AARP’s Brand Loyalty Stems from Commitment to Truly Listening to Its Customers

Marketers that truly listen to their customers and deliver on those insights gleaned typically have an advantage when it comes to brand loyalty and overall customer experience.

AARP fits this description perfectly.

A past winner of the 2014 Bronze 360-Degree CX Award, AAPR has now also earned the 2016 Clarabridge Customer Experience Champion (CXC) Luminary Award for its best-in-class consumer-listening platform (Voice of the Customer).The CXC Luminary Award recognizes a company that has made a “corporate shift to elevate customer experience to a top-tier business strategy.”

“We have embraced VoC insights and these insights are driving real change in the member experience and guiding our business decisions,” Michelle Musgrove, Vice President, Experience Strategy & Governance at AARP, explained to Loyalty360. “At AARP, we strive for every interaction to be effortless, to be inspiring and to make the user feel ‘AARP Gets Me.’ Our goal is consistent delivery of these principles across our entire enterprise. Delivery of a superior consumer experience is foundational to our success and facilitates our ability to serve the 50+ and their families. It is also a critical building block to our goal of maintaining a healthy, sustainable and diverse membership. It is difficult to overstate the urgency with which we believe AARP must move to create a world-class consumer experience allowing us to more effectively deliver on our social mission.”
AARP views loyalty, customer engagement, and experience as inherently interdependent and absolutely central to its social mission of serving the 50+.
“We recognize that the expectations of AARP members and anyone who engages with us —just like any consumer today—are evolving quickly and an individual’s perception of value and resulting brand loyalty is often shaped by their experience,” Musgrove said. “By taking a disciplined approach to Customer Experience Management (CEM), we can address each of these components with a holistic, enterprise-wide approach.”
AARP’s engagement lifecycle includes stages of Awareness, Evaluation, Selection, Onboarding, Usage, and Advocacy with distinct sub journeys within each stage.

“AARP’s journey to ‘Experience’ excellence began in May 2015 when executive leadership established the experience discipline as a Strategic Priority, necessary to understand and deliver the value members seek, inform our engagement strategies, and drive member loyalty, which will, ultimately, enable AARP to meet its mission of improving the lives of the 50+,” Musgrove said. “Since then, AARP has made significant investments in building out the AARP Experience (AARPx) function, with the goal of creating a consumer-centric organization with the understanding, skills, and tools necessary to continuously deliver an exceptional member experience.”

AARP’s journey began with building a robust listening and insights program, which amplifies the voice of our members and has become the foundation for the rest of its experience ecosystem.

In 2016, while AARP made solid progress in addressing the most immediate member/consumer pain points, it continued to invest in maturing the AARPx discipline, including:

Building a talented AARPx leadership team to manage insights, strategy, design, and execution, as well as hiring an SVP with the skills and experience to lead the AARPx team and accelerate its transformation.

Defining a multi-year Experience Strategy and corresponding Roadmap to focus its efforts on creating enjoyable, seamless consumer experiences around three principles: “AARP Gets Me,” “AARP is Inspiring,” and engaging with “AARP is Effortless.”

Compiling an enterprise-wide inventory of all existing experience activities as well as touch point data and owners, consumer persona design and management, and overall experience projects.

Launching additional design work around prioritized experience areas and those in most need.

“We are building a strong Net Promoter Score program, and in 2016 established a baseline NPS score, solicited from a diverse set of representative channels,” Musgrove said. “In 2017, we will monitor the movement of the score so that we can start assigning NPS targets in 2018.  This will enable us to not only understand if we are meeting our goals, but also help us understand if our current tactics are building or eroding member loyalty. And we’ll be able to do this at the organization and business unit level.”

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