Got any more bright ideas?

I was in a sales meeting where everyone was bragging about some successful promotion some other company did, in which it enticed people to buy their products with a coupon, but if the customer didn’t use the coupon, the discount wasn’t deducted. They claimed the customers who basically got screwed didn’t even complain/notice. And that those who did call in to ask WTF, still didn’t get the coupon honored because they were too dumb to fill out the form correctly.

And some people thought this was a brilliant idea because, wow! Look at all the “extra” revenue they got! We should try that, too!

Yeah, sure. And when it comes time for a refill, guess what? Customers aren’t going to go back because they got screwed and they KNOW it.

Which means we should rent their mailing list. 🙂

Seriously, though. If a customer comes in through a certain promotion, even if they’re too lazy/busy/oblivious to take that action step that gives them a reward, it should automatically be configured to reward them anyway. Whether it’s a big reminder that, hey, we need you to check this box or whether we just automatically tabulate it on the back end, it wouldn’t kill anyone to send an extra note to say that you forgot to take advantage of the special offer and we went ahead and did it for you because we love you so.

I have been ordering crap from a company for the past 10 years. At least monthly, I throw $50 (usually more) their way for a product I adore and need in the house at all times.

They have an ongoing special in which, if you spend $75 or more, you get a free gift. It’s usually decent stuff, too — a hairbrush, a makeup bag, a travel kit for toiletries, etc. But my order never quite comes to $75 because I can’t justify spending that much in one fell swoop. It comes close, like today it was $60, but I just can’t eke out 15 more bucks at this tiime.

So, guess what? They send me the gifts anyway! Amazing, huh?

I’m an active customer. I review items and provide testimonials. I even write to say good job when they impress me. My account must be flagged accordingly, because I have more free gifts sitting in my travel suitcase (as I use all the stuff they send) than you can imagine.

And guess who keeps ordering from them?

It’s hard to find loyal customers in this day and age when we can just go online to find it cheaper or even just wherever strikes our fancy. I used to order my stuff straight from the manufacturer, truth be told, but they were a bunch of fucking morons and it made more sense to go to a third-party distributor — I got my orders faster and the third-party guys don’t LOSE my orders or overcharge me, like the manufacturer did more frequently than I care to recount. I let the middle man deal with the dumb shit and I’m a happy girl.

Anyway, I just say all this to all of you who are making decisions about how to screw people like me out of money. I will part with it on something I want, but be warned — I’m paying attention. Even if I don’t raise a fuss about it. You’ll know it when you don’t hear from me again. Just like that company that made all kinds of dough by making people pay retail price on a so-called discount promotion.

I mean, how do people live with themselves? We all have sales goals to meet, but I’d rather develop a relationship with a customer and get their continued business instead of a quick boost to the bottom line. I’d rather take the hit upfront and have them trust me enough to come back and not go to a competitor for the same thing. People will pay for quality, and quality service is just as important as — and maybe even more so than — a quality product.

Just like with that company that couldn’t ever get my order right. Now they’re getting less revenue from me because I’d rather pay it to the middleman, who gets a nice big cut, too. I get the quality product and the quality service — and all from the same place.

The customer always wins in the end. And the company that lets them win, ends up being a winner, too.

Comments closed.