Using a CRM Budget to Start a Loyalty Program

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Meineke recently undertook a massive overhaul of its loyalty program, investing a significant portion of its $5 million CRM budget in a Point-of-Sale system upgrade, data integration and franchisee and staff education. The result is the Meineke Rewards program.

When Meineke learned that 68% of its existing customers returned only once per year, the auto care provider knew it had an opportunity to draw them back more often. Meineke looked to other successful loyalty programs such as My Starbucks Rewards and airline programs as inspiration, but based its new system mainly on consumer research and evaluation of the competition.

The company determined that few if any other auto-care firms have intricate loyalty programs like the one they envisioned, one that keeps track of customer transactions and communication at multiple touchpoints.

Customers will earn one point for every dollar spent and can use those points towards services they'd probably need anyway, such as brake pad replacement and oil changes. The program also offers a free oil change after three, a reduction from the previous program which required four oil change purchases before a free fifth. Customers can collect and use points at any location.

Beyond simply customizing offers to a customer's car make and model, data on things like purchasing habits could prompt tailored messaging. If a customer usually visits every three months on a Monday, the company could send an email suggesting she reserve a spot on a date following that pattern.

Getting it all together entailed collaboration among marketing, IT and the operations team. The most significant change: the transaction data will now feed into the Meineke system in real-time as opposed to once per week as it had been done. A new website and mobile app also syncs with the new program.

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