Leveraging Customer Loyalty Data to Personalize the Service Experience

Andrea Fineman, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract

Most people value the highly personalized service they receive from their barber, handyman, or financial advisor. These providers get to know individual customers, and they tailor their offerings to better match specific needs. This leads to loyalty, as customers return for the personal service. Interestingly, many national and international services (including retail stores, airlines, and hotels) buy their customers’ loyalty by running loyalty programs that offer points and rewards. Loyalty programs collect information on individual customers; however, this information never gets passed on to a customer service representative, allowing them to personalize the service they provide to an individual customer. My thesis project investigates if loyalty program data can be collected and fed back to a customer-facing employee, allowing them to personalize their performance to an individual customer in a way that both provides value to customers as well as makes the employee feel they are better at performing their job. To arrive at my service design recommendations for customer-employee interactions in in-person settings, I conducted interviews as well as a large online survey to test my design concepts.