As we’ve shared more stories of brands centering their customer loyalty efforts around a surprise and delight strategy, Caribou Coffee and Panera Bread being the two most recent, readers have been sending LoyaltyTruth their personal experiences with surprise and delight. In this case, a reader told the story of joining JetBlue’s True Blue frequent flyer program in August and receiving a surprise chunk of miles in his account just before the holidays.
After enrollment, the FFP member made 4 flights, all east coast US round trips, earning just short of 500 points per trip. Thinking his account balance was about 2,000 points, he was “surprised and delighted” to find that he had received an unsolicited bonus of 5,000 points, swelling his balance closer to 8,000.
It turns out that JetBlue issues this award for members taking 3 or more round trips, something they do annually. To be precise, the award might have been called out somewhere in the fine print of the FAQ page “how you earn”, but to the FFP member, the result was just as good as if it was a classic surprise and delight promotion. To make sure no mistakes were made, the member actually went searching on JetBlue’s website to validate the reward.
The importance of the story is to reinforce the impact on customer satisfaction with a rewards program when awards are issued and the member can’t quite put a finger on the specific behavior that triggered the reward. Basic as it may be, this story illustrates an easy way to make loyalty programs more engaging.