You have a loyalty program?

About two years ago I found the best deal ever, a two year contract for $100 per month “Unlimited Everything” plan with Sprint. I thought, “What a great concept, unlimited everything for a little more than most plans.” The relief of not worrying about going over my minutes each month alone is worth a few extra dollars to me. I am a fully satisfied customer who has never experienced a drop call, inaccurate billing (its always been $100 per month), or any other issues. I tend to use my fair share of minutes and have no intention to switch carriers or plans. Thus, thank you Sprint.

I am a loyal customer. However, despite all my acclaim for Sprint I am perplexed by a 14 page pamphlet I received in the mail today promoting the “one-year anniversary of Sprint Premier,” Sprint’s loyalty program. Over the course of a whole year there was never any introduction or reminder of this program. One may ask what exactly does a loyalty program celebrating its one-year anniversary that a loyal user has never heard of include? The Sprint Premier loyalty program includes a $5 reward or 75 bonus minutes, “Just Because” sweepstakes to shows and golf, early phone upgrades, 25% off accessories, courtesy plan check-up every six months, and inclusion in the Premier Community online forum. In all, a lot included in this loyalty program. While the sweepstakes, early phone upgrades, discounted accessories, and courtesy plan check-up are appreciated, the other rewards are lacking. First, the $5 reward equates to less than a 0.5% reward compared to the annual $1200 I spend with Sprint. Second, the Premier Community online might be great if I feel a strong desire to communicate to other Sprint customers.

Oh yeah, only Sprint customers with individual plans of $69.99 per month, family plans of $99.99 per month, or Sprint customers for at least 10 years are allowed access to Sprint Premier.

Sprint is not alone in offering lacking loyalty programs, many other companies also offer loyalty programs leaving customers desiring more. Three key points to remember when creating a loyalty program as a point of competitive difference is to make sure you offer rewards or benefits that are:

1) Meaningful

2) Perceived as real value added

3) Relevant to or consistent with your products and services

By following these rules, companies can create successful loyalty programs.


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