Membership clubs are a popular way for retailers and contact centers to add extra value and extend the length of the customer relationship.

Making the sale is fairly easy. A customer calls in to complete a purchase, then is offered membership as a second, separate transaction. The benefits of these clubs typically center around discount programs, which enable the member to recoup their investment through everyday savings.

The problem is most discount programs aren’t built around how people spend – in-store, close to home.

With most programs, the savings are minimal, and the same offers can be found through multiple public-facing sites. As a result, member churn is high and engagement is non-existent.

A national loyalty and rewards company focused on serving the direct response industry through contact centers sought to increase their clients’ ongoing engagement. The company partnered with Access Development to build a discount program member benefit that’s helped them increase conversions and stickiness.

The Problem

Too many companies are content to upsell customers and cross their fingers that they’ll stay active for an extra term or two. This particular loyalty and rewards company wasn’t content to follow that path, so a boost in everyday relevance was needed.

The company sought to create a collection of long-term benefits such as identity theft and purchase protection, as well as everyday benefits such as a discount program.

The company had a discount content partner that was unable to provide enough local deals to maintain relevance. Plus, the program required members to present a card at the point of sale, an outdated practice that feels degrading to certain segments.

Additionally, the provider offered a direct-to-consumer program that could be found at supermarket checkout lines for less than the company’s members were paying.

The need was clear. For members to stay, the benefits needed to include local offers with simple redemption. The stickier the benefits, the more engaged members become.

The Solution

The company partnered with Access Development to build a discount program benefit that would offer tangible, everyday value to members.

Access brings over 350,000 merchant locations to the company’s member benefits, as well as 200,000+ merchant locations offering “show your phone” mobile coupons. Unlike other networks, the majority of Access’ discounts are in-store, local deals.

The Access network covers 15 different shopping categories, ranging from dining and retail to recreation and hotels. That diversity allows quality discounts to be applied across multiple customized programs.

Just as important to the company was seamless redemption experiences for members, which emphasized the Access’ direct merchant relationships. These close connections between Access and merchants allows for better deals and easier redemption processes.

The Results

Since the change in discount providers, the company has seen an uptick in membership and retention. This is due in large part to delivering relevant value to members in the form of local, easy-to-redeem deals.

According to an executive with the company, a major differentiator for Access is direct relationships with merchants, which allows the company to negotiate better deals and make redemption easier.

Beyond dollars and cents for members, Access has proven to be a good business partner with customizable technology and a human touch. Executives from the client noted the ease of onboarding and implementation, as well as working with the team at Access.

Just as important, Access’ technological delivery options allow the company to replicate their clubs across mobile and online platforms – both major parts of their upcoming expansion plans.