For many, when you think of loyalty or rewards programs, airlines are among the first businesses the come to mind.
According to Barry Green, VP customer relationship management at Etihad Airways, that puts even more pressure on airlines to stand out in the crowd.
The national airline of the U.A.E., Etihad has been in existence for less than seven years, meaning it’s come of age at a time when loyalty programs and differentiation are key. PYMNTS.com spoke with Green to discuss how Etihad came to choose Loylogic as its loyalty partner, and how the PointsPay system perfectly suits Etihad’s needs.
"We wanted to build and launch a program that was different from and better than existing frequent flyer programs. In fact, in the early days we even forbade the use of the words ‘frequent flier programs,’” Green said. “We had a vision to launch a loyalty program that was very different.”
That desire led to Etihad exploring Loylogic’s PointsPay platform, which allows merchants to redeem loyalty points earned through programs at physical and online points of sale.
"To us it was a unique and very exciting innovation in the marketplace and whereby overnight, really, we were able to offer all of our members the chance to use a facility that would allow them to redeem their miles at any one of over 30 million outlets worldwide, online and in-store, using a safe and secure and tested facility,” Green explained. “It’s enabling us to really promote redemption of miles.”
But according to Green, what’s perhaps impressed him most about Loylogic is that it’s continued to roll out new features and innovations in response to other loyalty platforms trying to incorporate some of PointsPay’s early tenants. Green stated that while the imitation is “flattering,” Etihad couldn’t be in a position where it’s simply offering the same types of rewards as other airlines: even if they offered those rewards first.
"We’ve worked with Loylogic to continually introduce and develop additional innovations that have hopefully kept to the head of the pack in terms of what our program offers compared to our competitors. And we’ve now grown our membership base to more than two million members worldwide, and I think this growth is, to some extent, to quite a large extent, due to those innovations that we’ve introduced in those six or seven years in conjunction with Loylogic,” Green said.
“Without a doubt, working with a technology company that actually understands loyalty has helped us introduce those innovations much, much quicker than we would otherwise have done.”
To hear more Green on Etihad’s work with Loylogic – and to hear how he rates Loylogic on a 1-to-10 scale, listen to the full podcast here .
Dr. Barry Green
Vice President Customer Relationship Management and Loyalty at Etihad Airways
Barry is responsible for the Loyalty Programme Development and Operation, CRM, Outbound Marketing (Email Campaign execution) and Customer data analytics and scoring.
He has worked in the Airline Industry for about 17 years – previously working for both Swissair and Swiss International Airlines.
During his time at Etihad Airways, Barry launched the “Etihad Guest” loyalty programme, and has also implemented many CRM initiatives to improve the service offered to passengers. Barry continues to enhance and develop the Etihad Guest programme and constantly strives to introduce innovative features into the airline loyalty programme arena.
Barry worked as an IT consultant in many different industries for around 15 years before being introduced to the complexities and addiction of working in the Airline industry. He has found that his experience and expertise in IT has proved to be extremely useful in the CRM field, as so many of the CRM initiatives depend heavily on the successfully incorporation of Information Management disciplines.