Customer-centric reward and recognition programmes in the U.S. telecom industry are typically as rare as Dodo bird sitings. Last week, U.S. telecom provider AT&T broke the long slump by announcing the launch of AT&T Thanks, an "appreciation" programme focused on soft benefits and experiential rewards. The good news for AT&T customers: the programme is free, and you're already auto-enrolled.
The AT&T Thanks programme includes "no sign-ups. No Fees. No waiting periods." and offers AT&T customers access to entertainment experiences and other benefits including:
- "Ticket Twosdays:" AT&T postpaid wireless customers will qualify to get a free movie ticket on AT&T when they buy one at full price for a Tuesday showing. These tickets are available to qualifying customers once every week for the duration of the programme.
- LIVE NATION priority pre-sale: AT&T customers will get exclusive pre-sale access to concerts and events starting this summer. Select customers will also be able to get in on access to exclusive experiences with their favorite artists.
- Unique Content: Select DIRECTV subscribers will get access to special content coming soon to their TVs and their favorite mobile devices.
- Personalised rewards: Additionally, AT&T Thanks will be launching private offers for individual customers. These offers are limited-time, surprise offers for AT&T customers will include tickets to live events, device and accessory perks, data giveaways, and more. As the programme evolves, offers will be tailored to customers based on their services and packages with AT&T.
Money quote from David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T Entertainment Group:
"Great service goes beyond the day to day relationship we have with our customers - it also includes ways to say thank you - we appreciate you. AT&T Thanks is kicking off with some great entertainment-focused benefits and will build over time. The relationship we have with our customers will get better and better with exciting ways for us to show our appreciation."
The Bullet Point: The launch of AT&T Thanks is a long-overdue event in the U.S. telecom industry, in which the players have long spent their marketing budgets attempting to woo customers from each other rather than recognizing and rewarding the loyal customers they already have. AT&T Thanks bears a welcome resemblance to successful and long-running reward programmes from European telecoms such as the now-defunct Orange UK. We trust that AT&T customers will respond favorably to the initiative, and that the move will push other U.S. telecoms to follow suit. It's high time that U.S. consumers felt rewarded for their carrier loyalty - and high time that U.S. carriers benefited from the corresponding reduction of churn, increased margins, and new customer acquisitions and referrals.