Better loyalty management starts with personal connections

Mustafa Ozalcin

Director, Loyalty Marketing and Sales, Amadeus IT Group

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When Amadeus Loyalty Management was first being developed, it was done based on research on the leading frequent flyer programmes of that time; that time was early 1997, a time when the inevitability of airline alliances were still major topics of discussion at commercial aviation conferences, Altéa hadn’t been launched yet and Ross and Rachel “were on a break!”.


So what has one of the most popular sitcoms of all time got to do with Amadeus Loyalty Management? Well, quite a lot in fact…

“Every great business is built on friendship” - JC Penney

In those early years, Amadeus Loyalty Management gained a small but proactive group of airline customers and the opportunity to hold the first “User Conference” came about; though at the time the customer base of 4 meant it was more a “workshop” than an actual conference. Regardless, that first event back in 2004 proved just how accurate James Cash Penney, founder of one of the largest and most successful retailers in the world was, when he said, “Every great business is built on friendship”. This has been the bedrock of success for Amadeus Loyalty Solutions going forward. The Amadeus Loyalty Customer Conference is the highlight of our year, where we get to connect on a personal level with our customers, while focusing on the issues at hand and discussing their needs for the future.

With the Amadeus Loyalty Customer Conference, Amadeus tries to practise what it preaches in terms of Loyalty and CEM best practicesand like our solutions, the event has also evolved through time, in terms of content and logistics.

In the early years we were shaping the future of frequent flyer programmes together with our customers, to become the loyalty programmes that they are today. Today, we are working together to shape the future of loyalty to encompass the entire traveller customer experience to sustain and increase the profitability of their programmes through being even more connected with their members. These will be the key areas of focus for the 12th Amadeus Loyalty Customer Conference to be held 28 – 30 September 2015, where guest speakers will include Air Caraïbes CEO Marc Rochet, the Guadeloupe Tourism Board and ICLP.

Since 2014, we have been taking the event to a customer location and this year the event will be hosted in Guadeloupe, in association with Air Caraïbes.

The late, great Steve Jobs once said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves”. For Amadeus the first part certainly rings true. The second part is more of a conversation with the collective, which is greater than the sum of its parts.

See you in Guadeloupe.