I was delighted to discuss this fascinating loyalty programme and some of the unique aspects of the South American loyalty market with CEO of the Puntos Colombia programme, Alejandro Gonzalez Saul.
Boasting over 100 partners, including the country’s biggest bank and grocery retailer, the Puntos Colombia programme is a powerful example of the potential of multi-partner and coalition programmes that truly put their customer’s interests at heart.
We discuss the superb solutions the programme launched during the pandemic lockdown to drive engagement, the importance of NPS, social listening and member advocacy and some of their latest features (including Whatsapp functionality) to delight members.
This episode is sponsored by Comarch.
1) Alejandro Gonzalez Saul – CEO of Puntos Colombia
3) Article – The Advantages of Customers as Ambassadors
4) Article – Winning Back Lost Customers
Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. This show is sponsored by Comarh a global provider of innovative software products and business services. Comox platform is used by leading brands across all industries to drive their customer loyalty powered by AI and machine learning. Comarh technologies allow you to build, run and manage personalized loyalty programs and product offers. With ease. For more information, please visit comarh.com.
Welcome to the latest episode of let’s talk loyalty. And today I am delighted to be doing my very first episode with the guest from either Latin America or South America. So I want to thank our friends in Comark for introducing me. And today I have Alejandro Gonzalez soul who is the CEO of punches Colombia. So first of all, Alejandro, welcome to let’s talk loyalty,
Paula. I’m glad to be here with you. Thank you very much.
Wonderful. And I know you’re from Mexico originally Alejandro and, and I’m super happy that you speak English so beautifully.
Thank you very much. Yes, I, I born and raised in Mexico city.
Wonderful, wonderful. And we’ll talk about your experience there because I know you worked on loyalty programs in that country, as well as Columbia now. So we’re going to talk all about Quintos Columbia, but before we get into your loyalty program, tell me first and foremost, what is your favorite loyalty statistic?
Yeah, Paula, that is a very tough questions because as you know, as you know, loyalty programs are, are, you know, due to you can measure and track a different kind of KPIs and metrics. And that was, is, is very exciting in a loyalty is try to, if I can, if I can choose one, I would say that my February, February KPI to measure the loyalty performance in a program is NPS the net promoter score. And let me tell you why Paula, let me tell you why this is for me. The most important measure is because this metric can show you different relevant and relevant aspects of the program.
NPS can deeply know most of the important aspects in the loyalty striding filters, Colombia. We measure them MPS in different interactions with the members. For instance, we measure MBAs when the member just reading points and we want to know his or her experience on that retention process. We also measure the NPS when the member, for instance is interacting or they have a show with our marketplace or when they call us to the contact center as an example. So at the end, we have an overall MPS S the PST stick, just to know if the member is happy and satisfied with the broader wonder, if you think Paula, a loyalty program or a loyalty strategy at the end is all about having happy members.
If these members are happy with the, with the program, with the value proposal that the program is offering them, they would recommend to other families or friends. So no a person does not recommend a service of bro experiences or quantities for the member. All use would commence if they are happy. I mean, local the program for it in love of the value proposal. Wow, this is our favorite statistic. And just to compliment Paula, we are in Columbia, we are measuring the member NPS, and this year we will start measuring also the member, the MPS for our allowance.
In other words, for the brands that are inside the program, we want to know what is the NPS of these allies and meet? They are happy or not with Columbia proposed wonderful.
Oh my goodness. Yes. Alejandro, I know for example, I was looking at the whole website for conscious Colombia, and I know what is a coalition program and Columbia, I had to check your population. I believe you’ve about 50 million people. And I saw you describing the program as an ecosystem of over 80 brands. And I really liked this actually as well in your description Alexandro, it said that it’s a brands that create stories between them and that obviously then the shared data allows the relevance, which I think that absolutely drives your NPS score
Exactly for that. Yeah. The thing that we wanted to create in POTUS Columbia, as you mentioned, he say is a correlation between different brands. At this time, we’ll have more than 100 brands inside the program on these brands can offer benefits to the members benefits in their, in their earning side and also benefits when the member decides to redeem this, these points at the end, we’re talking about points are going, it’s called . And so we seen in these ways, very easy to communicate what is the value proposal of the program in terms of points?
So we wanted to create an ecosystem and I will tell you why this is an ecosystem and not just a coalition of different brands, because as you mentioned, we are using data. We’re using deeply customer knowledge to know about the customer or the member preferences and habits. And once we know these preferences and habits, we use them to connect all these members preferences, using data into, into communication. Let’s say that you, as a member wants to buy a call three every morning and then twice per week to go to the supermarket and buy some different brands inside the supermarket.
So on this data collection, we use it to create a person and history for you and different for the rest of the members in the program. So all of this is coming from data, customer knowledge, and then we transform this into, into a personal history, through our different communication channels.
Beautiful. And there was another quote Alejandro, and I will make sure to link to some of your articles. I know you’ve written a couple of articles on LinkedIn and you were talking actually about advocacy, and I can see that kind of love of the customer coming through and what you’re describing. And there’s a great sentence actually, that you wrote and I’ll read it. If you don’t mind for the listeners and you described it as it must be a slow patient and dedication process of falling in love. And I thought that was a beautiful way for a brand to, to perceive its customers and its members as having an intention of making sure they fall in love with you.
Absolutely. Paula. Yeah. At the end, our, our final, our final objective on the program is exactly to have a advocacy in our members or members who becomes ambassadors of the program. Have you think, and if you think that coalition is trying to you or the Felician program with different brands is a challenge because at the end you have to position not only the program, but at the end, the brand that is inside the throat. So that, that is a challenge, but it’s not difficult, or at least not impossible to achieve. You have the correct data and use these data respectfully of course, having the member permission to use it and then use this data to transform the transaction into an emotion connection.
And then at the end with patients and time, you will have ambassadors instead numbers. So it’s very interesting process. It takes the time, but it’s not impossible to pray.
Yeah. And I think you’re probably the first guest I’ve had on the show Alejandro that really has made me think about the advocacy piece so much. And I’m a big believer in net promoter score. I myself wrote a couple of articles and I’ve talked about it on the show before, but I think the reason I like it, and I think why you like it as well as it’s almost like the, the members putting their reputation on the line. So as you said, they can be happy with the transaction. They can be comfortable, they can be complacent, but actually if they start becoming ambassadors, that’s extraordinary for a business. And I know you haven’t listed benefits that really, we should be thinking about it as an objective for our program.
That’s correct. Or like, yeah. Having ambassadors instead of just transactions or members consenting to a program, it will tell you that the program is having a good Baidu proposal for them. The NPS also is measuring the, the experience that the member is having in all the different, with all the different interactions inside the program. And at the end, as you mentioned, if the members happy, if the member is getting a good response in all of the contact with the program, they would recommend their experience through their friends, through their file.
Maybe. And as you mentioned, this is a, a chain there. I mean, there, they are sharing the, the, their experience and that the emphasis of reputation for them, because they will recommend if you’ve experienced or not. Yeah.
Yeah. And I’ll ask you one, would you, you might not want to answer and if so, that’s okay. And, but I don’t think it’s too commercially sensitive just as an indicator. You don’t have to say for punches Columbia directly, but for a coalition program, if you were reviewing one, what would you say would be a good NPS score?
Yeah. This is a very interesting question, Paula, and maybe it’s a little bit difficult to answer, but no, I would say that I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t satisfy if our NPS is, is a sub of 70%. Yeah. 77%. Yeah. I would. I would say that everything above that number, it will tell you that you are in the right direction. Of course is not the final number you want to, what you would want to improve this over the time. But if you have 70 or more you’re, I would say that you are on group drive.
Yeah. And that’s, that’s brilliant. Thank you for that Alejandro, because as I said, I’m always just to share the knowledge and that’s the whole point of this show because when I was running loyalty programs, I was always frustrated. I couldn’t ask anybody, you know, what, what does success look like? Because nobody else knew my industry for example, or knew my market. So, so that’s super, super useful. And I saw another thing that you, you talked about as well, Alejandro, which was something that was being discussed when I was running loyalty programs, but that has been a few years. And I’d love just to get your insights on whether it’s already happening. And it’s the idea of social listening.
And I think what you were talking about is yes, we have transactional data, as we’ve talked about, we know exactly what people are doing, particularly like you are across the whole portfolio, so maybe a whole lifestyle, but that again is behavior. And, but there’s social listening, I suppose, that a can indication motion. Is that something that’s already in place for you guys?
So social listening for us is very important. And we, as a Columbia were starting to measure this. We want to track all governments coming from our members in the different channels that we have a provider provided for that. So we are starting just with the basics, but we understand the importance of social listening, because this is part of what w what our customers wants to tell you positive or negative at the end is a very, you know, our core content. And we should use it for the, to improve the program in all the communities.
It’s fascinating. And what kind of platforms can you listen to?
Of course, well, we have provided to the members, different platforms and communication channels, and we have a contact center, which is a pristine, a lot of calls everyday, but also we have our web page and also we have a chat and we are starting to use WhatsApp also to receive comments and determined topics related to the program and the member experience. So, yeah, we are starting with those channels and then we will expand and increase to use social media, to know what the members are saying about their experience with the program.
Wonderful. And WhatsApp is one that I’m very passionate about, particularly, I know there was some work done, for example, with WhatsApp in, I think, Brazil last year, where they were hoping to start doing payments again, nothing to do directly with loyalty, but do you have a completely open format? So somebody can WhatsApp you anything at all? Or is it structured data? How do you manage the, the capture and the listing on WhatsApp?
Yeah. All that as, as we are starting with this new channel last year, we implemented this functionality. We want to start with just a basic functionalities using WhatsApp. For instance, if you want to know your balance in the program, and you can send us a WhatsApp and it, and an outcome Epic my session with you, what is your current balance in the program? And then you can decide how to use it. If you decide to use some spots. I noticed. So if you lose your, your phosphor ID to interact with the program, you can ask us using WhatsApp. So as you, as, as just see where just starting with basic functionalities, that we believe that will, this will improve the overall experience with the program.
Otherwise we’ll measure the experience. And again, then PS of the customer or a member using these new channel. We’ll, we’ll decide if we increase the functionalities, come from this. But I believe that all this new technology that is just ready to, to improve the overall member experience, we’ll have to use it because at the end, and we mentioned at the beginning a loyalty program, it’s all about experience. And if you are providing good experience, then you will have, and using technology, you will have a new, a new way to, to communicate and to interact with the members.
So, yeah, WhatsApp, I would say that it’s, it will be very interesting for us for the couple of months.
Wow. I’m going to put that on my M my list too. And to like email you in like six months time, and just go, please tell me how it’s going, because it’s super fascinating. Yeah. And I know in other countries, for example, I think in North America, for example, Facebook messenger is a dominant platform, and I’m sure there are loyalty programs doing what you’re doing, but for me, it just seems so obvious and why aren’t more loyalty programs, you know, providing that particularly factual information. Like, you know, just tell me my points balance. I haven’t seen it on any loyalty program here that I’m a member of in the middle East, but I think it’s genius.
So I think, again, your customers are apps are gonna love you for that.
Absolutely. As at the end, if the member has different alternatives to interact with the program, are they having a good experience or they want to put a comment because they didn’t have a good experience at the end, you have to all to use all these platforms and technologies to listen to the member carefully and then transform these reasonings into actions, and then to correct if there’s something
Of course, of course the other parts that I really loved again, just from kind of looking around at the, at the work you’re doing was a beautiful concept, which I’m guessing is a Covid solution, which can correct me if this is something you were already planning, but I saw that you have some opportunities for members of Potosi, Columbia to use their points, to access, for example, a music concert, and obviously online. And I saw a separate one where there was ingredients for cooking being sent to your members, and then you are running training. And I think cooking classes, it sounds amazing.
It’s amazing. Paula is amazing. And we started in last year because of the funding mix situation. We, we didn’t want to lose connection with our members and also with our allies. So we implemented different actions through the year to stay connected with members and allows having different kinds of experiences, all of them, of course, through the streaming platforms. So we launch it, we launch it music concert, as you know, Columbia music is very famous nowadays. So we hired some IDs and connect them using streaming platforms.
And we allowed members are using a very low amount of points just to stay present in those concerts. And we also have had different experiences for different members in the crowd, for instance, is in members, eh, you know, in the top year segmentation, then we invited this member not only for free, but also we provided them a couple of goodies related to the, to the concert being delivered through to, to third homes, enjoy the concert with a full experience in that, in that manner.
And also we offer the different cuisines lessons. We invited our Columbian chair who is actually she’s living in Italy. So she provided a very interesting pastime and sun. And also we invited the members with a very, you know, low amount of points to be participating in this Christian lesson. And it was very interesting at the end, we made sure that the S on these members, having these experiences and all of these opinions and comments, and of course the MTS was a very interesting one because they wanted to stay connected with the program. And they didn’t know why because amount of allies were just closed because of the pandemic.
So this is a way to stay connected, providing good experiences, providing value for the points in this time. At the end, they were very satisfied and also their lives. They were very satisfied. Yes,
Absolutely. So I can hear you take care of your partners as well as you take care of your members.
This is a very interesting point, Paula. And let me tell you why, because at the end, Montez, Colombia is celebrating a very unique value proposal, the phones as well, we’re talking, we’re offering a member program, eh, a member value proposition around if one nation program, because in the American interact with more, with more, with 100 or more brands inside of it. So is this a, our B to C proposal just dedicated to the member, but also will. Columbia is having a B2B proposal for all of our allows this meaning that this proposal for business, we are providing them with a strategic services.
Let me tell you what kind of a strategic services quilters Columbia is in marketing platform to connect our members with our allies, what we’re seeing all this data and member knowledge, we can connect specific members with specific allies using all this data that comes from unknown. So Columbia is providing our allies with exactly they, yeah, we provide them insight, good insight analysis, or them to take the decision based on these members, behaviors and preferences.
So, yeah, for us, it’s very important. The B to C value proposal, but also the B to B value for our allies, just to have them happy with the program and of course, to, to stay with them on these, the communities. Yes.
Incredible. And I don’t know much about the Colombian loyalty market. You’ll have to forgive me. Can you tell me, like, are there lots of other competing loyalty programs for consumers, or would you say punches Columbia is the market leader, or I’m getting the sense it is the market leader. Am I right?
Yes, of course for Columbia just started in 2018. So we have two years and a half running as a national program. But at the end, yes. If you say the leader position program in the market, because as a value proposal, we have the largest bank in the country, which is the largest and well-recognized retailer in the country, which is a little boy. They created these new company that because they wanted to, they wanted to a boy and to increase their loyalty strategy.
So they decided to create these new company for Columbia and create these coordination programs. So our member base is huge. I mean, I would say that it’s more than 8 million people and going into the program. Wow. I know that these members that are coming from Bancolombia now they are interacting also with the file and with the retailer, but also with the breasts and yeah, the Columbia, the Columbia loyalty market is very dynamic. We have a good competitors. And I think thankful, thankful, because we have good competitors.
Oh, wow. Yes.
Because if you don’t have competition, then you are not, you know, you are not performing or developing actions. So you have competition. I would say that is a big one is welcomed. Right. But we have with competitors, the Colombian market is dynamic, is growing with new flavors, not only in the loyalty category, but also new players that are coming to the market with different proposals. But at the end, they are looking for loyalty. So I would say that also they are competitors. I mean, they’ll be young Paula, the Latin American region.
It’s a, it’s also very dynamic. I mean, in development, I would say that from Mexico to receive their interesting loyalty propositions with different value and for concerts, for instance, breastfeed, which is the ninth economy, largest economy in the world, I, I can count at least three to four mature loyalty programs. So they, she land market as a good tracking loyalty for lumpia, of course, as I mentioned, is a very dynamic and growing loyalty market and the customers at the end, they are very interested and they very often to understand what is the loyalty proposal.
And because they understand that at the end, they will receive a benefit. So also customers are eager to have these loyalty proposals because at the end, they would see a saving, they would see a benefit. It would say a lot of good things happening. So also the customers are receptive and open to, to, to be satisfied.
Wow, it’s certainly a very exciting parts of the world. Alexandro. I would love to understand the digital versus the physical side in terms of the, the identifier. So in my experience, most coalitions do still issue plastic cards. So I’m assuming you are as well. Is that true? Or are you totally digital or how is that? Part’s working
Very interesting question, Paula, eh, Columbia is offering a unique value, a unique proposal for the members. In other words, the program doesn’t meet a big car burden, doesn’t need a physical ID to have to have the member interacting with the program. In other words, the member is using their national ID number as, as identification. So everyone has an national ID. And when you go, for instance, to the supermarket, the cashier will ask you your national ID.
So that is the way that the member can earn or can redeem their points at, at the, at the physical point of sale. This is a unique Bantus I would say, over other global loyalty proposals, because you don’t need a plastic card. You just only need your ID number. And also the ID number will serve will, you can use these no Marilyn. So in digital platforms. So it’s very easy. There is no way username or email is just a number and that’s it for the wheel, the phone.
So it’s very easy with experience.
My goodness. It’s extraordinary. I’ve never heard of it uncertainly. I’m again, fascinated with them, you know, making the program as simple as possible, always for, for customers and for members. So that I think is, is one of the best I’ve heard. And I know you also did work for MasterCard, for example, in the past, and also American express. So I know there’s other mechanics around payment cards often used in other countries, but to be able to access the national ID and to use that for a tracker, I think that’s absolutely extraordinary.
It is just started in our Valley. Fala very easy to use it with a good experience. Let me tell you on a statistic, there is a very good one also, and I can share it and share it with you. The audience is that nearly 90% of the total ticket transactions or tickets inside the retail is with an ID number. So we can track, we can know who is buying or purchasing exactly what kind of products and also in, you know, in the location in time. So we can track a lot of information just because the member is using this nationality.
So it’s a common practice in the market. It’s a common practice in the market. It’s everyone’s using it. So the experiences that they were both well,
Well, well, I mean the, the, the amount of infrastructure that must have gone in and the, and the permissions management, because I know you do, obviously you already mentioned the, the respect, but to have that level of, of customer interest in, I suppose, the benefits of the simplicity. So I think they’re benefiting as well. And then obviously for the data, I’m not even sure how you manage to, to, to, to put all of that together. Both of them, certainly a beautiful experience. And I guess it’s is a common in other countries as well. For example, you mentioned Brazil and Chile. Is it common in those countries also? Would you say
Yes. I would say that the reunion is using these national ID yeah. To track not only the loyalty programs, but also to track or purchasing behaviors that customers in those markets are, are, are hadn’t. So in Columbia is a normal practice, as I mentioned. Yeah. It’s a very good experience. And you mentioned Paula in may I, you mentioned two very important words for us transparency and simplicity, transparency, because for us, the most important aspect is to have the member permission to collect all these data, because we want to transform these data into benefits.
So we ask for the member permission at the end, and at the enrollment process, we ask for this permission to receive the member, you know, no ledger where we’ll use this data for, for good purposes. I’m not sure you mentioned simplicity. I would say that Bruno, you are an expert on the loyalty industry, and you may know a lot of different programs that maybe there are not as simple as they want it to be. So in Colombia, in the beginning, when we just launched the program in 2013, we wanted to create a very simple, simple interaction with the members, very simple by new proposed and also very transparent communication to let them know what is, you know, terms and conditions.
Very simple, because at the end, this also creates members trust, and you will have members trust. Then you will have at the end loyalty at the loan at the level or at the low, you know?
Yeah. Well, that’s definitely something we share as well at a hundred, because I did an entire show and on the topic of simplicity purely because there’s just some extraordinary insights that are coming through in terms of the correlation between the simplicity of a brand and the value of that corporation, which was, again, an extraordinary concept for me. But when you think about brands like Google, or even brands like Apple at the other end of the technology scale, so could be too complicated, actually. They’re very simple to engage with. So I think there’s, there’s huge value. And I think customers just feel, again, the respect coming through that, they’re super grateful that you’re, you know, just show me the simple terms and conditions I need.
Don’t make me jump through too many hoops. Let me use my national ID. I just think that comes through if that’s the intention of the program. And I think you’re absolutely right when you say so many brands have an intention for loyalty, but unfortunately fail. And I think it’s because of complexity or maybe the partners haven’t bought into the concept of the simplicity in the same way that yours obviously has
Absolutely Paula. We want to create trust member trust in the program. They, if we communicate transparent in a transparent way, what are the terms, conditions that use of the program, then the member with great trust with us. And then we would create loyalty at the loan at the level of time. And let me tell you another good example on how we are being transparent with the members is about 0.6 operation, you know, is it is a very controversial, controversial topic when you are managing the program. Maybe some growers, they don’t want to communicate expansions expiration porins policy because they want to create some breakage because at the end they probably have a financial positive impact in compass Columbia.
We believe that if the member is using their points and within, in this points to get any benefit or any service or further inside the program, they will be happy as we mentioned. And they would grade this young, long, wrong loyalty with the program and also with the Brown. So we do want to communicate points expiration. So every month we in a, the program in advance is communicated, how much points will expire and not only that, but also the program is giving some ideas and recommendations of how to use these bonds before the expiration date.
Yeah, it’s, it’s, you are creating this emotional connection at the end, this trust relation. I know the theme that we believe that this is a benefit for the member and also benefit for their life and at the end.
Absolutely. Yeah. And even I can feel that coming through because at the end of the day, sometimes my confusion comes from what can I do with these points? So it’s one thing to tell me that they’re expiring. I might already know that, or I might be upset that they’re expiring, but if you’re encouraging me then to say, here’s something that you can do, that’s in my interests. And that I benefit from. I just think that that again is the kind of thing that the tribes, your NPS score.
Absolutely. Absolutely. If you compare the, if a member redeem their points and you compare it with a member that couldn’t read in the points, because they have an experience shown a date and they couldn’t use it, then you would see the big difference on that metric. So yeah, we believe that these, this is a positive theme for the program. Of course we need breakage because every loyalty program meet breakage, but the bridge breakage is coming for from a different member segments. And that would also benefit in the conventional point of view at the end.
I think my final question for you Alhambra was around certainly my recent birthday, which many of my regular listeners will know is a favorite topic of mine because you know, this whole idea of capturing data and sometimes it’s never used. And I always feel that the simplest piece of data is somebody’s date of birth, because at least you can say happy birthday because my birthday was actually yesterday from when we recording, I was carefully noticing what all of the loyalty programs I’m a member of and what we’re doing for my birthday. So, so I’d love to hear in pointers, Columbia, is this something that you have a specific intention around or, or what do you do with that data?
Absolutely. Yes. We are using the member journey to understand different kinds of information and not, of course, birthday dates are very important for us because as you mentioned, it’s very simple. It’s very important to communicate and to let the member know that the program is taking care of peace or care, and you are communicating this important day, Joe saying happy birthday to you, but also using the ecosystem value proposal. Just not just to communicate happy where they are, but also to offer this person different kind of benefits because of this for instance, if you are having your 25th anniversary or 20 feet happy, very late, we will offer 25% discount influence for a specific price.
And of course there is a certain limit of state to use that promotion, but we believe that this kind of simple actions and simpler things will, will create loyalty and of course, happiness with the program and we divide the proposal. Yes.
And I like that relevance piece that you brought in there, if it is like a, you know, a number that you can manage, like 25 and give something that’s 25% off, I think that’s lovely. And again, just makes the member feel like, Oh, that’s super special just for me.
Yes. Yes. We work with our allies to offer these kinds of promotions. Sometimes they Ally’s paying for that promotion. And sometimes we, as a campus, Columbia are willing to pay an invest because it’s an investment to invest these kinds of promotions, because at the end of this, this member will be engaging with the program different and the different. Yeah,
Absolutely. And I’ll give you two examples just because we’re on the topic at a hundred. And one I really liked was actually just a restaurant in Ireland and it’s normally a lunch type restaurant it’s called Leon. It’s actually a UK brand. And, but because I would maybe normally have gone for lunch, it’s gave me a free breakfast as my birthday treat, which I thought was actually a really nice way because there’s a value in me maybe tasting their breakfast, which I’ve never done before. And then that might be a new behavior that I might try. So I thought that was a brilliant example. And then also there’s a lovely one here in Dubai and a fairly new multi-partner program called blue rewards and in the retail sector.
And they sent me an opportunity to use a voucher for a nice little cupcake in then in one of the cafes, in the big Dubai mall. So again, it’s, it’s the simple things. And I think that partner is more than happy to, to get me in. I’m sure I’ll end up buying more coffee and, and everything else, but those kinds of things, I think your partners can really deliver for you in ways that to again, make the customer feel amazing. Yeah.
Amazing. And they are creating emotional connection with you. So this is the beauty and the power behind the loyalty strategy. So we have different ones. You can create these emotional connections by doing these simple actions, but very impactful for the members. Totally.
For sure. So my final comment then for you at a hundred, again, is just to, to quote some lovely things you wrote on LinkedIn and where you mentioned very clearly loyalty programs that only use transactions be they even recent transactions or historical transactions. In fact, those programs belong in the past because they’re not developing the whole customer intimacy. And I think your point you said is that the whole point of the points programs is knowledge and recognition and thanking the customers. And I thought that was a lovely sentiment. And I just wanted to say, well done to you.
Thank you very much for that. Yes, I am a believer on that. And at the end, as they put us Columbia, for instance, we’re using Florence, of course we need it. We need it in section one section in our case is in importance. But I believe that the long run loyalty is emotional is where the customers are transformed into brand advocates and brand ambassadors. As we’ve mentioned the beginning, but became the emotional, there has to be a tangible benefit or tangible section. This creates a clear expectations and rewards to the members and clear rules and defined expectations, as we mentioned with great trust for trust.
So the program at the end can come borrow rationale. So just once and convert the rational transactions into emotional feelings, just yes, as your example, if you do have a free breakfast, because you had some transactions with that specific precedence, you have your data in that restaurant and then they, they are recognizing your loyalty with the three breakfast and section behind, and then they are converting this one section into an emotional piece. So this is the magic of, so there is a, of course I know that there is an interesting debate between some people that are saying no or in sorry, old fashion from ancient times.
And I’m agreeing with that, but you need the transaction. If you, if you can convert that transaction to an emotion or a feeling, then you are doing a good job in your lawyer. Okay.
I totally agree. And yes, the debate about, you know, whether points is a good thing or a bad thing, I can argue both ways because I know there is a perception of, Oh, another points program and sometimes they have been disappointing in the past. So I can understand sometimes consumers going, that’s not exciting, but to your point, actually, we need something that they understand. So, so the upside is okay, great. It’s point. So, so now can I explain what the points are relevant for? So I think that debate will probably go on for, for many years to come. So I think that’s everything from my side. Alejandro, is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap up
Paula? Thank you very much for letting me having this conversation with you, with your ODSP. Yeah, no, I will. I will ended up my comments saying that as we mentioned, if you are a believer or a transparent simplicity, and if you create this trust with the member, no matter if you’re talking for minds or all very dear friend recognition at the end, you will be able to do this emotional connection that graves create loyalty. Yeah. I am a believer that work does Columbia is working towards create these emotional connection with members, but also with allies because this is, you know, important for us at the end.
Wonderful. Well, I have to say it’s been extraordinary. I love all of the examples, the work you’re doing, including the, the pandemic stuff. I think it’s extraordinary. And even the focus on NPS as well, I think there’s a real clarity and a real there. So I have to say it’s been a fantastic conversation. I do hope we stay in touch. As I said, I want to be checking in on the results of these things. Now that you’re showing how innovative you are. So just want to say Alejandro Gonzalez, sole chief executive officer at consoles. Columbia, thank you so much from let’s talk loyalty.
This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketeer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research.
The Wise Marketeer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 170 executives in 20 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketeer.com and loyaltyacademy.org. Paula Thomas (43:44): Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on letstalkloyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox, every Thursday. Or, just head to your favorite podcast platform, find Let’s Talk Loyalty, and subscribe. Of course, I’d love your feedback and reviews, and thanks again for supporting the show.
Sign up here and get the latest podcast episodes and loyalty marketing news delivered directly to your inbox