Browsing articles tagged with " Yahoo"

Customer Experience is King

By Mike Gorun  //  Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Customer Experience is King

Competition for air travel is fierce. Especially when it comes to wooing business travelers. An interesting fact that recently came to light is that the most desirable customers are not necessarily those that have flown the most miles. Airlines have realized this and have changed how rewards and statuses are earned. You see, flying longer distances doesn’t necessarily equate to more revenue. The airlines want to capture those lucrative business travelers that book last minute and end up paying full fare, rather than those that book months in advance and capture sale-priced fares. These last minute bookers bring the most revenue.

In the past, status was rewarded by miles travelled. However, this has now changed. In fact, American Airlines just became the last of the three major airlines to revise the way status and perks are awarded. It is now based on how much money is spent, rather than miles flown.

This recent article on Yahoo Travel relays a viewpoint that airlines have inadvertently created an elitist group of travelers. The thought process is that this is due to loyalty program promises that the airlines sometimes cannot quite live up to. Despite all of the red carpet treatment – Luxury Porsches to shuttle fliers to connecting flights; swanky exclusive airport clubs; etc., there are times when there just isn’t an open first class seat available for a customer upgrade. When that situation happens, airlines have found that this sub-group of elitist travelers attacks with their loyalty cards. They try to out trump each other with status level or threats. The article is quite interesting in how it explains the mentality that the airline’s loyalty programs have created, simply based on how it has been structured and presented to customers. There are certainly a few loyalty program inspired horror stories contained in it.

Loyalty programs have become an expected norm by consumers due to their mass adoption by most major retailers. As such, in many cases they have lost the very essence with which they were intended – to make that loyal customer feel special and appreciated. If we’re to take a lesson from the airline’s faux pas, what is the answer then? How, through our loyalty programs, do we show our customers that they matter to us, that they are important and that we value their loyalty?

Well, one thing that always works is to keep in those basics of customer service. I hear more and more these days about the importance of the customer experience. Show them that they matter by offering exceptional service. Offer meaningful and relevant rewards. And go the extra mile when you know it can transform someone’s experience into one that’s truly exceptional.


Yahoo Bets Big on Customer Loyalty

By Mike Gorun  //  Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Yahoo Bets Big on Customer Loyalty

imagesIn a recent announcement by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, it was revealed that Yahoo will soon stop allowing its users to login using their Facebook or Google credentials. This move is an effort by Yahoo to better control its content and services. On the surface, the move makes sense and doesn’t seem as if there would be significant backlash from consumers. Facebook and Google log-ins have become very prevalent over the past couple of years, accounting for 80 percent of consumer social logins. Consumers have widely adopted these because they allow easy access to many sites using one secure log-in. Forcing users, some of which don’t even have Yahoo accounts, to register and use those login credentials may hurt traffic and users may choose to patronize other sites with similar services.

Yahoo has seen its ups and downs over the past decade in web traffic. Since Marissa Mayer became CEO, she has guided the company back to become the most trafficked site in the United States, according to comScore data, even surpassing the search giant Google.

This is not the first such experience for Yahoo. A few years ago, in an attempt to increase traffic to it’s popular photo-sharing property Flickr, it dropped the Yahoo-only login requirement. In a 2012 article, Flickr’s product manager Markus Spiering said, “We don’t care so much about what kind of passport you have – a Google ID, Facebook.”  However, now, in one swift move, Yahoo has decided that it does, in fact, care.

Yahoo has some incredibly popular services including Flickr and Fantasy Sports, yet both of those services have very tough competition, from most major sports networks ESPN and CBS on the Fantasy Sports side, to Instagram, Facebook and others on the photo sharing side.

Convenience aside, social logins are attractive to users because they allow the user to share of photos and content with a wide variety of networks, without actually leaving the site they are on. By disconnecting Facebook and Google passports, Yahoo will effectively be isolating its visitors, and content, to its properties. With a billion people sharing content on platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, a Yahoo user would now find it necessary to leave Yahoo in order to share that content.

Will this inconvenience detract from the user experience in a big enough way to actually deter users from sharing content originating from a Yahoo property? If it does, Yahoo properties may experience a decrease in audience. When users share content with their social networks, that content delivers more traffic to Yahoo. If people stop sharing it, it would seem logical that Yahoo would experience the opposite.

It’s obvious that Yahoo feels confident enough in the quality and value of its content and services that its willing to bet that any loss of traffic through defected users will be replaced by the increase of registered users on its site and, perhaps, to an increased loyalty base. It’s certainly a risky experiment. In our increasingly inter-connected world, choosing control over user experience could either be a huge mistake or a brilliant move. Only time will tell.

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