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Exceptional Customer Service Most Important Aspect of Customer Loyalty, According to New Survey of Loyalty Marketing Professionals

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Alexandria, VA – July 13, 2011—Over 50 percent of loyalty marketers identify exceptional customer service as the most important aspect of customer loyalty programs geared towards affluent consumers, according to a recent survey conducted by Affinion Loyalty Group and VIPdesk.  Over 40 percent identified exclusive rewards or concierge service as the most important aspect of customer loyalty.

Other key findings indicate that affluent consumers are most influenced in their customer loyalty decisions by recognition/personalization (52%), followed by desire for exclusive access (32%) and desire for status (15%). Nearly half of survey respondents already have a loyalty program in place.

This survey was conducted during a webinar presented by Affinion Loyalty Group and VIPdesk, and produced by Loyalty 360. The webinar, “What Do Affluent Customers Want From Their Loyalty Programs?,” offered participants insights and best practices for fostering customer engagement with the discerning affluent customer base.

Record registration and attendance numbers for this Loyalty 360 webinar provides further evidence that loyalty marketers are focused on capturing the increased spending power of the valuable affluent market.

Charles Christianson, Group Vice President of Sales & Account Management at Affinion Loyalty Group said it’s imperative to understand how affluent consumers behave. “Our research shows that the affluent tend to be brand loyal, tech savvy and travel focused. The differentiating factor in all three areas is service. The affluent consumer will be loyal to your brand, but only if you provide the best service. Furthermore, they seek to simplify their lives with technology. From a travel perspective, they expect their loyalty program to help them go where they want to go with fewer hassles. The bottom line: companies must create an experience that delights the affluent consumer.”

“The results of this survey support our belief that the affluent customer base put a high premium on exceptional customer service,” said Mary Naylor, CEO of VIPdesk.  “Through 12 years of experience providing concierge and customer care solutions to affluent customers, we have maintained that a one-size-fits-all loyalty program is ineffective for this influential market segment, shown by survey results indicating that over half of affluent consumers prefer a personalized loyalty program that takes their own personal needs into consideration.”

For more information on the findings of this survey, contact VIPdesk Public Relations at 703-837-3507 or press@vipdesk.com or Affinion Group Public Relations at 203-956-8038 or mbush@affinion.com. A recording of the webinar, “What do Affluent Consumers Want from their Loyalty Programs?”, can be downloaded from http://www.loyalty360.org/webinars/on-demand/what_do_affluent_consumers_want_from_their_loyalty_programs/.

About Affinion Group
As a global leader with more than 35 years of experience, Affinion Group enhances the value of its partners’ customer relationships by developing and marketing loyalty solutions. Leveraging its expertise in customer engagement, product development and targeted marketing, Affinion provides programs in subscription-based lifestyle services, personal protection, insurance and other areas to help generate increased customer loyalty and significant incremental revenue for more than 5,550 marketing partners worldwide, including many of the largest and most respected companies in financial services, retail, travel, and Internet commerce. Based in Stamford, Conn., the company has approximately 3,900 employees throughout the United States and in 12 other countries, primarily in Europe, and markets in 16 countries globally. Affinion holds the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for the highest information security practices, is PCI compliant and Cybertrust certified. For more information, visit www.affinion.com.

About VIPdesk

Global industry leaders trust VIPdesk to enhance their brands through our concierge, customer care and loyalty programs. Serving as a seamless extension of their brands, their innovative Brand Experience Management Solutions deliver memorable customer experiences, business insights and actionable intelligence that generate customer advocacy and drive business growth.  VIPdesk’s full suite of Brand Experience Management solutions includes Concierge Services, Customer Care Services, Social Media Management, Experiential Programs, Global Medical Assistance and Global Travel Emergency Assistance services.  To find out more about VIPdesk, visit www.vipdesk.com.

About Loyalty 360

Loyalty 360 is an unbiased, market driven, voice-of-the-customer focused clearinghouse and think-tank that is committed to bringing customer loyalty to the forefront as a critical marketing strategy.  A trusted source for cutting-edge research, best practices, and networking opportunities, Loyalty 360 gives members the expert insights and guidance they need to better understand loyalty and develop programs that effectively engage their customers and employees and build stronger relationships with them.

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