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Office Depot Worklife Rewards Works, Best Buy Reward Zone Fails

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Office Depot Worklife Rewards Works, Best Buy Reward Zone Fails
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When I’m working with any of my business partners in the Customer Strategy Network, whether from the UK or New Zealand, I’m used to being treated as a second class citizen.

There is something about the British-influenced accent and manner of speech that simply makes everything they say sound more intelligent than my best shot. At the least, we like to jab each other about this in fun, but the truth is, my foreign counterparts have a knack for getting their message across.

Yesterday as I opened white mail from Office Depot’s Worklife Rewards® and email from Best Buy’s Reward Zone®, I was struggling to put my finger on how the two programs contrasted in their management of member communications. My English friend cleared it up for me in one pithy phrase by saying “people don’t like fiddly things”.

When it comes to maintaining customer engagement with rewards and loyalty programs these days, nothing more telling could be said.

That day, I received a threefold brochure from Worklife Rewards informing me that I had earned a reward for $11 and included a plastic card that I could take to the store and use to redeem against purchase. The brochure provided a mini-statement of my account as well as some partner offers from 1-800 Flowers, Ameriprise Financial, Budget & National Car Rental, and LaQuinta.

The communications piece was easy to read, got to the point, and the delivery of the reward got my attention.

On the same day, I received an email from Reward Zone informing me that my account needed activation. This was strange to me as I have had an account with Best Buy since the program opened over 5 years ago. The next day I received an email from Best Buy offering me their cobrand credit card, but referencing a different reward account number. Strange as well.

I’ll save you the details by saying that a duplicate account had been created through one of my purchases and only after multiple attempts to login to both accounts and a phone call to the customer service center was I able to resolve the matter.

The good news is the matter was resolved. The bad news is that I don’t think many people would have taken the time and exercised my patience to endure the process. I’m a Loyalty Geek and had I not been looking into this for business reasons, would have disconnected with Reward Zone and given the program no further attention or energy.

Loyalty program sponsors and operators need to constantly seek out the “fiddly things” in the member experience and seek to streamline and simplify that experience with the objective of keeping consumers in love with their brand and their rewards program. Best Buy had a few too many Loyalty Asterisks in the process for my taste and I’m sure these Fiddly Things would have driven the average customer mad, causing them, in English parlance, to “bugger off”.

Don’t let that happen to your brand.

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