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Blow the Dust off Your Customer Loyalty Program & Make It Shine

Do you remember that Customer Loyalty Program your company has in place? Oh that’s right I think Bob’s looking into that every other Thursday. Well it’s time to take it to the next level, it could be the difference between having a successful year that’s one for the books and barely making it through. Entrepreneur released an article explaining the importance of a Customer Loyalty Program and how it is more valuable than ever “in this age of social connectivity.” Word-of-mouth has gone to a whole new level…and spreads like wildfire. It’s important to invest financial resources into making your current customers feel appreciated, after all they could end up being a spokesperson for your company or for your competitor. The article highlights 5 ways to improve your Customer Loyalty Program. Here’s a couple that caught our eye:
Refresh the ‘Thank You’- Give your 'Thank You’ a facelift, after all it’s seen by all of your customers. Entrepreneur states, “…ideas for improvement include lacing in a promotion to instigate immediate action…” Why not offer gift cards to new customers to show that you appreciate their business, whether it’s to
SUBWAY for a healthy lunch or family night at
Boston Market they're sure to be grateful.
Improve your feedback channel- Most company’s don’t realize how critical your customer feedback can be. Make sure that you are getting relevant information and turning it around to give your customers the best experience they can have. *Tip: Maybe you understand the importance of customer feedback and find it hard to pry it out of your customers? I smell an incentive. Try rewarding them with gift cards to their favorite restaurant or clothing store! To find out more ways to kick start your Customer Engagement Program check out
5 Ways to Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Level here.

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Turning Social Media Marketing into Revenue

We don't tend to cover topics outside of the gift card industry in our blog, but this story came to us and we found it so compelling, we decided we have to share. Through the NBA lockout the entire NBA community was on edge wondering if there would be a 2011-2012 NBA season, and for teams they were wondering if there would be any opportunity to take in ticket revenue this year. But not Boston Celtics’ Interactive Media Director, Peter Stringer. He was busy maximizing the Celtics' 3-Point-Play Facebook App. This App turned 5.6 million Facebook followers into revenue generating ticket holders. He used the popularity of a Facebook App to raise awareness and strength for his brand, and parlayed that into thousands of dollars in revenue for his organization. This is one instance that proves the power of social media. How will you use that power for your organization?
This social media success earned Stringer the Pymnts.com Innovator of the Week Award this week. For more information check out the article.

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Google Wallet, gaining steam, revolutionizing payment

It's baack, we have blogged about it before, but now it walks among us, so it seems time to revisit Google Wallet.  It is the first smart phone app, only available on a very select few smart phone models, that allows you to complete payment transactions using your phone, instead of a credit card, or the prehistoric form of payment, cash.  Google wallet is revolutionizing commerce, and how people recieve rewards.  Imagine how easy it would be for a company running a health and wellness program to simply place electronic CVS/Pharmacy gift cards in their employees' Google Wallet accounts, instead of going through the hassle of ordering physical cards, and having to have the cards activated. As revolutionizing as Google Wallet could be, it will still take time to catch on.  For one, it is not yet widely available, and it would be a bit of a stretch to say that people will switch cell phones, or even carriers for this technology.  Additionally, it remains to be seen how many consumers will actually use the technology, given that a wide margin have expressed discomfort in using mobile technology for financial purposes, give the possibilities of identity theft and hacking. Google Wallet will revolutionize commerce, and the face of the gift card industry, just not immediately.  
For more information on Google Wallet, from someone who has actually tested the technology, click here

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Small Business Innovation: GoPayment

This week Verizon Wireless and Intuit introduced technology that is changing the face of small and medium sized businesses.  Ever been to your local mom and pop shop, only to discover they are hesitant or unable to take your credit card? Well fear no more, for all of you carrying around cash-less wallets, this new technology will come in handy for you! Intuit and Verizon Wireless rolled out the GoPayment system, a mobile app for a smartphone or tablet, with a small, pocket-sized credit card reader that actually transforms your mobile device into a credit card reader.  Compatible with Android, Blackberry, and iOS the GoPayment system allows businesses to give any customer the option of paying with plastic, instead of having to turn down potential business.  GoPayment allows users to add tips, taxes, and even syncs with newer versions of Quickbooks, which basically means the accounting for small businesses will do itself, if this system is implemented.  This is the answer for small businesses, mobile businesses, or any business that is eager to bring ease of payment to its clients.  How would you use this system? Do you feel secure with a system like this housing your financial information? Do you think it could be used as instant gratification for employee rewards and sale of gift cards? Let us know what you think about GoPayment by leaving a comment!  
For more information on Intuit and Verizon Wirless' GoPayment system click here.

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Healthy Babies, Happy Moms

In Cumberland County, NJ the infant mortality rate is 8.9 per 1000 births.  This is believed to be the result of mothers missing prenatal doctor's visits.  The county has recently launched a program where mothers can receive gift cards, or other types of incentives for making their prenatal appointments on time.  This program is ensuring the health of babies and mothers in an area where health professionals struggle to get mothers the proper prenatal care.

This kind of program is very similar to other health and wellness programs, such as office weight loss groups, who are increasingly offering incentives to employees making healthy lifestyle choices.  Have you used a program like this in your office or community?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

GiftCard Partners’ client CVS/Pharmacy offers a Select Card which is perfect for health and wellness programs, as it is redeemable on only healthy items such as Baby Care, Allergy remedies, First Aide, Pain relievers, Home Diagnostics, Oral Hygiene, Stomach medicine, Nicotine Replacements, and Eye and Ear Care and filters out purchases such as cigarettes and Alcohol.

For more information on the Cumberland County "Baby Love" program click here

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