Ian Tidswell provides insight into the strange pricing practices fueled by loyalty programs, credit card programs, fees, and customer perception of value.
Utpal Dholakia always has interesting posts on pricing. This one got me thinking about the strange way that buying a coffee can result in wealth transfer to an airline.
Airlines make a lot of money off of their loyalty programs (often all of their profit). 71% of those miles are purchased, many by banks for their credit card programs. This is strange.
Credit card payment processing is not a very economically efficient market: there’s close to a duopoly with MasterCard and Visa (80% market share). That, along with the scale efficiencies, consumer switching costs, and merchant risk aversion (more on this below) mean they can charge high fees to merchants, capturing huge value. (Capturing rather than creating IMHO, since this is rent-seeking behavior. It’s a high-margin, commodity business. MasterCard net profit margin is 50%!)
MasterCard and Visa member banks then compete with each other in a profitable but near-commodity market. One way they compete is on price: sharing some of the fees they earn via the processing companies with consumers. They could do this with a simple cash-back scheme or other reward programs, but it turns out that airline loyalty points work well since many people value them higher than their actual worth. It’s basically a parallel currency with a highly variable exchange rate to valuable services. An exchange rate the airline controls.
Key points include:
- The true value of reward programs
- The true cost of reward points
- The rentier economy
Read the full post, The strange case of a Cup of Coffee, Credit Cards and Costa Rica vacations, and access links on the subject on eenconsulting.com.
Aneta Key shares a new video in her series on video conferencing. This week: brevity.
During the recent series of workshops about online meetings, I realized that as we reimagine how we lead meetings online, some fundamentals are unchanged. So, I give you the second video of what may become a series on the topic with simple ideas that apply for any type of meeting.
Enjoy and share with colleagues who may benefit from it.
Included in this video:
Watch the video, Simple Ideas for Better Meetings, on the Aneta Key website.
David Fields explains how to maximize the benefits of video conferencing by encouraging clients to give a testimonial. He provides five stellar tips, including questions to ask to ensure you make the most of the moment.
Your consulting firm’s prospects and clients are settling into the video call format. Other than the relationship-building advantages of video, has this newly-accepted communication medium ushered in any valuable opportunities for your consulting firm?
Video testimonials are where it’s at.
Any testimonial from a happy client builds credibility for your consulting firm.
However, since most people trust what they see more than what they read, videos of people earnestly extolling your consulting firm’s virtues pack a particularly powerful punch.
Also, clients who record testimonials for you are more likely to hire you again and recommend you.
The five tips include:
- Stage setting
- Directing the response
- Camera direction
Read the full article, 5 Pro Tips For Transforming A Lockdown Into Killer Testimonials on David’s website.
As more consultants rely on video conferencing to connect with clients, David A. Fields shares timely, tractable, and tongue-in-cheek tips on how to avoid common mistakes that are all too often made.
Are there video call-specific rules of etiquette? Of course.
Remember the old days, when people left their houses? Consultants would frequently travel thousands of miles, sardined next to strangers (crazy, right?).
Even then, your consulting firm’s best, everyday outreach tool was your telephone.
However, in the modern, no-travel era, video calls have become totally acceptable and quite common.
Video calls are far more effective than the phone for building relationships with your consulting firm’s clients, prospects, influencers and partners.
As noted in this article, you’ll benefit from quickly moving email and phone conversations to video.
However, video calls do come with some risks and behavior changes.
For instance, when you were on a phone call and the other person was talking, you could sneak in a quick bite of your lunch (or one, entire Krispy Kreme donut).
On a video call, you tell your contact that you see a tarantula dangling behind them, then quickly scarf your box of donuts while you’re watching the other person shriek and flail. (Later in the conversation you can mention how much you like their pajama bottoms.)
Obviously, a quick review of avoidable video call faux pas is in order.
- Visual disconnection
- Audio fails
- Hot mic/camera
- Unhappy endings
Read the full article, “10 Common, Avoidable Mistakes Consultant’s Make on Video Calls,” on David’s website.
Aneta Key lightens the mood for the day with these tongue-in-cheek video conference tips.
Many of us are so accustomed to videoconferencing, we take it for granted. But with the COVID-19 pandemic shift to remote work, a whole lot of professionals worldwide are just now being introduced to this genre of workplace interactions.
This blog post will offer something for veterans and newbies alike. In a true iterative fashion, I will add to it over time.
- Productive direction
- How to make it engaging