I was wondering if anyone has any good examples of companies that reward their customers for loyalty. There's a bunch of good stuff in terms of 'operational marketing' over on the Zeus Jones blog, but I was wondering if anyone did anything as simple as, 'you've been our customer for X years, here's £2 off your monthly bill to say thank you'?
Maybe little things like this would avoid the situation I have with Sky, where I've been their customer for over 5 years, spending at least £600 a year, but I feel a burning resentment that I am their customer and am waiting for the day when I can move to a Virgin-enabled area. I actually think that will be one of the main criteria I have when picking out my house (along with being cat-friendly).
The mobile companies used to use your data to suggest the call package which would be most suited to the calls you made, even if meant downgrading, but most companies never take the initiative to save their customers money even though it would mean their customers are less likely to switch. Sky could have easily written to tell me that because I never watch any of the kids channels, do I want to remove the package and save money. Immediate warm fuzzy feeling towards the brand instead of the cold, burning anger that I usually harbour.
It seems that it's only when you call to cancel that brands suddenly realise the value of your loyalty. It's part of the dance to pretend you're going to leave your mobile provider on renewal in order to wrangle a better upgrade deal. I bet if I called Sky to cancel they'd offer me a sweetner to stay - free HD perhaps? It's a shame that brands focus their energy on salvaging relationships rather than cultivating them.
In fact, I read in Campaign the other day that Setanta are going to offer a £3.33 package (on satellite) while there's no premiership action over the summer, but I haven't heard of this from them. I'm probably going to have to call and cancel for them to let me know about it.
Anyway loyal customers are the most profitable, but that doesn't mean they should be treated like mugs. Basically, as a brand you should have to work for my loyalty.