Posts Tagged ‘Loyalty

08
Sep
08

Segmenting travelers – Here’s a method to do it

There’s always a lot of thinking & data-driven insights needed on how to approach segmentation of customers. At Cequity, we have always believed that we have to connect transactional data with behavioral observations that can help us identify customer types and segments more precisely. Here’s a method adopted for the travel & hospitality business. Read on:

This questionnaire, developed by travel researcher Stanley Plog, divides travelers into six personality types. At one end of the spectrum are “venturers” who like to strike out on their own to remote places. At the other are “authentics” who prefer Disney World as an adventure.

Two people can take the exact same trip and come away with completely different impressions. Many travel experts offer a short quiz to help define your travel personality. If you love going places, you may be an adventurous traveler. This means generally you love going places you’ve never been, keep your passport current–just in case–or laugh at the very idea of a travel guide book. You are spontaneous and curious and like learning about the world by experiencing it. You look for last minute deals that provide you a chance to explore new places.

Structured travelers like to have a plan in place and look for low stress. You even have an alternative plan if something should go wrong. You like to look at your hotel room by online video so you know exactly what to expect. Laid back travelers handle stress without much anxiety. You choose a relaxing vacation one time and an active one another. You often wait until you arrive at your destination to decide what you will do while you are there.

To find out your travel personality try taking a quiz at a new Web site, www.Besttripchoices.com

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08
Sep
08

Engagement – What does it take to engage customers and employees?

Allegiance and Peppers & Rogers write:

..the traditional axes of competition – product,price,place, promotion will no longer propel growth but will simply allow parity with competition perpetuated. Winning today requires a new competitive advantage: people – both employees and customers – who are not only satisfied, not only loyal, but also engaged.

.. the new view of engagement involves five levels. At the most basic level, an engaged customer or employee must be satisfied…. If this is achieved, then there exists and opportunity to build loyalty…Loyal individuals have the option of recommending the company to friends…. The last tier in the continuum involves an emotional connection…reflected in an employee employee proud to work for the company or customer being excited about the direction of the company.

01
Sep
08

B2B Loyalty – Best Practices

Here are the latest trends in B2B loyalty, technology and analytics that can help business build a bond with other other businesses:

How do you transform your company from a mere vendor into a valued partner? By building a loyalty platform on a strong foundation of customer data—and leveraging that platform to identify, understand and influence the consumer behind the account number.

Here are some best practices that you should consider:

IDENTIFY: People, not account numbers

Here’s a look at a few of the predominant models for identifying critical B2B contacts:

Give them some face time.

Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Business Development Officer for Eastman Kodak Company, is intimately familiar    with the B2B identification challenge.Given the vast variety of customer types, Eastman Kodak’s approach is to facilitate meetings and events with end users who value the chance to interact with the company on a personal level. Kodak’s annual Graphic Users Association Conference brings Kodak product managers and software developers face-to-face with their end-users, while a series of customer councils for publishers, commercial printers, and database marketers helps Kodak identify key decision-makers and influencers and give them tools to help them grow their businesses.

Use Web 2.0 tools—but warily.

One in three small-business owners now cultivate leads and choose suppliers based on recommendations from social-networking web sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.”Increasingly, small-business owners are getting referrals and searching for supplier recommendations through their networks. Direct mail, newspaper and broadcast advertising are becoming less efficient mediums for reaching small businesses.”

UNDERSTAND: It’s the database, stupid

Once you have identified your sweet spot of small-business customers, the next step is to spend some time understanding their current behavior and comparing it to that of your best customers. Your goal is to isolate behavioral gaps that can be overcome with the right offer.

Treat your database like an asset.

B2B data degrades much more quickly than consumer data. While a consumer might keep the same email address for most of her adult life, a small-business buyer might change jobs, get a new title or return to the corporate world. That makes data refreshment a continual challenge.

Thou shalt not live on transactional data alone.

A 2008 Marketing Leadership Council study found that, because the cost of switching suppliers is higher and more complex in B2B, “attitudes”—in other words, the customer’s emotional connection to the brand—are often better indicators of B2B loyalty than pure transactional behavior. Small-business customers can look loyal in the transaction file, but a survey might find pockets of disgruntled customers who could benefit from an intervention.

Become a data conduit.

In the consumer world, data tends to flow one way, from the consumer to the database. B2B marketers, by contrast, can also learn a lot about their small-business customers by reversing the data stream. Small-business credit cardholders who lack accounting departments, for example, can benefit from information on their business purchases. AT&T Universal Business Rewards cardholders not only earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points on all purchases, but also gain access to a wealth of tools to help track and analyze business expenses.

Source: Colloquy

31
Aug
08

Customer Experience – Firms fail to deliver

According to CCF online, obtaining customer loyalty through quality experience is high on the corporate agenda, yet companies still fail to understand customer expectations, according to new research.

Although the study indicates that 80 per cent of the executives strongly agree that customer strategies are more important to companies’ success than ever before, firms fail to design and deliver those strategies and, as such, lose customer commitment and loyalty.

According to the study:

• Only 43.9 per cent (up from 40.0% in 2006) believed that their companies deserve their customers’ loyalty.

• 34.8 per cent indicated that their company has a dedicated customer experience management role.

• Just 27.2 per cent of the respondents said that the definition of the customer experience is well-defined and communicated in their companies.

24
Aug
08

Automotive Loyalty – A huge challenge

Automotive customer loyalty at the manufacturer level has dropped by 9.2 percentage points, from 49.1% in 1998 to 39.9% in 2008, and costing some automakers more than US$3 billion in annual sales, according to a study by Experian.

Loyalty challenge
“However, the increased number of available manufacturers and models make engendering customer loyalty a bigger challenge than ever before,” Waldron warned. “Automakers that have a firm understanding of what drives their customers to remain loyal will have a significant competitive advantage in such a challenging market.”

The company suggests that even a small rise in customer loyalty can lead to significant increases in revenue. For example, a manufacturer with 10 million current customers will have approximately 1.5 million of those customers return to market in a given year. A 1 percentage point rise in customer loyalty would produce 15,000 additional annual sales, or approximately US$405 million in additional revenue (based on an average vehicle sale price of US$27,000).

But if that same manufacturer could improve loyalty performance by the 9.2 percentage points lost since 1998, it would generate an additional US$3.726 billion in annual sales.

17
Aug
08

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

10
Aug
08

Building a customer-centric marketing organization(CCMO) – Marketing needs to lead this change

At Cequity, in many of the client engagements with CMOs across organizations, we always highlight the changing marketing environment, where the world of “monologue marketing” has shifted to “conversational marketing”. This necessitates in marketing departments an understanding of data, closed-loop marketing competency – leads to conversion to relationship integrated messaging and marketing measurement. Here’s an interesting article on this topic:

Many of today’s marketing organizations were built and optimized for a scenario in which they had nearly complete control over the consumption of messaging. Changes in technology and society however have dramatically altered this picture. Due to shrinking reachability, and greater addressability the control has shifted to the customer. To remain relevant, therefore, marketing organizations need to re-optimize around the reality of this changed environment.

To truly optimize, marketing organizations need to reinvent themselves from the ground-up.

Strategic Platform

The core foundation of the marketing organization needs to be remodeled around the customer. Organization structure, segment valuations, KPI’s, everything needs to be defined in terms of the customer.

Tactical Planning

Where the strategy piece was about establishing where you wanted to go, the tactics is about steering things on course. The hard part, of course, is figuring out what and where you need to measure to generate useful information critical for making the right adjustments. While analytics is clearly the center piece, user experience and insights also plays an important role in this stage. Together, these groups need to work together as a team to map out a course for continuous interaction improvements.

Execution

From an operational structure perspective the execution piece remains the most unchanged. It’s not so much the how, but rather the what that has changed. Messages will still be delivered multi-channel, but the content and plan behind the message will be radically altered.

A couple of generalized thoughts on this topic; First, content is going to explode. In the age of conversations, each interaction is going to need a much more refined, personalized piece of content. Not only is more content going to be created, but will need to be managed.




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.
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