Tag Archives: customer loyalty

Christmas card wars: Bell versus Dominos

12 Dec

corporate Christmas cards

Last Christmas Bell sent me an e-card to say Seasons Greetings. This year they put one in the post instead. (That’s a strange reversal of environmental culture from an industry that pushes hard for electronic billing, but that’s another story.)

The Bell card arrived the same time as a card from Dominos Pizza.

Guess which one I liked better?

Christmas card from BellDominos Pizza Christmas card and couponMy average monthly business to Dominos is about $25, so $300 a year. It’s easy to be disloyal and use another pizza delivery service, so the $5 gift card is smart. It will ensure my next order anyway.

I use Bell to the tune of about $150 a month. I have contracts so I don’t have much discretionary choice. If I want to switch to another telecom, it will cost me a bundle.

Bell knows this and didn’t reward my $1,800 a year business with anything beyond a “Thanks”.

Now in your mind, “Thanks” might be enough. But an unsigned card isn’t doing anything to earn my gratitude or keep my business. It’s just a corporate card, a cost to the company that goes straight into recycling. It has no value-add, nor even a rewarding idea. It wasted resources, and my time to open it and recycle it.

Don’t say it. Show it.

The Dominos card, while not going on my mantle, delivered something in the way of a message. “We are eager to keep your business”. They didn’t say it – they showed it with the coupon, which will hang around, an ongoing branding reminder, long after the recycled card has made its way back into paper mulch.

Of course you can argue there is a significantly greater cost to Dominos for the gesture for considerably less business potential. But my guess is it will pay off.

You must get corporate Christmas cards. Do you think they have value?


Date nights with your customers: 4 techniques for optimizing your relationship.

10 Dec

Relationships require work.

You can’t just woo the hell out of your customers, swoon all over them for a couple of interactions, then figure you’ve done enough to keep their engines purring for you for the next 2 years.

Better to consider your customer’s lifetime value to you as a business and set about optimizing that relationship on a regular basis.

Here are 4 ways you can keep them coming back for more of what you got.

LISTEN. You will never understand your customers needs until you stop selling and start listening. Social media provides ridiculous opportunities to monitor what consumers think, feel and do. Listen, act, then listen again. You will learn something you can use.

ASK QUESTIONS. Seek out their opinions and feedback regularly. Make it easy for them to provide it. A business that brings its customers into the picture early is incubating loyalty. A business that’s focused on meeting the demand in the market is an optimized business. You will get lots of late-night cuddles, just wait.

SHARE. Used to be like the Dick Van Dyke Show, companies and their customers sleeping in side-by-side single beds. Now they are procreating in full public view. Together they are creating new products and services. Customers have always wanted this, but businesses have tended to keep them at arm’s length, preferring to remain aloof and control the engagement. Today companies have to see the value in being authentic and real. That’s what the customers dig. Real businesses don’t hide behind stiff suits anymore. They let it all hang out.

TREAT THEM SPECIAL. Don’t show up empty-handed every time you have a date. Bring them something nice; something that says “I value you and I think you’re hot.” A value-add, a discount, a free something, a note of appreciation. Something that creates that warm fuzzy feeling deep down. You want that kiss at the end of the date, right?

Few other quick things: Look good. Make sure you don’t call them by the wrong name.

And get your hands out of your pockets.

They love you when you’re spending.

15 Apr

imagesYou’re in your favourite clothing store. The music is popping, the latest lines are in and the staff are keeping their distance, because they KNOW you like it that way. You buy buy buy. And they like you, they really like you.

But you get home, and in the cold comfort of your bedroom mirror, you look like a dork in some of that stuff. So you grab your shopping bags and receipts and head back to The Store. And here is where you are about to learn the true value of your favourite shop, because way too often the smiles disappear when the returned items show up.

I believe the measure of any business can only truly be judged when you are in conflict with them. Those that pass, the ones that treat their customers with the same smiles and courtesy they doled out in the flush of new love, win fans for life.

There’s something in there for us. Maybe for you too.

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