Delight Customers Without Strings Attached​

Most people enjoy receiving gifts on their birthdays. They get a sense of joy when their favorite brands give them monetary awards. It is a smart business strategy that builds brand loyalty but only if done authentically and without requiring customer actions to qualify. Otherwise, it leads to customer dissatisfaction and negative perceptions. I recently had an experience that demonstrates this very point. 

Throughout the year, I buy from the national retailer Lord & Taylor. Given the frequency, the company sent me a card wishing me a Happy Birthday with a $10 award. I was delighted to receive it, especially the unexpected money off for my future purchase. I was happy until I looked at the card more closely, which indicated that “I am required to bring the offer in-store (not online) to use with my Lord & Taylor credit card.”  I do not have their card nor do I plan to get one. So, in other words, the company gave me a birthday offer on a contingent basis. That is not what gift giving is all about! From the experience, I became skeptical of the retailer’s intention and somewhat distrusting. While $10 is not a lot of money to be disappointed about, it was the principal of my conditional birthday “gift” that bothered me, and it left a lasting impression.

Lessons Learned In DoingCXRight:

  1. Make customers feel appreciated without “strings attached.” Don’t require something in return for an award card to be usable.
  2. Focus on customer convenience. Companies with both online and offline stores have a competitive advantage. If Omni-Channel shopping is an option, leverage it rather than limit customers to where they can use their discount. 
  3. Allow Ample Time. Set an expiration date that is reasonable. A gift is most appreciated and meaningful when customers are not rushed to use it.
  4. Thank customers beyond just birthdays to increase loyalty such as Anniversaries and Holidays. Same rules apply per above.

Have you ever received an unexpected birthday offer from a company you like? Did you have to meet specific requirements to benefit? Tell us your stories as the good and bad ones all provide CX learning opportunities.

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 DoingCXRight by Stacy Sherman

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

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