Sunday, November 1, 2009

Customer Point of View #2

So-Called Customer Loyalty

After a fairly long (both literally and figuratively) post on sales receipts, here's a much shorter rant...

As you checkout at nearly every retail store these days, one is asked, "Are you a ____ [insert 'loyalty program' name] member?"

Careful -- it's a trap.

If you say, "No", they'll start pouring on the sales job; sometimes it even has a credit card offer involved.

If you say, "Yes, but I don't have my card with me", they'll ask for your phone number, name, or other personal info. Who wants to go there?!

My recommendation: just say something like, "No, I'm not interested."

I don't know about you, but this always creates a moment of stress, tension -- even resentment. I JUST WANT TO PAY YOU FOR WHAT I BOUGHT; otherwise, leave me alone!!!

Do businesses REALLY think these "rewards" or "loyalty" programs -- carrying their card around or risk being accosted at checkout -- equals true engagement or loyalty?!

Instead, I'd love to see these businesses, rather than demanding my "loyalty", show their commitment to me; several examples include:

  1. Get me engaged, rather than causing me discomfort
  2. Remember my name/face/shopping habits
  3. Recommend products and services that meet my needs, not those they're trying to push

Or, as suggested in my previous post, just say, "Thank you", make me feel valued and important -- and mean it.

That would make me want to come back. And maybe even tell others.

One of my favorite retailers, Trader Joe's, does these things authentically and effectively. The "biggies" such as my local Target or Cub (our local big grocery chain), do not.

Guess where I go most often and spend more of my food dollars?

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