Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Customer Rewards Program

Yes, so...how is that commitment to blogging more regularly working out for you?  It's ok - I know you want to say it.  But I'm back again.  And hoping that, if it counts for anything, all the fun and interesting things I have to write about will make it worth the wait.

One of the things the Zoe ladies and I have been brainstorming about is related to a Customer Rewards Program.  And as you've probably picked up in my prior posts along this adventure, my personal biases tend to be reflected in the decisions that I make for the store.  Good or bad, it is a fact.

So what do I think makes a good customer rewards program (for me?)

1) It has to be simple.  I don't want to have to think about it.  I don't want to have to track anything on my own or have expiration dates or have to click on a link and do something twice and then come into the store.  I hate complicated.

2) It has to give me something I care about and will use (and has to make it easy to use it).  I used to travel a great deal in a previous job.  I amassed a large number of Marriott points (their hotels are everywhere - no matter how large or small the locale) and significant frequent flyer status on United (helpful because Dulles is one of their hubs and they went everywhere I needed to go).  Adding to my points balance required no effort from me (except to remember to reference my rewards number when booking reservations) and redeeming them was also simple.  Go online, submit the request, receive confirmation, enjoy. 

3) It needs to make me feel special.  Now, let me be clear.  The silly "red carpet" and a different "lane" to board the plane in the United gate area did NOT make me feel special.  Getting to go through a shorter security line and check baggage for free...that made me feel special. 

Probably my biggest customer rewards program now (besides Starbucks) is Amtrak.  Although I don't travel enough to make any sort of Elite Status, I do build points that I could cash in for a free trip.  I can get excited about that.

So I think about all these things when I think about what might make sense to reward Zoe's wonderful customers.  And I think about...what do we do today?

We offer a bag discount - if you bring your Zoe bag when you come shopping with us, we offer you a 5% discount on your purchase.  The bags are really nice and are reusable.  But I realize not everyone wants to carry their Zoe bag around.  But we do have a core group of customers who loyally bring in their bags when they shop with us.  (I love it!)

For those customers who sign up on our email list and give us their birthday month, we offer a 15% discount in their birthday month (doesn't matter whether it is sale or full price item...and we layer it on top of any other discount going on at the time). 

We have certain things we do for customers, depending on how they choose to interact with us - if you are on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, we sometimes have short term contests or giveaways.  But if you follow us on email, sometimes you know about events before everyone else.  Or you are eligible to win a $100 Gift Card that we give away at the end of every quarter.  Or you might win prizes from attending an in-store event. 

But how does all this translate into building a Loyalty Program that is meaningful to Zoe's customers?  (and, conversely, to the business?)  I have some ideas but would love your feedback.  What makes for a great loyalty program in your eyes?

Next Up:  Warehouse Sale - Year Two


  1. I agree, I like simple. Let me use my phone number or email address instead of giving me a new customer number. And I like feeling rewarded. One of the happiest emails I used to get was the "You've earned a free flight!" email from Southwest (boo Southwest for your new program). Somehow getting something tangible (instead of a discount) feels more fun for me.

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