Monday, April 4, 2011

Thank Shoppers Freely

Frequent shopper programs were originally designed around thanking a customer for their loyalty. The notion was that when a retailer expresses gratitude, the consumer wants to come back to buy soon and often. But more recently, the sharpened price sensitivity of the shopper and the acute cost sensitivity of the retailer facilitated the birth of the premium shopper card, which for a fee, offers additional benefits to the shopper.
     At Sam’s Club, the premium card program gives individualized discounts. Computer-aided predictive analytics determine what items would be attractive to each customer, based on their prior purchase history, and then offers discounts on those items. At grocery retailer Big Y, the $20 annual fee grants you the opportunity to claim discounts on items not discounted for customers belonging to the regular loyalty program. The $14.99 upgrade at GameStop gives you an additional 10% discount on all purchases.
     As frequent shopper programs morph into upgraded discounts for a price, check that you and your staff all upgrade your attention to thanking all customers for their patronage. Do it freely. No $20 or even $14.99 fee is required from the customer in order to see and hear how grateful store staff are for the help in paying the staff members’ salaries.
  • The premium program members should receive recognition for their extra commitment: “Thank you for being a VIP card member.” But does every customer hear, “Thank you for your business,” or does the customer get only the robotic “Have a nice day”?
  • When the customer says, “Thank you,” as many will when handed their receipt, do staff go one better than “No problem” to say something like, “And thank you!”?
  • How often do you send thank you notes to your regular customers? You can get names and addresses from those loyalty program registrations, special order forms, and personal checks. In a time we’re all competing for the consumer’s money, time, and advocacy, the special touch, such as a note, can give you a profitable advantage.
     Staff are more likely to express gratitude to customers when the staff are themselves shown gratitude by their managers. Those on the sales floor are your face to the public. Many have had to deal with stress-filled customers’ faces during this time of economic setbacks. Those in the back office have been keeping the inventory and the receipts where each is supposed to be.

Click below for more:
Sell Upgraded Loyalty Programs
Personalize Discount Offers
Say Thank You, Dear
Go for Customer Gratitude and Guilt
Help Ecommerce Customers Thank You

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