privileges” amongst loyal customers.

Take a look at what the Nielsen Report has to say:

Foundations of loyalty
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, companies that use their loyalty programmes to establish a deeper relationship with their customers are better positioned to prosper. Two foundational factors are especially important within any loyalty scheme:

  1. Maintaining good customer data with insights, which can be easily distributed throughout the organisation for decision-making;
  2. Developing a business culture that constantly looks for ways to improve programmes that benefit customers by applying shopper insights.

Creating a process for gathering insights, testing programmes and learning about customer response is important. While a few interesting facts about a cardholder’s household composition might come from the initial card application, such information and even deeper insights may also be derived by capturing sales history and assessing information about customers from transactional-level purchase data.

Sales data not only tells an analyst about additional family members in a cardholder’s household, but it also identifies opportunities to target the household more uniquely through a better understanding of preferences for specific categories, products and brands to satisfy the special needs of a child or any other household member.

Analytical models
Increasingly-sophisticated models also enable analysts to understand why customers shop, how they shop, what they buy and how sensitive they are to various price structures. If properly collected and assessed, sales data can point out everything from pets in the home to family health and nutrition needs. Analysis of the data becomes one way to answer those burning business questions:
· What do customers want?
· How can I keep them shopping in my stores?
· What opportunities exist to increase sales?

The data, analysis, and decision-making are only as good as the commitment by business leaders to continuously apply the insights to developing programmes that positively impact customer behaviour. This kind of transformational change and the impact it has on the enterprise takes time. If leadership embraces the use and application of customer data, the business will follow. Even then, the business must adapt in other ways.

Structural changes needed
Organisational and structural changes are required to re-align goals and incentives or develop planning processes that place a focus on the customer. The end result, however, works. Nielsen Loyalty has witnessed established retailer programmes achieve:

  • Sales effect increases of 1% to 5% in same store sales;
  • Loyal customer basket sales increases of 5% and 9%;
  • New customer retention rate increases from 20% to 40%;
  • Supplier funding for insight and communications rises from 0.05% to 0.1% of sales;
  • Promotional budget savings from 20% to 40%;
  • At least 75% of sales tracked at customer-item level.

Every aspect of a retail business and the interaction with supplier partners must embrace the needed changes for these levels of success to occur. It does not happen quickly, but the sooner the shift in focus occurs, the sooner all parties can begin trialling new solutions.

A good example
One North American retailer, well known for rewarding it best “Platinum Fans” customers, wanted to use its Loyalty card programme to further build customer affinity and grow sales. By all accounts, this grocery chain has earned some measure of success-achieving over 85% of sales on card by reinforcing a message of customer value, targeted offers, and special services. These loyal customers received periodic special in-store gift cards and coupons presented to them directly by the store manager for maintaining high loyalty thresholds.


Gearing-up for Mobile Number Portability(MNP)

In India, yesterday the Government has announced the deadline & a roadmap for Mobile Number Portability ( MNP). Cequity believes this is going to be an important challenge for telecom operators in India and there is a need for huge customer retention & targeted marketing efforts in gearing-up to this environment, as this is just a few months away.

Here’s is how South African Mobile operators have approached this challenge:

The introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enabled South African mobile phone service customers to retain their phone number when changing mobile service provider, this was expected to test customer loyalty and trigger far higher levels of churn, as it did in other countries that have already introduced number portability. Analysts believed that more than one-quarter of consumers (a predicted 27%) will change networks within one year of the service becoming available, and such predictions have ensured that customer retention is now firmly at the top of the agenda for the country’s mobile operators.

What drives churn?
Although particularly rife in fiercely competitive industries such as telecoms, customer churn is a significant problem that spares very few companies. The mobile communications industry in particular is largely product driven and price conscious – two traditionally strong reasons for runaway customer churn. But Moodley suggests that the main driver of churn may actually be service delivery, both in terms of customer service and network performance.

“Although it might appear otherwise, with price conscious customers clamouring for the latest and greatest handsets, these reasons tend to cancel themselves out in the age of hyper-consumerism,” said Moodley. “And products and service packages are quickly replicated by the competition anyway, so there is no real, enduring advantage from either.”

“The higher rates of churn will predominantly be from customers with existing complaints or reasons for wanting to move, simply taking advantage of MNP.”

Predictive modelling techniques based on empirical evidence and analytics can help find churn patterns. By combining a variety of mathematical techniques, including artificial neural networks, statistical regression, and decision trees, many SA mobile operators determine the propensity of any individual customer to cease doing business with a company within a given time period.

The results are often surprising: “You might be under the impression that customers want the latest phones or trendier outlets, but – for example – a large number of those leaving the network may have experienced a considerable number of dropped calls in the past six months.”

Analytical customer management strategies can certainly be helpful for mobile phone network operators because they have unusually rich transactional data, which allows very specific patterns and results to be identified.

Cequity View Point: Collaborative & iterative approach is the need of the hour

Continuous, easy & quick analysis will be very useful and to maximize the efforts of marketing, customer service, and other departments, data analysis has to work in a synergistic manner. Analytical insights must be effectively used by marketers to have an interactive “dialog” with their transactional data–and also allow a cross-functional team to review the latest data and create meaningful interactions with customers that are most at risk at any given time.

Better access to and understanding of customer data will help circle heads take informed decisions and help build better customer relationships. Faster cycle times can accelerate deeper understanding and improve time-to-market–both will be key to success in an increasingly competitive marketplace like India.

The key to effectively combating number portability related churn is a flexible and iterative approach.


Marketing metrics in action – Case study

It’s always easy to think about marketing metrics but very difficult to implement on the ground. Here’s a great case study by US Bank presented at the recent ANA Marketing Conference last week:

At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
May 2018
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