Prepaid Loyalty – I may have found the Holy Grail!

So the Templar Knights jump on their horses in the 11th century and set off in search of the Holy Grail.

What a waste.

If they had’ve waited around for about 1000 years or more, I’d have saved them all the trouble.

You see….I found it last week….and it was hiding in a coffee shop in Perth, Western Australia of all places!

Or at least I found what looks like the Holy Grail for business owners looking to build a customer loyalty program that actually works.

Don’t sigh….this is really important if you are running a café, a restaurant, a wine bar, a gym, a crèche, a mobile mechanic business, a gardening business……really, any business where you will benefit from having customers return to buy the same product from you on a regular basis.

Most loyalty programs give you a card where you tick off the number of times you buy from the business (like a cup of coffee) and when you buy say 10, you get the next one free.

Great, fantastic! But as the customer, do I really lose anything if I sometimes buy from a competitor, and maybe never get to the magic number of buys before I get my freebie? Not really.

So, as the business owner, I have probably just opened the door a little onto the world of customer loyalty to me and my product. But I have definitely not guaranteed that loyalty.

I saw a better option in this coffee shop last week.



Guided by the tattooed guy at the counter, I prepaid 10 coffees using my Pay Pass credit card for $45 (yep coffee is very expensive here in Western Australia, probably the most expensive coffee city on the world!). As with all loyalty programs, they gave me a cardboard based, business card sized loyalty card with 10 unmarked boxes, my name and my coffee choice.

This magic card allows me to jump the busy queues each morning and get priority service – that is gold for a coffee addict like me.

But….the real magic….I get my free loyalty coffee up front. I don’t have to wait until I have bought all 10! Wow!

Alright, alright…I know the intelligent people out there are laughing at this.

Of course all I have done is prepaid for 11 coffees for the price of 10 – a discount of $4.50 or 41 cents per cup. Doesn’t sound so great when you put it like that does it?

But in my buyer’s mind, I have been rewarded with a free coffee up front and I will get a VIP experience of jumping the queue every morning to get what is also, an excellent cup of coffee.

I feel like an absolute winner!

From the café’s perspective, they are even bigger winners.

They have absolutely gained my loyalty…in fact I have prepaid my loyalty to them in cash. Even if I don’t come back 10 times, they still win because they have been paid for all 10.

And they have my name written on the card so every staff member can call my name as they hand over the coffee every day which builds a really strong personal bond between me and my coffee dealer buddy (yeah, he does sometimes feel like a drug pusher feeding my coffee habit).

This card also records my preferred coffee style – large cup, steaming, full cream milk, no sugar thanks (yep – I am sweet enough already).

That is a heap of personal information that is incredibly usable by all staff and incredibly satisfying to me as the customer.

What are my chances of prepaying my next 10 coffees when the card runs out?

As the happiest coffee customer in the world, I am going nowhere else, trust me!



Use your imagination and you can apply this same prepaid loyalty idea to many business models – maybe yours too? I’m thinking prepaid lawn mowing or weeding services, set price lunch menus, wine orders, car servicing, window washing……the list goes on.

I’d love to hear your ideas of how to apply this thinking in your business.

Members can share their ideas in the Forum.

Non-members can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Better still, why not just become a member of Your Business Coaching Club? For just $15 a month you get to hear the views of business owners and business coaches from around the world on heaps of topics relevant to your business journey, as well as get access to the best online business coaching platform available today.

What the heck are you waiting for? Learn more by clicking this link or navigate to the Your Business Coaching Club home page if you hate clicking web links.

Cheers

 

Craig Ridley

Founder – Your Business Coaching Club

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