Aspire Lifestyles Keys Memorable Customer Experience

For Aspire Lifestyles, differentiating the customer experience through the use of Concierge is its daily mission. A key component of the Aspire Lifestyles service model is providing its clients the option of a tiered Concierge program.

Loyalty360 caught up with Mark Robeson, Senior Vice President, Global Accounts, Aspire Lifestyles to find out more about the company’s tiered Concierge offering and its impact on customer engagement and the customer experience

Can you talk about how Aspire Lifestyles’ tiered Concierge model helps meet client/customer expectations?

Robeson: Aspire Lifestyles clients are always in the process of looking closely at how to better engage existing customers, generate incremental revenue, and create new revenue streams via segmentation. Competitive parity and differentiation also play into this equation. In order to meet these needs, we have seen in recent years a high demand from our clients for enhanced Concierge services for all customer segments: from “mass” consumers who may have a family of four and a household income of $60,000 all the way up to ultra-high net worth customers with hundreds of millions of dollars under management with a single wealth management company. Because the needs of these two customer segments—and the many demographics in between—can be vastly different, we chose some time ago to tier our own service offering in order to meet the needs of all of the end users of our services.

How does a tiered Concierge structure specifically assist clients with disparate needs, versus the traditional “one-size-fits-all” Concierge model?

Robeson: A tiered Concierge program typically provides users with differences in delivery model, channel access, and engagement as well as the value proposition of the offers and benefits sourced and provided to the end customers. To give an example of why this is needed, a high net worth individual who calls their Concierge from their iPhone while they are standing in front of a nightclub in Las Vegas they want to immediately get themselves and four friends access to is very different from the soccer mom who is trying to obtain access to a character brunch for her 8-year-old in a few weeks during their family trip to Disney. Both can be very challenging requests, and solving them often requires a different profile of Concierge, support staff, supplier network resources, and even digital features. Both customer segments find value in the Concierge service, but their needs from the Concierge are very different. You can also imagine the operational challenge from the perspective of the Concierge who has just helped a customer in the one scenario and then has to shift gears to deal with the second. Tiering the service helps support each segment’s needs more effectively.

How long has Aspire Lifestyles offered a tiered Concierge model, how has it been received, and what sort of metrics are used to gauge performance?

Robeson: We have offered our clients bespoke Concierge program design for many years now. However, we are just launching a new technology platform which will improve our ability to service distinct segments differently, as well as more cost effectively. The platform has been received positively, as clients across industry verticals are all focusing on tiering services to meet needs of multiple client demographics. As for metrics used to gauge performance, typical goals for the Concierge service generally have to do with engagement rate, usage rate, offer and benefit uptake, core product transaction frequency, and net promoter score. We may also have some metrics tied to loyalty program goals, if that plays a role in our program design. The specific goals will change program to program, depending on what we’re trying to achieve for a specific client.

Can you offer an example of how the customer engagement plans and value propositions might differ?

Robeson: Yes, typically the higher up the demographic pyramid you go, the more demand and budget there are for proactive service. So in a situation where we have a cancellation for a hard-to-get reservation at a top fine dining restaurant in New York, we might check with top segment customers we know like fine dining or who live or are traveling to New York on the date of the reservation before cancelling it. For mid-range to mass customers, the service is more reactive. We provide an excellent customer experience when they call to use us, but we’re not being proactive in our engagement. Similarly, we may offer only digital access to mass consumers but multi-channel to top customers. This is usually a function of customer value and budget. Similarly, you’ll see differences in offer value proposition which change according to customer segment because of relevance. For example, ultra-high-net-worth are probably not going to be as motivated by the complimentary glass of Veuve Cliquot yellow label champagne we negotiate with a restaurant partner as mass affluent would be. For the UHNW it’s table stakes for the experience, but for the mass affluent it may be an indulgence they would perhaps not normally give themselves. An UNHW might be more motivated by a bespoke, private chef’s table experience with a personal tour of the restaurant, interaction and engagement with the chef, and a signed menu. Again, it’s all about lifestyle and relevance.

What are Aspire Lifestyles’ goals for tiered Concierge moving forward?

Robeson: At Aspire we are always trying to exceed client and customer expectations, and the tiered offering helps us do that by providing a more relevant program to each of the customer segments being served. The challenge for us, as providers and marketers of lifestyle services, is to keep tabs on the ways in which the population changes over time. We have to be aware of new segments, how they’re being defined and communicated with, and their unique psycho- and demographic profiles and behaviors. That information has to “flow through” each component of our program – from service delivery to channel offering to benefits and offers – in order to create the right customer experience and make the tiered offering successful. We expect more and more nuanced offerings in terms of segmentation in the next few years and our products will need to address new segments as they evolve.