Technology-enabled customer disruption is not strictly the province of retailers. Montreal’s public transportation authority, Société de transport de Montréal (STM), is in the midst of a successful pilot of a loyalty program that uses advanced geolocation and real-time mobile messaging to disrupt the public transportation customer experience. And in another sign of how traditional silos in the customer experience are falling, retailers are playing an active role.
In May 2013, STM launched a pilot of an opt-in mobile loyalty program aimed at the 2.5 million holders of its “OPUS” smart cards that store fare purchases and personal passenger information.
“The key objective is to generate additional fare and non-fare revenue by focusing on customer retention and improving the customer experience,” explained Pierre Bourbonnière, director of marketing, STM. “We want to give customers incentives to take public transit more often.”
To that end, STM has partnered with 1,340 organizations, including 340 retailers such as IGA and Uniprix, as well as bars, restaurants, museums and theaters, to offer special discounts and incentives for using public transportation. Participating customers download a mobile iOS app and enter their OPUS number, which provides the basic information used to generate mobile offers. This avoids the use of loyalty cards or reward points. Customer data is split between two different databases and only combined at the moment a personalized offer is generated, thus satisfying Quebec’s strict consumer privacy laws.
“What kids want today is instant gratification, and we give it to them,” Bourbonnière said.
Using the SAP Precision Retail solution, STM performs granular segmentation of customer data, and then combines behavioral information with real-time geolocation data to send real-time, individually targeted offers that are contextually relevant.
“If you’re walking past a coffee shop and get a special offer for coffee, you’ll probably take it,” Bourbonnière said. “Or riders on their way home from work thinking about what they’ll make for