Verizon Wireless Launches Nationwide Loyalty Program To Increase and Retain Customer Base

Verizon Wireless, the U.S. largest wireless carrier, is set to launch a nationwide loyalty program for its 100-million-plus subscribers.

But, it’s got a twist. If people want to earn points for every dollar they spend, Verizon will need their subscribers’ consent to track their movements to better target ads that match their customers’ interest.

Verizon will be the first wireless carrier to implement a comprehensive rewards program, which had already been tested in several states for a few months. Wireless Marketing V.P. Jeffrey Nelson said the program had also helped the company keep customers from leaving its network though no other details were provided.  Verizon announced on July 10 that its customer retention was extremely good for the second quarter.

The cell phone industry is past any heady growth. And, since most people have a cell phone, new customers must be lured away from competitors and companies must guard against the possibility of current customers going to their competitors.

Nelson said the loyalty program, Smart Rewards, is designed to do that. It’s also using the program to encourage people to sign up for Verizon Selects, which launched in 2012. Verizon Selects uses the surfing and location information of subscribers to better target the ads seen on their phone.

Subscribers who want to use Smart Rewards must enroll in Selects. However, they can opt out of Selects and keep using the Smart Rewards program. People who choose to stick with Selects will receive extra Smart Rewards points each month.

According to Verizon, its Selects program does not provide personally identifiable data to the advertisers. The company said the program is a little different from the web advertising program such as Google’s program. These programs tend to use a lot of personal information to target ads.

In addition to the location information that comes from cell towers, Selects is a test to see where subscribers feel comfortable with their information and privacy.

Customers can earn points for each dollar spent on wireless service – upgrading to smartphones, recycling older phones, etc. The points can be redeemed for discounts on car rentals, Verizon products, hotel rooms, etc. They may also be used to bid on devices found at the Verizon website.

Destination Rewards runs Verizon’s rewards program. According to Destination Rewards, some of its clients include Coca-Cola, Citibank and Time Warner Cable.

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Posted by on Jul 22 2014. Filed under Business, New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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