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loyalty enrollment reward

Large customer communities, unique branding of products and services, and exclusive brands help to attract new customers. Exclusive products and services help to build long-term customer loyalty and retention. Internet technology has also enabled companies to create brand recognition through their unique user interface design for transaction support.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a major factor in retaining long-term customers and can indirectly attract new customers through referral. Researchers have used the confirmation/disconfirmation (C/D) paradigm to explain customer perception of performance and quality (Anderson & Sullivan, 1993; Fournier & Mick, 1999). The C/D paradigm states that customer satisfaction stems from a customers comparison of post-purchase and post-usage evaluation of a product with the expectation prior to purchase (Achim et al., 2001). Oliver and Swan (1989) suggest that customer satisfaction occurs when the purchasing experience and after-sales service meet the customers expectation. Customer satisfaction is often viewed as a cumulative experience, measured as the general level of satisfaction based on the overall experience with the firm (e.g., Garbarino & Johnson, 1999). So CRM tactics, implemented across multiple channels, can form a cumulative customer experience.

Silk and Kalwani (1982) suggest that fairness and ease in the ordering process affect consumer satisfaction after purchase. If customers feel they are being treated fairly and feel easy with the ordering process, they are more likely to be satisfied with the products. Extending this finding to the e-commerce context, one can suggest that user interface and usability are factors that contribute to good customer satisfaction. There exists a high correlation between perceived

convenience and customer satisfaction with the products and services sold on the Internet (Lee & Ahn, 1999). For e-commerce, low price, low asset specificity, and clear description are important product and service characteristics that attract online shoppers.

Therefore, an e-commerce site should incorporate the following features to build customer satisfaction:

Wide variety and lower price products;

Useful descriptions and price comparison for products and services;

Self-service capability;

Self-help, FAQ, and help contact services;

Easy-to-use transaction interface;

Easy-to-understand text, images, and animation to communicate with the customers;

Accurate information about products and services to support pre-pur-chase services;

Company details;

Search engines for information searching;

Product reviews and discussion;

Different payment and delivery options;

Recommendations for alternate product and services;

Comparable products and services with lower prices;

Purchase and delivery confirmation;

Follow-up e-mail notification for product and service status;

An order tracking method;

Follow-up surveys for customer feedback; and

Easy options for product return.

The quality of information and interface design for information search on an e-commerce site helps to draw new customers. For transaction and service support, good interface design and usability of the shopping cart are critical to a customers shopping or service experience. Availability of timely post-sales

Customization in CRM refers to the entire marketing mix - communications, products, services, processes, prices, and channels. Lee and Shu (2001) emphasize that the level of customization helps to shape customers perception of quality in products and services. By tailoring products and services to meet individual customers needs and preferences, a company can fulfill and exceed customer expectations and increase their perception of product quality. By using the ACSI model, Lee and Shu (2001) demonstrate how the perceived quality and perceived value of a product contribute to customer satisfaction in a multi-layer fashion.

Mass customization tactics, such as personalized direct e-mails and product recommendations, are essential to eCRM. As acquiring information about customers is essential to relationship marketing, the Internet technology has made it easier for companies to collect data about customer profiles and online activities. Winer (2001) emphasizes that building a customer database is the first step towards an eCRM solution. His model involves the following steps: (1) build a database of customer activities, (2) analyze customer activities, (3) determine the target customers, (4) develop tool to target these customers, (5) implement privacy issues, and (6) define metrics for measuring the success of CRM program. After understanding the customer activities and selecting target customers, the company can proceed to creating products and services. Companies should characterize their customers as product makers rather than product takers.

Personalization techniques can be used to customize online interactions with e-commerce customers. Common techniques involve collaborative filtering, rule-based, and intelligent agent-based methods. Amazon.com has applied these techniques not only for pre-sales product recommendations, but also for one of their loyalty programs in the form of Gold Box special promotions. A registered customer has opportunities to receive discount promotions in a timed presentation, but only once. The Gold Box service remembers what items have already been shown to the same customer. Customers can also configure products and services that they are interested in purchasing. For example, Peapod.com allows customers to create personalized shopping lists, which, in

support, such as order tracking and response to customer inquiry, contributes to customer satisfaction and retention.


Trust is one of the most widely examined and confirmed constructs in relationship marketing research. There is the notion that trust constitutes the belief, attitude, or expectation of a party that the relationship partners behavior or its outcomes will benefit the trusting party itself(Andaleeb & Anwar, 1996). Trust is built on the level ofrisk, which can be determined by network infrastructure,

turn, enables customers to tailor their shopping experiences and product choices. These forms of customization allow companies to capitalize on customer-initiated communications and interactions. In the long run, both firm-based and customer-initiated customization approaches can lead to cumulative positive customer experience with the products, services, and the Web site.

An e-commerce site can customize its content, products, and services by providing the following features:

A personal page display, such as my bookstore and my news box ;

Self profile and preference update with self-management capability;

Self-help, FAQ, and question posting capability;

Recommendations for products and services based on the customers personal profile;

Customer purchase history, delivery history, and account status;

Incentives according to customer preference; and

Personal services - remembering the customers delivery address, personal reminders, previous search results, contact lists of friends and families, and so forth.

Customization features can be implemented in all three phases of CRM. To support pre-sales activities, customization can be applied by providing customers with product recommendations and the capabilities to create their own profiles and preferences. Customized order transaction processes facilitate the sales phase. Features that help to customize post-purchase support, such as email promotion notifications, delivery tracking, and self-management capability for updating profiles and preferences are important for customer retention.


Web and mobile applications, customer privacy issues, security of data transfer, and system authentication (Lee & Ahn, 1999). On one hand, easy-to-use system interfaces, consistent and complete information, reliable connectivity, and sufficient customer support ensure customer trust. On the other hand, a high level of perceived risk associated with these system features may result in customer hesitation for performing transactions via the mobile channel (Chan & Fang, 2003).

Online trust is based on the users Internet experience. Reputation contributes to trust belief and trust intention . Thus, third-party endorsement and icons placed on e-commerce sites can affect consumer trust (McKnight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2000). Trust is the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectations that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control the other party (Mayer, Davis & Schooman, 1995, p. 712). This definition accentuates vulnerability, which is not just risk-taking but the willingness to take risks. Ambrose and Johnson (1999) have applied this definition to the online retailing environment. In this environment, the absence of face-to-face interaction between the buyer and the seller increases the buyers vulnerability. Customer perceptions of a sites assurance of privacy and security influence trust. Thus, a high level of perceived risk affects a customers intention to carry out the transactions online.

Trust also affects customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, and it directly influences the effectiveness of the eCRM strategy. Therefore, an e-commerce site needs to build customer trust by incorporating the following features:

Consistent product and service information;

Product information that embodies brand equity, transience, quality, variety, availability, as well as competitiveness and options for customization;

Price information and payment options;

A privacy statement to guarantee that customer information is kept confidential;

Security measurement such as a digital certificate, public-key cryptography, authenticity, integrity, confidentiality, non-repudiation, and third-party verify signature, and SSL;

Proper authentication mechanism;

Applying the Framework

To explore the applicability of the proposed framework, we conducted a cognitive walkthrough of e-commerce sites and their corresponding mobile sites for the Palm OS platform. We also developed a checklist (in Appendix) based on the framework to guide the cognitive walkthrough. The choice ofPalm

Table 2. Summary of eCRM and mCRM - Amazon.com (books)

Factors\ Phases I Acquisition I Sales/Service I Retention

Customer Loyalty

(W) Online book community

(C) Coupon available for redeem

(W) Gold box

(C) E-mail for purchase

discount and promotional free



(W) Online community for review and discussion (W) Purchase certificate

(W) Used books and price info to facilitate other buying options (C) One-click order

(M) Simple product browsing access anywhere anytime (W) Amazon credit card

Customer Satisfaction

(C) A Variety of products

are available.

(W) Promotion product -

books, music, special deals,

electronic, games

(W) Price comparison

(C) Book search

(W) New hard copy, paper

back and used books are

available with price


(C) Book review

(C) Cross sales - customer

also buy items)

(C) E-mail confirmation (W) Purchase tracking (W) Full online support, FAQ and contact number (M)Simple FAQ


(W) News, preferences, and personal recommendation display on the first page (W) Personal wish list (W) Provide baby and wedding registry services

(C) Require sign on for purchase

(C) Access profile from the web

(C) Able to modify delivery information

(W) Provide friend and family

occasion reminder

(W) Personal order and

personal recommendation

available at sign in

(M) Simple book purchase

link on top of the first page


(C) Security guarantee on personal profile

(C) Sign on required for purchase

(C) Security indication

(C) Profile is saved on the Web

(C) Address and purchase information can be modified (W) Preference can only be modified on the Web

(C) Common Feature (W) Web Feature Only (M) Mobile Feature Only

Secure payment and transmission; and

Help desk support.

Trust features are important to all three phases of CRM. Privacy statements should be thorough, and authentication mechanisms as well as third-party signatures should be prominently demonstrated for new customers. Secure transactions are essential for bringing back repeat customers.

Table 3. Summary of eCRM and mCRM - United Airline (Flight)

Factors\ Phases




Customer Loyalty

(C) Mileage plus program is associated with the customer purchase

(W) Redeem award

(C) Mileage Plus summary (C) Award availability (C) Upgrade status


(C) Flight schedule and arrival/departure detail (W) About United, united product and service, contact United

(M) Upgrade, travel awards, and red carpet club are on the first page

Customer Satisfaction

(W) Promotion travel packages, special deals, and cruise

(W) Price comparison (W) Spanish version support

(W) Service information (W) Company details

(C) Book/purchase a flight (C) Flight availability (W) Seat selection (W) Detailed price comparison

(W) Electronic and nonelectronic tickets (M) Only electronic tickets

(C) My itinerary

(C) Flight status

(C) Flight paging request registration


(W) After sign on, preference page display with personal preference of price alert

(C) Sign on or fill in mileage plus member number is necessary for both platforms.

(W) E-mail promotion registration and preference change

(M)Book a flight, flight status, my itinerary, travel awards are on the first page


(W) Sign up can only perform on Web site

(W) Customer address, profile and form of payment can only be changed on Web site

(C) Both platforms indicate secure transaction

(C) Profile is saved on the Web

(M) Required to be mileage plus customer with current profile for access

(C) Common Feature (W) Web Feature Only (M) Mobile Feature Only

OS version of mobile sites allowed us to evaluate a wider range of CRM features, because Palm handheld devices have relatively larger screens and support more interface features than WAP phones do. On the Palm.Net site, we downloaded the wireless applications for selected sites onto the Palm VII device prior to the evaluation.

For illustration purpose, this chapter includes three examples-Amazon.com, United Airlines (united.com), and USA Today (usatoday.com). These three sites represent the retail, travel, and news portal industries. Tables 2, 3, and 4 summarize observations generated from the three cognitive walkthrough studies. Common features appearing on both the Web and the mobile channels are noted as C . Features only available on the Web channel or the mobile channel are noted as W or M respectively.

From these three examples, we observe that eCRM supports all three phases of firm-customer interactions-acquisition ofnew customers, sales/services,

Factors\ Phases I Acquisition I Sales/Service I Retention

Customer Loyalty

(W) Provide incentive for online subscriber (W) Online subscribe with American Express, earn member reward

(W) With sign on id, the Web site recognizes subscriber


(C) Well known and reputation newspaper (W) Online archive search

(W) Can online purchase full archive USAToday article or get free version of the brief highlight

Customer Satisfaction

(W) Attractive front screen design

(C) One click to the latest news (highlights) (W) Search engine available

(C) About USAToday (W) Provide quick tour and sample complete online paper for new customer

(W) Search engine available

(C) News display by category

(W) Online stock quote inquiry

(W) More real time news update

(W) Provide online subscription process

(W) FAQ and feedback are available

(W) Provide electronic version of USAToday complete copy online (with subscription) (W) Online report with delivery problem (W) Confirmation to subscription


(W) Customize to favorite columnist

(W) Customize local weather display

(W) Can subscribe as a gift to someone else

(W) Online profile and preference management (W) Online address and password maintenance (W) Current subscriber can retrieve past issues of paper online

(W) Online and e-mail reminder for when subscription is up


(W) Provide quick tour and sample complete online paper for new customer (W) Subscriber is provided with decure login authentication (W) Partner with American Express

(W) Provide multiple payment options

(W) Online bill pay


(W) Confirmation to subscription

(W) E-mail notification for subscription

(C) Common Feature (W) Web Feature Only (M) Mobile Feature Only

and retention of existing customers through cross-sell, sales promotion, and loyalty programs. In contrast, mCRM focuses primarily on supporting and retaining existing e-commerce customers; little attention is focused on acquisition of new customers.

Mobile sites require customers or subscribers to register online first, particularly for sites involving transactions (Figure 1). It is not easy for new customers to initiate relationships with a company on the mobile site. However, news sites,

Table 4. Summary of eCRM and mCRM - USA Today

Figure 1. Web customer registration interface and mobile logon authentication for United.com

like USA Today, due to the time-sensitive nature of their services, seem better positioned to attract new customers. For all three sites, the mobile channel provides limited customer support. Other than limited product and service information, customer self-help and self-configuration delivery are not available on the mobile site. Mobile customers need to refer problems or questions back to the Web site.

In general, the mobile site emphasizes information delivery. Transaction and registration functions are carried out on the Web sites. Among the three sites illustrated in this chapter, the mobile site of USA Today, because of its focus on content, offers the least amount of services for retention purpose. In comparison, the mobile sites for Amazon and United Airlines include more mobile services for sales transaction and post-sales support. United Airlines provides a more complete range of mobile services to meet the needs of its mobile customers.

Therefore, the mobile channel supplements, rather than substitutes, the Internet channel for supporting and retaining existing e-commerce customers. mCRM targets existing customers who are: (a) frequent users with a high purchase rate

and strong brand loyalty, and (b) in need of on the move services and spontaneous shopping. As illustrated in Figure 2, United Airlines mobile site contains the essential information and features for a frequent traveler who is already a registered Mileage Plus member. Figure 3 shows that customers who chose to access Amazons mobile site must overcome many interface barriers to access the mobile services. These customers may already have a strong commitment to the brand of Amazon.

Figure 3. Web and mobile book search and book matching display for Amazon.com

Figure 2. Web and mobile front screen for United.com

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