Christmas is the most special time of year for many people, and it’s extra special to officials at C Spire, the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services firm.

For the second straight year, C Spire conducted its Christmas Wish program, which helps make dreams come true for families. In 2016, C Spire helped a Biloxi woman pay for cancer treatment, sent a Madison family on a dream vacation, and helped a hard-working Southaven woman pay for Christmas presents for her family.

Entries, which are limited to one per person, will be judged on originality and creativity, focus on the creative assignment, and overall appeal. A panel of qualified judges from C Spire and its advertising agency will select the winners and they will be announced on Dec. 20, 2017.

C Spire offers wireless, Gigabit Internet access, digital TV, phone and voice, data, and cloud services to consumers and businesses.

Loyalty360 talked to C Spire spokesman Dave Miller about the impact of the Christmas Wish program.

What is the genesis of the Christmas Wish program and how has it impacted your customer engagement?

Miller: C Spire is always looking for new ways to engage with our customers. As a locally-based and family-owned company, we get our inspiration and our passion from our customers–it’s embedded in our brand name and this program is just another way for us to engage with them in new, fresh, and compelling ways. We started this program in 2016 and had several hundred participants. This year, the program has grown over tenfold and the response has been tremendous. We consistently get positive feedback from our customers and in surveys about the program.

Brands always talk about trying to make emotional connections with their customers. This seems like it is at the heart of this program. Can you talk about this point? 

Miller: We feel a strong affinity to our customers and have for many years. Our wireless unit will be celebrating its 30th anniversary of operation in February in what is, arguably, the most competitive industry sector in the world.  Our parent company cut its eyeteeth in the telecommunications industry 60 years ago providing landline local exchange phone service in areas where Ma Bell felt were too rural, too isolated or too costly to serve so we have a lot of experience and history with our customers and this region. 

All of our 1,500-plus employees and managers work, live, and play here. Our customers are our friends and neighbors and we truly believe that makes a difference as a locally-based company. We share their hopes, dreams, joys, fears, disappointments, triumphs, and tragedies every day–so this program is a natural outgrowth of an already existing strong relationship.

Brands also talk about truly listening to customers. This takes listening to another level and these stories seem to be so personal in nature that for someone to even submit an entry, he or she must feel very connected to C Spire.

What are your goals for the program as far as customer engagement?

Miller: We want to continue to strengthen the strong connection we already have with our customers. They know us, they trust us, and are not hesitant about recommending us to their friends, neighbors, family members, and business associates. One of our central goals is continuing to discover new, meaningful ways to engage with our customers and strengthen the strong trust and reliance they have for our brand.

Differentiation always is a key factor for brands to gain any kind of competitive edge. It seems like this program sets C Spire apart from competitors due to its emotional core? 

Miller: Yes, that is absolutely the case. Marketing research shows that the best and most successful brands over time generate and are able to sustain an emotional connection with their customers. This program helps us achieve that goal by allowing us, without any ulterior motives, to meet our customers at their point of need during a time of year that has special meaning. Consumers want to do business with companies that have strong and consistent core values, including integrity, honesty, compassion, and trust.  

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