Cathay Pacific Airways
Driving true customer loyalty
Cathay Pacific has long been known for delivery of exceptional customer service and experiences, voted “World’s Best Airline” more times than any other. However, they found that their loyalty program, Marco Polo Club, was outdated. Passenger recognition and reward were based on sectors and miles flown system that was not properly recognizing the contribution from fares that passengers paid.
The rewards and benefits offered by Cathay Pacific were out-of-sync with passenger value and competitor customer loyalty programs. This resulted in a missed opportunity to create stronger loyalty and patronage – particularly for leisure and family travelers. Our challenge was to help Cathay Pacific better understand its customer base and create a program that would drive share of wallet and desired behaviors – and ultimately bring balance back to the loyalty equation.
Prophet helped by improving the fairness and transparency of the Marco Polo Club. We revisited program benefits to determine which would align with Cathay Pacific’s customer-oriented nature and how they could offer other unique and inspiring loyalty benefits.
We aimed to create a long-term, sustainable solution for Marco Polo Club by employing a “parallel-path” approach:
- An analytical investigation using over three million customer transactions.
- Ideation of key benefits for each program tier to identify what matters most for different customer types.
The synthesis of creative insight and analytical modeling informed the final Marco Polo Club redesign – new program tiers supported by business cases to help Cathay Pacific bring the new model to life.
The revamped scheme uses club points to replace club miles and sectors, providing benefits and a customer experience more accurately aligned with customer profiles. Points are based on a combination of fare class, cabin and distance flown; and the program offers the most valued benefits for lower tiers plus additional benefits for elite members.
Benefits span the customer experience, from reservations to check-in and baggage, to lounge access and more. There are new rewards for mid-tier customers such as additional companion benefits, and a renewed sense of exclusivity for their most high-value customers.
Cathay Pacific rolled out its new strategy and believes the redesigned loyalty program allows optimal rewarding of its most valuable customers while providing the most important benefits to today’s frequent flyers.