The big brands doing their bit to combat COVID-19
25 March 2020
Max Savransky

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a terrible impact on many businesses and indeed, on the economy as a whole. As a result, many companies have been looking to explore new ways of engaging with their customers and loyalty program members.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight what some brands have responded with in this time of crisis. It’s great to see some wonderful initiatives. Some of them are expected, some are very socially responsible, and some are downright helpful and stress easing.

Share with Oscar, a parking app, launched a wonderful initiative asking their parking space owners to provide spaces to frontline healthcare workers for free. In this climate, I felt it was a great move, that was first and foremost designed to help those who are helping our country.

McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks are also currently supporting healthcare workers by providing them with a free regular beverage of their choice – think coffee, water, or a soft drink.

Qantas have provided their customers with full flight credits, which are redeemable towards any flight within 12 months of the original bookings. This may not suit some, however, Qantas is happy to review on a case by case basis.

Virgin have emailed their Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyer members, advising that their current status credits will be extended by a further 12 months. Additionally, they will also provide a status credit gift.

Telstra have offered all of their personal and SME customers bonus 25GB of data for every month that the pandemic continues. I took this up as I’ve been working from home since last Monday. It was a seamless user experience via the Telstra 24/7 app and the additional data was allocated same day. Additionally, Telstra have provided unlimited home phone calls for pensioners.

H&M have sent an email titled “Life at home”, recognising that for many people, this will be the new normal, for a while at least. The selection of items to purchase includes comfy wear and things to make your space cosier.

Amazon has made a selection of its children’s content free to watch to ease the burden of parents struggling to entertain kids now stuck at home as a result of the pandemic. They’ve lifted the paywall on a number of children’s TV shows and movies, including Peppa Pig.

To access the content, parents must create a free Amazon account, being different to Amazon’s paid subscription Prime Video account, which is $59.95 a year in Australia.

Final thought

One of the key benefits of having a strong loyalty program (of which an engaged member database is a critical element) is the ability to talk directly to your customers.

What these great initiatives have highlighted for me is that it’s imperative to use every opportunity to build a deeper connection with your customers. If you can show an element of true caring and empathy in the process, whilst creating convenience and value – even better.

Once this is over, your customers will absolutely remember the positives and have significantly more affinity to your product and/or service, as well as your brand.

By its very nature, that will naturally translate to deeper engagement and prolonged loyalty.

<a href="" target="_self">Max Savransky</a>

Max Savransky

Max is the Chief Operating Officer at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Max has consulted on 40+ projects and has previously held roles at Mastercard Loyalty, Pureprofile and HOYTS. Max leads the implementation and operations business functions, specialising in all aspects of loyalty consulting and program management.

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