Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NACCM 2010: Customer Loyalty in a Disruptive Business Environment

Presented by Jill Noblett, former SVP Wyndham Hotel Group and now Principal Noblett Consulting — NACCM 2010

Focus first on what customer’s value; not on customer value.

Wyndham has 12 diverse brands under its umbrella, and Jill was the architect of Wyndham Rewards, potentially the most successful Loyalty Rewards program in their industry.

Consumers are reluctant to spend, and they are getting bombarded with messages. Customers seek meaningful engagement, and there are 3 basic principles:

1. Focus on what the customer values: “customer value” is more about the corporation, and companies should focus on what the customer cares about to drive profitable growth. After all, the more value the customer finds, the more they are willing to pay. So listen and iterate, establishing a service and “listening” culture at the start in order to make this work.
2. Set clear goals: Be clear on what you want to achieve in business (money) terms. Traditional call center metrics like ASA (Average Speed of Answer) and AHT (Average Handle Time) probably won’t apply. Instead, set goals around customer treatment. Specifically,
- How will this program be deemed a success or failure? Get consensus from stakeholders so they share the goal.
- How do we know how we’re tracking? For example, look at retention and customer survey results.
- Can we make ongoing strategic adjustments? Be able to iterate.
3. Personalize communication: More than just addressing the customer by name, you need to know what they care about: have great customer data, and put it to good use. Collect the information in drips, being careful about what you ask (because you’ll just annoy customers if you ask about things that you don’t put to use!). “Personalization” doesn’t have to be hard, just put the information in the context of what the customer cares about. For example, when sending customer statements Wyndham doesn’t just show points balance, they show customers how far they are in realizing their next reward.

Bottom line: Every interaction builds on the relationship. Keep customers coming back by showing that you’ve taken the time to get to know your customers and what they need.

Focus first on what customer’s value; not on customer value.

This blog was written by Steve Bernstein and is co-posted with the Customer Insight = Revenue blog.

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