C Spire Embraces Key Competitive Advantages Only Robust Consumer Loyalty Rewards Program Offers, While Customers Continue to Reap Major Benefits
In an Ultra-Competitive Wireless Market, Only One Major Carrier Offers a Consumer Rewards Programs – What Gives?
RIDGELAND, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a shrinking wireless landscape, mobile communications carriers are stopping at nothing to win over customers and, ultimately, their loyalty. With that kind of stiff competition, why have so many providers missed the boat on rewards?
“Today’s customers are savvy and continue to look for new ways to save money and earn rewards. It's only natural that wireless users will gravitate towards providers that offer them something 'extra' as a thank you for their business.”
While other industries like banking and retail have been taking full advantage of rewards programs for years, the wireless industry continues to lag. All data points to the positive impact rewards initiatives have on bottom lines, including a November 2013 Nielsen study that says 84 percent of consumers are more likely to visit retailers with loyalty programs. Moreover, according to Technomic, loyalty-program members visit a business 82 percent of the time because of the value of the reward and only 16 percent out of brand loyalty.
"As the industry continually looks for new ways to capture consumer attention and brand loyalty, incentive programs are an effective way to stand out," said Jeff Kagan, an Atlanta-based wireless and telecommunications industry analyst. "Today’s customers are savvy and continue to look for new ways to save money and earn rewards. It's only natural that wireless users will gravitate towards providers that offer them something 'extra' as a thank you for their business."
One mid-tier provider, C Spire, is differentiating itself from the lessening crowd by offering consumers a reason to switch and stay with the help of a highly successful rewards program. The two-year-old PERCS program is proving that good customer service is still king, and sticking with it is paying off in spades.
“With PERCS, we set out to do one thing: create a platform to say thank you to our customers for their business and loyalty. While PERCS has expanded to offer rewards in a variety of ways, the program has stayed true to its original purpose – and that is why it continues to grow,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. “The success of PERCS proves that consumers are still interested in meaningful customer service and are willing to switch carriers in the pursuit of it. In that sense, PERCS has provided us with a competitive advantage that we can be proud of.”
“C Spire’s PERCS program sets a new industry standard,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Yankee Group research director and an expert on customer-centric strategies. Kingstone said Yankee Group research shows that 77 percent of consumers prefer loyalty programs that offer service upgrades in addition to traditional points-for-merchandise plans. “C Spire’s program is transparent, engaging and makes a better customer experience and service part of the value proposition,” she added.
Realizing the power of its successful loyalty rewards program, C Spire has continued to expand it with the addition of a new mobile app, incorporation of features that allow consumers to get early upgrades and more ways for consumers to earn, redeem and share rewards.
Since the inception of PERCS, C Spire customers have taken full advantage of its benefits with over 434,405 members, including 63,363 non-customers. To date, members have earned 331 million PERC reward points and redeemed Status PERCS for over 679,000 rewards.
C Spire’s own customers are vocal about the benefits of the PERCS rewards program, often taking to social media to offer positive feedback about the program and the ways they’re using their reward points. Long-time PERCS member, Gretchen Brady of Utica says, “Rewards programs offers wireless customers like me a way to save – and every little bit helps.” Brady also states, “C Spire says its customer service is more personal and it’s great to know that a company is following through on a promise. PERCS makes things really personal for me.”
Ken Vella of Brandon, Mississippi, and a five year PERCS member said the program, “Encouraged me to engage and communicate with C Spire more to earn reward points and connect with other C Spire customers.” He went on to say, “My previous provider didn’t care what I did or had to say as long as my bill was paid. It’s a different story at C Spire because I really feel like they’re giving back to me through PERCS and care that I stay happy.”
PERCS Mobile App
To make earning, redeeming and sharing rewards even easier, C Spire recently introduced the PERCS mobile app for Android and Apple smartphone users – offering members greater mobility and convenience. The app allows PERCS members to enjoy the world of PERCS on the go – on any mobile device. Members can check and manage PERCS reward points, earn more points and share points with friends or a charity through the PERCS with a Purpose program, even offering the ability to earn referral bonuses. The app also offers members the opportunity to redeem PERCS points on their mobile device for a variety of rewards, like accessories, device discounts and gift cards from national retailers.
“No other wireless company is offering a loyalty rewards program like PERCS, and now with the new PERCS app, the program continues to use personal service and customer convenience as its inspiration,” Richmond said.
PERCS With a Purpose
According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers appreciate being able to share their rewards with others, and will sacrifice exclusivity to do so. This added advantage is a proven boost to any rewards program and inspired C Spire’s PERCS with a Purpose initiative.
The company transformed PERCS into a powerful giving machine in 2012 when it first launched PERCS With a Purpose with a month-long campaign to support the American Cancer Society (ACS). Most recently, the company partnered with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) ‘My Heart. My Life.’ campaign. To date, PERCS With a Purpose has supported 21 local and national non-profit organizations, with members donating more than 1 million reward points for a total of $25,000 in donations.
C Spire’s PERCS Upgrades program, introduced late last year, is an extension of PERCS rewards and allows members to get the lowest pricing on the hottest smartphones every year. By simply enrolling in PERCS Upgrades and making a $20 monthly payment, PERCS members can get a new phone every 12 months, with no need to trade in old smartphones, pass credit checks or pay full retail price. As part of the program, members also get discounts on their next device, which increase the longer they stay with C Spire.
“Our PERCS rewards program is designed to thank our customers by giving them a simple and convenient way to get what they want for less. PERCS Upgrades is a natural extension of our rewards program and provides a new way to get the devices customers want sooner and at a sensible price, with additional discounts built in,” Richmond said.
For more information on the C Spire PERCS rewards program, go to www.cspire.com/rewards.
About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer service and a superior comprehensive suite of customer-inspired wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses with a personal focus. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.