Saturday, March 10, 2007

Momentum Multiply: How not to run a loyalty programme

Momentum has two loyalty programmes: Save Thru Spend, available to its clients for free and Multiply, which provides additional benefits, for a monthly fee. Multiply is a status based rewards programme, similar to Discovery's Vitality.

There are two types of savings that Multipy offers: discounts and cash back into investments. It's a brilliant idea, and some of the savings on offer (steep discounts on gym memberships, movie, car hire and plane tickets) are good.

Unfortunately, the execution is poor. The Multiply website is down with alarming regularity, and has some appallingly uninformative error messages. Although the site does warn that it will have limited functionality after hours, someone doesn't seem to understand that the web is a 24x7 medium, and sites are not supposed to keep Pretoria civil servant's hours (I exaggerate, but only slightly).

Try booking a Nu Metro movie ticket (only allowed through Computicket) on a Sunday, and if Multiply is down, you are out of luck. Of course Sunday is "after hours", but tell that to my friend who wanted to book a ticket that day.

If the system is up, you have to contend with the confusing and clunky Computicket Multiply booking procedure. Did anyone do usability testing on that thing?

Want to book a plane ticket through the "low cost airline", and get a discount? You can't book on the website: you need to phone, or email(!) them. The airline's systems are probably not integrated with Multiply's. Nor, it appears are many of their other partners (Spar being a notable exception).

Points sometimes take ages to be updated.

This is a poor show. Momentum is a fairly slick company, and not all their systems are as bad as the Multiply one. But unless they fix their apparently half-baked Multiply systems fast, they will find that their loyalty programme is a liability, that reflects poorly on them.