Co-operatives and mutuals are not doing enough to reward long-standing member relationships, Dennis Deters of Canada’s The Co-operators told the ICMIF conference. Deters said the many large public companies were doing better than co-operatives in terms of operating loyalty programmes that reward valued customer relationships.
“We are letting it slip away,” said Deters, despite co-ops and mutuals being the organisations that are best placed to build on loyal member relationships. Public companies even referred to customers in many cases as ‘members’, when it is co-ops that actually have customers as members. “So we [at The Co-operators] are going to develop programs that deal in real way with membership and to reward long term relationships,” explained Deters.
The Co-operators has now launched a major television advertising campaign that stresses co-operative values and which is tagged the ‘It’s in Your Name’ campaign.
Values are at the heart of The Co-operators’ business said Deters. “We are in the business of paying claims: we are not in the business of making money. You can do business by doing right. That mantra has kept us right,” continued Deters. “Doing the right thing is not just what is in the contract, but what people expect us to do. It’s an approach adopted across the organisation.”