Category Archives: Service

The Connection Economy

There is no doubt iStock_000000050552_L3that business models have shifted in the last few years.  Consumer expectations are changing every day.  Generational theory addresses the mindset shift of each new generation: Silent, Boomer, Gen-Xer, and Millennial.  Retailers are constantly attempting to understand how to cater to generations of the past and the future.  Employers are changing their strategies on hiring and retention.  Education systems are attempting new approaches to learning.  But there is more to the current shift in society than can be attributed to the changing generations.  Our economy has changed from the industrial age to the information age, and more recently the term Connection Economy has been used to describe our current state. 

I don’t know about you, but there is something almost hopeful in coining this new era as the Connection Economy.  It is hopeful because it not only comprises the advantages of a digital age, but it also marries relationship to resource.  This term was first introduced by Seth Godin in his book The Icarus DeceptionThis concept can also be found peppered throughout his blog

Excerpts from one of Seth Godin’s blogs describing the Connection Economy are listed below.  The complete blog post can be read here.

[T]he connection economy, our economy, the economy of the foreseeable future, embraces abundance. No, we don’t have an endless supply of the resources we used to trade and covet. No, we certainly don’t have a surplus of time, either. But we do have an abundance of choice, an abundance of connection, and an abundance of access to knowledge.

The connection economy continues to gain traction because connections scale, information begets more information, and influence accrues to those who create this abundance. As connections scale, these connections paradoxically make it easier for others to connect as well, because anyone with talent or passion can leverage the networks created by connection to increase her impact. The connection economy doesn’t create jobs where we get picked and then get paid; the connection economy builds opportunities for us to connect, and then demands that we pick ourselves.

Just as the phone network becomes more valuable when more phones are connected (scarcity is the enemy of value in a network), the connection economy becomes more valuable as we scale it.

Friends bring us more friends. A reputation brings us a chance to build a better reputation. Access to information encourages us to seek ever more information. The connections in our life multiply and increase in value.

In an era where relationships are rewarded with abundance and access is a privilege shared without discrimination, Intevacon is excited to participate in this new Connection Economy.  And we couldn’t be happier than to share in the abundance with our marketers. 

Settling Swipe Fees

iStock_000002480172SmallOn Friday, December 13th, US District Judge John Gleeson approved the $5.7 billion class-action swipe fee settlement that has been in discussion since 2012.  This settlement is the offspring of private anti-trust litigation that was filed by NACS in 2005 against major credit card companies and banks.  The approved settlement was stated to be “woefully inadequate”, and therefore, NACS elected to opt out of the settlement.  Now that the settlement has been passed by Judge Gleeson, retailers are said to be left in worse shape than if they had just lost the trial.

This legal decision was very important to marketers, as credit-card swipe fees cost merchants and their customers an estimated $30 billion a year1.  Now that the settlement has passed, merchants will be even less protected from unreasonable rates by the credit card companies.

Here is an excerpt of the response from NACS:

The proposed settlement would give merchants a limited right to surcharge that is too complex to implement and would allow the credit card companies to continue to set prices for their member banks. Furthermore, the proposed settlement would do nothing to give merchants competitive network routing choices, and also lock-in many anti-competitive activities of the credit card companies forever2.

As a payment solutions company, we can only offer our condolences to the merchants whose livelihood is affected by this ruling.  We can also offer a solution to marketers who want to capture back the revenue lost to the major credit card companies.  The Intevacon Proprietary Fleet card allows marketers to offer their customers a payment solution with the capability to leverage card controls, a perfect way to increase loyalty with card holders.  Our rates give marketers an advantage and they also leave margin to reward fuel customers with discounts and other incentives.  Our Prepaid card nicely complements the function of the Fleet card by providing customers with a cash-based method of payment and the convenience of a card.  In all of our efforts, we aim to empower and partner with the marketer.

The petroleum industry fuels the nation’s activity.  At Intevacon, we aspire to equip our marketers with the best solutions and the best pricing to win at this endeavor.  For more information about our fleet and prepaid card solutions, view an introductory presentation here, or reach out at moreinfo@intevacon.com.

http://www.Intevacon.com

What Makes Customers Happy

A report by US News and World Report just came out with the top 10 companies keeping customers happy.  The first line of the article reads, It’s not rocket science: Consumers just want quick and personal service.”  As obvious as this statement sounds, many companies miss this simple principle.  The article continues to add that in addition to personal service, customers want access to a decision maker. 

According to the research company Zogby Analytics, the customer service experience can be broken down into three parts:1

  1. The ability to fix problems or accomplish other goals quickly
  2. The ease of the experience
  3. Whether it leaves customers with a good feeling

Intevacon has long held the position of service leadership in all of our interactions.  Our purpose is to help our marketers by equipping them with the best fuel card system at the best price and best service model.  Intevacon was created with Integrity, Confidence, and Value as our core mission.  We take pride in the relationship of trust that we have formed with our customers over the years, and we are grateful for the marketers who have partnered with us through the journey. 

Intevacon is committed to keeping happy customers, and there are a few key actions that we take to make sure this happens. 

  1. We respect our marketers and value honest and transparent relationships.
  2. We prioritize the priorities of marketers.  We’ll get new customers up and running in no time, and we’ll make sure to provide the training necessary for you to be successful. 
  3. We keep communication easy with our customers, answer the phones, and make ourselves accessible and available.  You will always get an expert on the phone who can help answer questions. 
  4. We use marketer feedback to continually improve our system, truly making the Intevacon Fleet Card system customized to the needs of our customers with the most innovative technology pertinent to this complex industry.
  5. Probably most important: we truly enjoy what we do and we lookIMG_20130912_180001007_HDR forward to each day with our marketers and future prospects.  The culture of our company is one of family, growth, dedication, action, collaboration, and compassion. 

While this list is not exhaustive, it captures some of the spirit of how we do things at Intevacon.  Partner with us and join the family of marketers using our system.

 

  1. “10 companies keeping customers happy.”  MSN Money. November 2013. Web. November 2013. http://t.money.msn.com/inside-the-ticker/c_galleryregular.aspx?cp-documentid=252988697#tscptme