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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To Rock or Not To Rock at Customers Rock!

!Rock'n'Roll! originally uploaded by L.A. Woman.
Becky Carroll from Customers Rock! graciously invited me to contribute a guest post to her blog.

My starting point for the post - which you can view for yourselves at To Rock or Not To Rock - came from my last post of 2006 titled Happy 2007 From Wear-Dated!

Within that post, I included the following: "retailers in all industries can remain competitive by focusing on 'value-added' strategies, such as loyalty programs that reward customers" and "consumers want experiences, not just purchase transactions. They want memorable events that make them feel appreciated and create a positive emotional experience while getting something of value."

Becky asked me to elaborate on these points.

As I thought about them, I considered the notions of defining and creating value [which Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg explore in Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results]. I asked myself -as a consumer- what is it about an organization that makes me feel passionately about that organization over another?

The long and the short of it is that it all has to do with whether an organization truly believes that customers rock.

Advertising Age featured a special report on loyalty on March 20, 2006, discussing different approaches to building loyalty. Many of these approaches include card programs, so it's interesting to discover the differences between a Starbucks gifting/loyalty card vs. a Chico's Passport Club. Regardless, success requires looking outside of the category for innovation, focusing on simplicity and constantly reevaluating and reinventing with the customer in mind to create a memorable positive experience.

Here are the articles in that report:
+ The Big Payoff, subtitled "Customer retention is the mantra, but marketers quickly appreciate you have to win them and keep winning them over and over" by JAMES TENSER.

+ Latte reward: Cards add up at Starbucks, subtitled "With single b-to-b order of 100,000 cards, effort fills bottom line to brim" by KATE MACARTHUR.

+ Retail lesson: Small programs best, subtitled "Some grocery efforts flounder but specialty stores build on benefits" by MYA FRAZIER, Contributing: James Tenser, Tricia Despres.

+ Four to follow by Tricia Despres. The four being: American Airlines, Buick, Citibank and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

I end this post the same way I ended my guest post:

I bet you can come up with your own customer rocking examples that have earned your loyalty. What about your own organization? How do you nurture your customer relationships? Do customers rock, or do they not - and how do you demonstrate that?

Thanks, Becky, for the opportunity!

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Anonymous said...

As usual great post, and thanks for the links. Thinking of mobiles phones in the UK, I get a free upgrade once a year. I rock and so do my cell phone supplier!

CB Whittemore said...

Laurence, thank you and great example. My cell phone company only gives me an upgrade every 2 years... :(

Anonymous said...

You are welcome. I appreciate you taking the time for Customers Rock!

With respect to cell phones, it is interesting how different it is here vs in Europe. When I lived in the UK, I only paid for outgoing calls. Here in the States, we pay for calls both directions: incoming and outgoing. The UK model makes more sense (and cents) to me!

Anonymous said...


Yes, the US tariff seem extortionate and you also have a zone system I believe. Cell phone suppliers have to be very competitive over here and always give you freebies. It would be interesting to do a comparative posts on the offers available in the UK and in the USA

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