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January 2017

Manipulation by loyalty

Before we decide to be loyal to any person or institution we have to consider our values for possible conflicts. Once we've sacrificed our integrity, how will we be able to get it back? 

Bloomberg: Why Trump's Staff is Lying, 2017-Jan-23 by Tyler Cowen

Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

In this view, loyalty tests are especially frequent for new hires and at the beginning of new regimes, when the least is known about the propensities of subordinates.


Now CRM is not just more data but a different KIND of data about people

Now that our CRM systems receive data from accounting and social media, the type of information available to us is vastly different that the contact data we collected in the past. In order to compete, we have to become better than our competitors at using this data. And if we want to thrive in the long run, we have to use it to the benefit of customers. 

The Guardian: How statistics lost their power--and why we should fear what comes next, 2017-Jan-19 by William Davies

Statistics, collected and compiled by technical experts, are giving way to data that accumulates by default, as a consequence of sweeping digitisation. Traditionally, statisticians have known which questions they wanted to ask regarding which population, then set out to answer them. By contrast, data is automatically produced whenever we swipe a loyalty card, comment on Facebook or search for something on Google. As our cities, cars, homes and household objects become digitally connected, the amount of data we leave in our trail will grow even greater. In this new world, data is captured first and research questions come later.

In the long term, the implications of this will probably be as profound as the invention of statistics was in the late 17th century. The rise of “big data” provides far greater opportunities for quantitative analysis than any amount of polling or statistical modelling. But it is not just the quantity of data that is different. It represents an entirely different type of knowledge, accompanied by a new mode of expertise.


To create memorable experiences for our customers, we have to lead with compassion

We can train our employees to follow the right process, but to create truly memorable experiences for our customers, they have to lead with compassion. 

Cupole Consulting Group: Crack the Customer Experience Code with Compassion

Compassion is key to secure the right Customer Experience and consequently sustainable success. Below are five guiding principles describing how companies can succeed with this.
1. Living a Clear Purpose – Guided by Compassion
2. Focusing on a Positive Memory at the end of the family’s journey
3. Experiencing different customers’ perspectives, using a high level of compassion-driven collaboration and coordination
4. Involving customer-facing employees in decision-making as they possess valuable insights and ideas
5. Building trust for a better understanding of, and faster adaptation to, the customers’ expectations, needs and journeys.


How retailers like Starbucks and Tesco are evolving past the loyalty card

Which is more important--the loyalty card or the loyalty app? For the time being, I say BOTH. Preferably integrated. 

The Register: Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot, 2016-Nov-28 by Sooraj Shah

But with new data streams now available to retailers, it raises the question: is the importance of the loyalty card scheme and its data diminishing?

Now, retail consultant Rare has found that of the UK's most popular loyalty programmes, just two – My Starbucks Rewards and Amazon Prime – are exceeding customers' expectations based on a loyalty benchmark it's developed. The benchmark is based on a survey of customers asking how "loyal" they felt to a brand.

Each score is based on how much they agreed about four key experience metrics: ease of use, sales experience, delivery on promise and personalisation.

M&S Sparks, Superdrug Beautycard and Boots Advantage Card were about in line with customers' expectations according to Rare, but Nando's, Tesco, John Lewis, Nectar Card, and schemes offered by Debenhams and Co-Operative were well below the benchmark. Rare asked customers to judge brands on factors including good sales experience, personalised service and ease of use.

One of the reasons for this is that retailers haven't yet moved quickly enough to make their loyalty proposition digital.

A report from mobile engagement firm Urban Airship found that the majority of consumers (62 per cent) were more likely to use their loyalty card if it was on their phone – and it's perhaps unsurprising that the Tesco Clubcard and Nectar Card both have released smartphone apps to fill this void.

But the ratings and reviews for these apps are staggeringly poor – with users of the Nectar Card complaining that they can't actually use the digital version of the card in store and instead only use it to view points and other information.

The Urban Airship report made clear that Brits are more likely to join a loyalty programme in which points and rewards are automatically updated and immediately visible on mobile wallet cards.

Photo by "GoToVan" on Flickr:

Before you invest in a business relationship...

When we're supplying "steady crm" to our customers, we are making a deep investment. And we all know that some are "bad prospects." They are not aligned with our values, or they are not able to afford us, or they will cost us too much to service. 

RESET: Why You SHOULDN'T Prioritize Relationships When Your Goal is to Grow Revenue, 2017-Jan-4 by Wayne O'Neill

Relationships Come Second

The first thing I want you to get out of your head is that building a relationship over 6-12 months is how you win work.


You win work by:

  1. Choosing smart clients
  2. Matching your impact to the business and political issues the client faces
  3. Facilitating decision-making

All of this starts before you even make the first phone call to the client....

To really fail fast and make sure you’re spending your time and energy on fruitful activities, you must make your go/no-go decision before you spend too much time on relationship-building.


Marriott is innovating on many fronts to maintain their lead in customer loyalty

As frequent travelers are experimenting with their options, Marriott is ratcheting up its investment in innovations around loyalty and customer experience. 

Quartz: The failure of hotel loyalty programs to defend against Airbnb, quantified, 2016-Dec-27 by Alison Griswold  

Members of hotel loyalty programs are more likely than other travelers to have booked a stay in Airbnb. Thirty-six percent of travelers enrolled in a hotel loyalty program say they’ve tried Airbnb, compared to 15% of non-loyalty travelers, according to a Dec. 22 report from Morgan Stanley Research.

Nasdaq: Marriott Long-Term View Bright Despite Headwinds, 2017-Jan-2 by Zacks Equity Research

... digital innovations and social media are starting to play an increasingly important role in bookings, by connecting directly with guests, which in turn can lead to increased loyalty and market share. The company [Marriott] also believes that the linking of three industry-leading guest loyalty programs - Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest -would lead to an even larger loyalty community.

Top Hotel News: Marriott: Innovating an Empire, 2016-Dec-21 by Lennart Kooy

During the past year, Marriott has been successfully experimenting with various initiatives in order to stay ahead on the social, technological, and customer experience. ... The latest example of Marriott's innovative attitude, is the embracing of new tech travel start-ups. For this purpose, Marriott has established an incubator program called "Testbed."

Osama Hirzalla, Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe, said he and his team were surprised with the volume of applications for Marriott's incubator program. Hirzalla explains further that the program does not come out of an innovation need: "It's more about changing consumer behavior and looking at that as a positive experience for the brand as a technology platform." Another motivation for Marriott was to open up a dialogue with tech firms showing their open mindedness to innovations: "Attracting companies like Uber to want to have a conversation with a global brand like Marriott is one of the other ideas with Marriott TestBed," Hirzalla said.