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Cinergy: Bringing Customers Back to the Cinema with a Rewards Program Moviegoers Want

July 31, 2023 Loyalty360
Cinergy: Bringing Customers Back to the Cinema with a Rewards Program Moviegoers Want
Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
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Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
Cinergy: Bringing Customers Back to the Cinema with a Rewards Program Moviegoers Want
Jul 31, 2023
Loyalty360

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Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Carrie Cohen, Marketing Loyalty & Analytics Manager at Cinergy, about how the Cinergy Elite loyalty plan works, incentivizing certain behaviors, and getting people back to the movies.  

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Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Carrie Cohen, Marketing Loyalty & Analytics Manager at Cinergy, about how the Cinergy Elite loyalty plan works, incentivizing certain behaviors, and getting people back to the movies.  

Mark Johnson:

Good afternoon, good morning. This is Mark Johnson from Loyalty 360. If everyone's happy, safe and well, I want to welcome you back to another edition of our Leaders in Customer Loyalty series. In this series, we have the privilege of speaking with leading brands about what they are seeing and hearing on the front lines of customer channel and brand loyalty. Today, we have the pleasure to speak with Carrie Cohen. She's a marketing loyalty and analytics manager at Cinergy. How are you today?

Carrie Cohen:

I'm good. How are you?

Mark Johnson:

I'm doing well, thank you. First off, we'd like to start these on a more personal level. We'd like to know the individual or individuals we were speaking with, kind of a little bit about their work, history and a little bit about themselves. So we'd love to know a little bit more about you, your history and kind of everything you do at Cinergy.

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, so I've been here like three and a half years and I manage the loyalty program and do emails and strategy for our elite members, and then, outside of work, I have a farm and a band.

Mark Johnson:

A farm and a band, you say.

Carrie Cohen:

Band.

Mark Johnson:

Oh, band there, Okay Interesting.

Mark Johnson:

What instrument do you play?

Carrie Cohen:

Bass.

Mark Johnson:

Bass. Okay, that's even good. That's good to know. So I guess if I ask a fun fact about you, it would be something you enjoyed doing outside of work. It would be either farming and or playing bass.

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, for sure.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, Great For those who don't know Cinergy. Can you tell everyone kind of what Cinergy is, what you guys do, how you do it?

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, Cinergy is a chain of luxury dine in movie theaters and family entertainment centers, so we try to have the whole experience under one roof. We have arcades, bowling, axe throwing, escape rooms, movies, restaurant, full bar, anything you would want to do.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, good, you are located mostly, primarily, in the Southwest.

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, we're in Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Illinois.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, great, your loyalty program, Cinergy Elite. Can you give us a brief overview of the program, how it works, the benefits and how you keep the program up to date?

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, it's free to join. You just sign up with your name and phone number and guests earn points for every purchase they make and there's different points for different activities. So higher margin activities like bowling, food earn more points and movies only get two points per ticket. So we're trying to incentivize certain behaviors.

Mark Johnson:

Okay.

Carrie Cohen:

We also get free tickets on their birthday and we do a lot of events throughout the year. So we'll do free screenings for elite members, box office binge day, where they pay one fee and they see all the movies they want and all the popcorn they want all day long. So we do a lot of stuff like that throughout the year. Try to make it really.

Mark Johnson:

Excellent. So the entertainment industry appeals to customers' emotions through movies, bowling, laser tag, their interests. You can create personalized experiences with your brand. How does Cinergy appeal to the customers' emotions and provide them with positive experiences which help to build such a successful loyalty program?

Carrie Cohen:

We like to personalize all of our communication to guests, so every email is tailored using our AI email program Specifically for that guest. It only shows them things that they want to see, so that helps make it feel like it's really personal. We also give them birthday movie tickets every year and we create a lot of family events. So we'll do breakfast events for families and kids and we try to make everything about it very fun and good memories and people feel warm and fuzzy when they think about Cinergy.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, and what are some of the challenges that you have at Cinergy of creating emotional loyalty with your customers?

Carrie Cohen:

Um, it can be difficult to keep everything consistent throughout all of the locations, from everything that we do at home office and ideas we have to roll out for the loyalty program, down to training every single team member in store. Okay, we have a great team and everyone does a great job, but it's definitely Making sure every touch point with the guest is Up to par okay, synergy, you offer a number of exclusives to your loyalty program members free popcorn, birthday movie tickets.

Mark Johnson:

you talked about exclusive content, obviously an attempt to increase personalization, personalization, engagement with the program. Now, how do you feel these offers, these benefits, these incentives have enhanced your customer loyalty efforts.

Carrie Cohen:

So the free popcorn when you sign up definitely helps us get sign ups. It's really easy. It takes two seconds to sign up, it's free and you get a popcorn. So that's awesome to get people in the door. And then everything else we do really keeps our members engaged and they are very engaged. We have really high email engagement and social engagement and in store engagement with all of our loyalty members. They're all very interested in all of these promotions.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, and how does your brand incorporate voice to the customer, the feedback that you receive from them, requests that you may receive from them, into your customer experience and customer loyalty strategy? Because this can be a big challenge for many brands. You know they, they ask questions, they ask for feedback, that's for insight, and they don't necessarily action on all time, which can create a little bit of, you know, dissonance between them and the customers. But Cinergy seems to do it quite well.

Carrie Cohen:

We're always listening to our guests, so we do periodically, will have a survey and just ask them questions like what features do you want to see more in loyalty, what would you like to get out of it? We'll also ask them what attractions they want to see in store or what foods might sound fun, and we always monitor social media and all of our responses and we go through those constantly, try to make sure if we see anything recurring we can either fix it or implement if they're suggesting things.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, obviously, 2023. A little bit of economic uncertainty. You know inflation is going down but still pretty high job jobs are still seem to be pretty solid on low unemployment rate. So a little bit of uncertainty when you look at that. Can a loyalty program, the engagement you create, the ability to have personalized offers, incentives and rewards, create some hedge against some of that uncertainty?

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, I think definitely creating the emotional relationship with all of our members makes it easier. We also offer a lot of freebies and discounts for members. That makes it more accessible for families to come have these experiences.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, great when you look at your customers. There's been a great deal of discussion within our membership. We actually have meetings on it as well. When they look at the customers, you know how they've changed. There were some changes going into COVID, changes going through COVID and now changes coming out of COVID. You know how have your customers changed and how are you adapting and responding to that change.

Carrie Cohen:

Yeah, so everyone knows. I mean COVID hit everyone hard, but especially our industry was basically essentially closed for a while. So coming out of it we're getting pretty close to normal. But guests are definitely more price conscious than they were before Um between the economic situation and the COVID situation. So we're able to combat that a little bit with things like Discount Tuesday and free movies, and joining our free program gives them a lot of savings and a lot of free things so that they can come have fun for sometimes nothing, but a lot of it also is about getting people back in the habit of going to the movies, Cause after a couple of years of streaming everything and watching movies at home, no one's in the routine of going to sit in a theater with their friends and seeing it on the big screen. It's very like wait till it streams. So it's about breaking that habit.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, and when you look at other customer loyalty programs out there, are there certain programs that you respect, that you admire, that you feel are doing a great job of creating customer loyalty with you.

Carrie Cohen:

My favorite is American Airlines Advantage. I love the tiers. It makes it like a game very competitive and that they partner with credit cards and hotels and airlines yeah, and other airlines. So I like that and that's hopefully one day when we move into partnerships and stuff. That's a strategy I like.

Mark Johnson:

Okay, that's awesome. And last question I have for you, tracy what can loyalty 360 do to help you and your team with your customer loyalty program, your customer loyalty efforts?

Carrie Cohen:

At some point in the maybe not too long future, we'd love to start looking for strategic partners and you could be helpful in connecting us.

Mark Johnson:

Okay for sure. Well, thank you very much, Kerry, for taking the time to talk with us today. It was great learning more about you and the fact that you have a farm and you played bass. That's a first one we've had so far and looking forward to hearing more about Cinergy and your efforts in customer loyalty going forward.

Carrie Cohen:

Thank you.

Mark Johnson:

Great. Thank you everyone for taking the time to listen today. Make sure you join us back for another edition of our Looters and Customer Loyalty Series team. Have a wonderful day, thank you.

Intro
Tell us more about you
Tell us more about Cinergy
How does Cinergy appeal to customers emotions
Challenges in creating emotional loyalty
Voice of Customer Feedback
Economic Uncertainty
How customers have changed since COVID
What loyalty program do you admire
Outro