The COVID-19 pandemic has had a terrible impact on many businesses and indeed, on the economy as a whole. As a result, many companies have been looking to explore new ways of engaging with their customers and loyalty program members.
I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight what some brands have responded with in this time of crisis. It’s great to see some wonderful initiatives. Some of them are expected, some are very socially responsible, and some are downright helpful and stress easing.
Share with Oscar, a parking app, launched a wonderful initiative asking their parking space owners to provide spaces to frontline healthcare workers for free. In this climate, I felt it was a great move, that was first and foremost designed to help those who are helping our country.
Qantas have provided their customers with full flight credits, which are redeemable towards any flight within 12 months of the original bookings. This may not suit some, however, Qantas is happy to review on a case by case basis.
Virgin have emailed their Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyer members, advising that their current status credits will be extended by a further 12 months. Additionally, they will also provide a status credit gift.
Telstra have offered all of their personal and SME customers bonus 25GB of data for every month that the pandemic continues. I took this up as I’ve been working from home since last Monday. It was a seamless user experience via the Telstra 24/7 app and the additional data was allocated same day. Additionally, Telstra have provided unlimited home phone calls for pensioners.
H&M have sent an email titled “Life at home”, recognising that for many people, this will be the new normal, for a while at least. The selection of items to purchase includes comfy wear and things to make your space cosier.
Amazon has made a selection of its children’s content free to watch to ease the burden of parents struggling to entertain kids now stuck at home as a result of the pandemic. They’ve lifted the paywall on a number of children’s TV shows and movies, including Peppa Pig.
One of the key benefits of having a strong loyalty program (of which an engaged member database is a critical element) is the ability to talk directly to your customers.
What these great initiatives have highlighted for me is that it’s imperative to use every opportunity to build a deeper connection with your customers. If you can show an element of true caring and empathy in the process, whilst creating convenience and value – even better.
Once this is over, your customers will absolutely remember the positives and have significantly more affinity to your product and/or service, as well as your brand.
By its very nature, that will naturally translate to deeper engagement and prolonged loyalty.
Max Savransky is the Chief Operating Officer of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 11 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. Max consults on program design, commercial modelling and lifecycle strategy and leads implementation and operation across a range of B2B and B2B projects.
Max is also a key contributor to www.rewardco.com.au, a global resource centre for everything loyalty.