Merci: Next Generation Customer Loyalty with an Unexpected Twist
It’s been an exciting week for SAP Canada customer STM, with the launch of their new loyalty program. A mobile app entitled Merci, which is now available from the iTunes store, provides a window into an interactive environment that is designed to reward existing customers and attract new ones (and quickly rose to the #1 app in the Lifestyle section).
Who is STM? You might expect a retailer, but Societe de transport de Montreal is the City of Montreal transit authority – the organization that runs the city’s buses and subways.
A few months ago, STM made “an extraordinary announcement”: “we love you, we want to see you more often, we want to encourage your loyalty!”
Here, STM’s head of marketing Pierre Bourbonniere talks about the genesis of the project:
What is a next generation loyalty program?
A next generation loyalty program goes well beyond points. Harnessing the power of big data in real time, STM’s riders can opt in to receive relevant offers from local merchants based on their preferences and behaviors, their location and the time of day. Morning bus is running late? How about a coupon from the local coffee shop? Wondering what to do with your family this evening? Perhaps a discount on tickets to a sporting event!
Sure, STM’s Merci app also provides riders with information about transit schedules, delays and better routes, but it goes beyond that to become truly helpful and relevant.
Innovation is a team effort:
This pilot program has been a collaboration between SAP and STM, the result of a design thinking process that brought together global thought leadership and best practices from the transportation industry, as well as the retail industry.
As Mark Aboud, SAP Canada’s Managing Director, discussed with CBC news in a recent interview, service innovation is the new frontier of loyalty and competitive advantage. All the technology building blocks are available – it’s about the creativity and ideas that each organization can rally to make something unique.