Getting customer loyalty back on track
A long-standing partnership resulted in stellar program membership and increased rides.
Passenger rail travel is big even in the 21st century, but it needs to be as modern as its travelers. ICF Next redesigned the leading U.S. passenger railway’s web presence and rewards program to deliver stronger customer engagement and better business performance.
In 2010, we partnered with America’s biggest passenger railway to reimagine its loyalty and CRM program—the customer experience and web presence needed a major update. With over 10 million loyalty members and hundreds of millions of data touchpoints, the travel company needed a partner with expertise in enterprise loyalty and CRM migration to build an entirely new website and differentiate the brand in the highly competitive travel market.
Five years later we came together again to revamp the railway’s loyalty program. Despite ridership growth reaching 31 million passengers, member enrollment and redemption rates had plateaued—leaving passengers without the perks they were seeking and the company without the valuable data it needed to deliver elevated customer experiences.
To unify the web-based customer experience, ICF Next collaborated with in-house teams to integrate the rewards program into the main site. This included brand design, component redevelopment, content and migration strategies, and consolidating the analytics strategy.
Deploying Tally®, our proprietary and industry-leading loyalty and CRM platform, we migrated more than a decade of customer data. Powered by the Adobe Experience Cloud, the system now targets loyalty communications to the individual rider and integrates in real time with booking systems, loyalty redemption, and coupon validation, while call center agents leverage the customized CRM for higher levels of service. In all, Tally® has integrated with over 35 reward program partners to amplify earning and redemption opportunities.
To revamp the loyalty program in 2015, we began with direct feedback from riders themselves. Using transactional, behavioral, and cultural insights, we uncovered an evolution of travelers: They were increasingly dynamic, digitally savvy, and hungry for community connections. In 2016, the railway relaunched the rewards program. Members can now reach their first free ticket faster, and the earning structure is simplified with more flexible points redemption. We also ensured an adaptive experience across devices, provided more service options like changing or canceling redemption travel directly on the website without point expiration, and increased communications across the entire member journey.
"We used Tally® to seamlessly migrate 10 years’ worth of customer data—a challenging but rewarding feat.”
— Senior Partner Loyalty, Strategy, and CRM
The new rewards program has been a resounding success. Through data insights, compelling creative, increased communication touchpoints, and personalized digital experiences, we have driven increased revenue and ridership and helped reinvent the loyalty program. With a goal of activating more members and increasing redemptions in just nine months, not only were total redemptions up, but member engagement was up 15%, with a 25% increase in program enrollments.
rise in promotional and offer registration rates
increase in ridership
ancillary revenue growth