Jiffy Lube road-tests its first loyalty program

Jiffy Lube is looking to build customer loyalty with a new rewards program it launched at the beginning of the month.

Jiffy Lube Rewards — the first loyalty program from the quick-service auto shop — tracks customer visits and rewards regularly returning clients with free services and discounts. For example, a customer who buys two oil changes for the same vehicle within six months will receive a 50% discount on a third oil change for that vehicle.

Jiffy Lube, which reports about 26 million customers a year, views the new program as a way to reduce customer churn in a crowded, competitive market.

“We wanted to find a way to say thank you to our customers and keep them coming back and part of the family — that was the premise behind the rewards program,” said John Sanfacon, head of marketing and innovations at Jiffy Lube International. “It’s been in development for a couple of years, but as it worked out we are hitting the market at a pretty opportunistic time as far as having a program that says thank you to customers. With the economy at the moment, people are looking at every possible way of saving some money and finding the brands that serve them well.”

The program will primarily be promoted in-store — by employees, brochures and posters — though consumers also are able to sign up for the program on its new Web site, JiffyLubeRewards.com.

Jiffy Lube will put its longstanding direct mail program, Reminder Mail, to work; its mailing database, which was already tracking customer visits and purchases, will be split between Rewards members and non-members, and communications will be targeted appropriately. Jiffy Lube has tapped a new, unnamed, third-party vendor to help manage the database and loyalty program.

Jiffy Lube Rewards is a franchisee-run program, so each individual owner will have some say over their level of participation and promotion. Jiffy Lube has created TV and radio tags for franchisees who choose to promote more in their local markets. So far, about 1,848 of the chain’s 2,000 stores are running the rewards program.

Sanfacon said that the number of people who have enrolled since the program launched has already exceeded expectations. Juffy Lube will undertake some consumer research over the next few months to gauge customer reactions to the program.

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