Nailed It: DMNews speaks with Phil Bellaria, VP of retention and loyalty marketing at Charter Communications Inc.
Nailed It: DMNews speaks with Phil Bellaria, VP of retention and loyalty marketing at Charter Commun
QLive It with Charter targeted high-value customers and rolled out last July. Why did Charter Communications launch a loyalty program?
AEveryone in telecom is looking for ways to reduce churn. This is a good way to stand out a bit to our customers and provide extra value to them while we deliver service.
QHow does Live It with Charter work?
AMembers accumulate points based on use of Charter services, and there are a number of ways to spend them. Twice a month we have a redemption period. We also have sweepstakes, which drive the most engagement. We work with our programming partners to obtain unique, experiential prizes, like a tour of the Yankees' dugout with the YES Network.
QWho is your target customer?
AThere is some danger if you exclude certain customers, but we are definitely targeting high-value customers. While the program is open to any customer, we actively market to the highest value — such as people who purchase triple-plays (bundled phone, cable and Internet) — in order to acquire them as members.
QHow do you promote the program?
ADirect mail and e-mail are the main tillers. We use Live It e-mails and the Live It Web site, as well as periodic direct mail and a banner presence on Charter.net. We're also getting a Live It presence into our migration mailings, acquisition mailings, purchase materials, and video on demand.
QHow has the program evolved since the national roll-out?
AOriginally, redemption periods were once a quarter, and now they're twice a month. We've added a newsletter to the program, a discount service, and the scale and scope overall has become broader.
QWhat results has Charter seen so far that lead you to consider this program a success?
AAlmost 6% of our customer base is in the program; we are currently at 340,000 members. We've seen two primary benefits: members spend more than non-members, and their churn rate is lower than non-members'. We've seen a double-digit percentage reduction in churn. We have also seen a significant bump — in the single digits in terms of percentage increase — in spending among members.