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:
- Make customers feel appreciated without “strings attached.” Don’t require something in return for an award card to be usable.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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*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.