CUSTOMER SERVICE AT THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY WILL DRIVE OVERALL SUCCESS

Customer loyalty isn’t what it used to be. There has been a significant change in the process that controls business structure brought around by the digital world we live in.  We are all exposed to Internet access 24/7.  As a result, this has intensified competition and completely changed the way people look at products and service.  Every company must become customer-adaptable in todays volatile and competitive environment.

Never before has there been more of a need for outstanding customer service.  This is instrumental in crafting a company’s brand promise and solidifying customer loyalty. In many cases, service is the deciding and most important factor in brand selection today.

Business must act in a highly collaborative way or risk losing customers through less than exemplary service.  This will no doubt set up a path to failure.  Customer loyalty can only be won when customers feel that the brand cares and has their best interests at heart.  Customer loyalty is fundamental to survival and therefore an organization must center their entire business on the customer and delivering those outcomes their customers expect and want.

Brands and service providers in all sectors are experiencing pressure to boost customer loyalty and enhance customer engagement.  In the past, brands have relied on discounts and loyalty schemes to win customers. Many times this proves costly, ineffective and shows little ROI.

Businesses need to gravitate towards the opposite outcome by providing service that stands out against competitors. When a customer has a good experience, they will remain loyal.  In this generation of using customer insights to deliver smarter results, services and product recommendations are a differentiating factor.  Just look at the amount of money business invests in data analytics and CRM tools to realize rewards.  This data is used to create a more valuable, one-to-one relationship with customers.

When a consumer has a quick, effortless and efficient experience and know the company has gone the extra mile to meet their expectations they are much more likely to recommend services via word of mouth or write positive reviews.

If organizations want to instill company-wide best practices to ensure success and drive loyalty, they must focus on Customer Service.

Our clients and their customers are important to us; they are the core factors of our business.  We build and value partnerships with our clients and deliver solutions to support their objectives, their products and their customers.

 

Written by LuAnn Jalet

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JNR Incorporated is a globally recognized leader specializing in creating custom programs that motivate, engage and reward the employees, customers and channel members of our Fortune 1000 clients. For over 35 years, JNR has designed and delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions including incentive travel, prepaid reward and gift cards, meetings and conferences, events and entertainment, technology solutions and marketing communications.  Our programs produce measurable results and are proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Put Cash in The Past

The idea of cash is alluring – it is flexible and it gives you the freedom to purchase anything. Who couldn’t use a little extra cash? However recent studies have shown that in terms of incentives, cash may not be the most effective and engaging reward for long term results.

Contrary to popular belief, the 2015 Landmark Survey shows that when given the option, employees did not automatically choose cash as part of their reward. “The study found that on average the most preferred award experience for large awards is a travel award, presented by travel executives, communicated in a public announcement, and combined with the opportunity for special networking” (Van Dyke).  This is good to know since companies are spending $77B on non-cash awards annually!

While cash rewards provide you with the ability to buy anything you want, The Economic Theory suggests that people are more likely to spend cash on utilitarian items rather than something more personally gratifying (Helion and Gilovich 2014; Thaler 1985). Once the cash is spent, the gratitude tends to go with it.  When employees are provided with an experience such as a bucket list trip of a lifetime, they are able to take away priceless memories while having the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with their coworkers and executive leadership. Not to mention, a vacation is a bit more glamorous than a trip to the grocery store.

More and more we are finding that people are motivated by an experience rather than the tangible reward itself.  What is the recipient’s perceived value of the award?  How does the presentation of receiving the award make them feel?  Everyone responds differently to various incentives so to see the most favorable ROI on your program it is suggested that you craft it with levels of personalization weaving throughout.

In the future, instead of assuming that cash is the best motivator, dig a little deeper and determine what would really engage your sales team, employees or channel members.



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Written by Kalyn Tripodi

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JNR Incorporated is a globally recognized leader specializing in creating custom programs that motivate, engage and reward the employees, customers and channel members of our Fortune 1000 clients. For over 35 years, JNR has designed and delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions including incentive travel, prepaid reward and gift cards, meetings and conferences, events and entertainment, technology solutions and marketing communications.  Our programs produce measurable results and are proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Flying” by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC by 2.0

2016 Travel Predictions

2016 is finally here! A new year full of potential and excitement, and a new set of resolutions. It is the time to set goals and achieve what you have always wanted! You want to get fit? Time to hit the gym. Want to learn a new language? Pick up a class at your local college. Have you always wanted to see the world? The best time to start planning is now.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or starting fresh, it is always important to plan out your trip early to maximize your enjoyment. To help you plan for that, here are some trends experts foresee for travel in 2016.

 

The Good:

  • Dramatically lower fares in 2016

Tim Winship of frequentflier.com predicts that because so many carriers have expanded their presence there are too many new flights to fit the demand.  This means an excess of seat inventory. Monitor a range of flight websites over a period of time to find the best deal and be on the lookout for airline price wars.  These are the best ways to ensure that you get the best rate.

 

  • Mandatory hotel resort fee surcharges added to your room rate for items like pool towels and wireless internet could die next year

Sally Greenburg of National Consumer League predicts that hotels may finally make changes or completely throw out charges for these extras to ease consumer frustrations. Hotels have seen how these small changes can increase customer satisfaction with free Wi-Fi being the testing grounds last year.

 

  • Increases in Mobile apps

Henrik Kjellberg of Hotwire sees your phone becoming more important for travel plans. Mobile apps will increase consumers’ abilities to plan a trip from anywhere and at any time. We suggest taking a look at WorldMate, Skyscanner and TripIt.

 

The Bad:

  • High hotel occupancy levels and room rates

Bjorn Hanson of NYU predicts that hotel occupancy levels will be at an all-time high which will result in higher pricing. Make sure to book early!

 

  • Changes to airline and hotel loyalty and membership programs

Dave O’Flanagan of Boxever predicts that airlines and hotels will make changes to their loyalty programs which could results in the value of your points dropping. Customers do not value these programs with the same level of appreciation as they once did.  Recent surveys found that less than 1/3 of consumers believe that loyalty club membership guarantees a better experience.  Further, if we see a significant airline fare decrease as predicted above, you can expect mergers and changes.  It is a good idea to use up those accumulating hotel and airline points before these programs devalue any further or go away completely.

 

With all the potential 2016 holds we hope you plan ahead and get out there and travel.

Happy adventures!

 

Written by Samir Ahmed and Stephanie Thomas

 

Trends compiled by Christopher Elloitt in USA Today on 12.21.15

 

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Daydreaming of Traveling” by Chris Ford is licensed by CC by 2.0.

Is Domestic Travel About To Become More Complicated?

Domestic travel is about to get trickier for residents of Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York. Starting next year, residents from these states will be required to show a second form of ID apart from their state driver’s license to board a domestic plane. In December of 2013, the Department of Homeland Security passed the Real ID Act, which set federal standards for government issued IDs. The states listed above do not require residents to show proof of citizenship or residency in order to obtain their license and, therefore, do not pass the new security standards.

So, what counts as a second form of ID?

  • Passports
  • Passport Cards
  • Military or Government IDs
  • Enhanced Driver’s License or EDL (only available to New York and Minnesota residents)
  • NEXUS Card
  • Global Entry Card

At this time, the exact date that these changes will be implemented is unclear but the Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will be “no sooner than in 2016”.

By JNR Incorporated

 

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Image “Passport” by Tony Webster is licensed by CC by 2.0