Any of you with children will relate to this first story of mine.
When my kids were younger we used to ask them where they would like to go for a treat. They had a choice between MacDonald’s, KFC, or a Spur meal? The answer they gave us was always dependent on the gift that was on offer from that particular franchise – it had nothing to do with the meal itself! That R10 toy got a family of 4 for dinner that day. Only R10! (probably less if bought in bulk via China!)
The same is true of any convenience outlet – “give” a toy away supposedly for free – and the kids will get you to stop there! Engen are currently running a promotion with the concept of a “free” soft dog toy. A different version of the same sort of thing. Luckily for me they are now old enough to do some math’s of their own – as they worked out they would each need to spend in excess of R1000 to qualify for the supposedly free toy! Not so free after all!
But the point is that this type of marketing is very powerful and works! Time and again! It is the small additional “extra” as a reward for using your services that counts. This was brought home to me again recently by my children who are now in their teens.
Very seldom do I frequent the movie houses whereas my kids seem to live there and recently I took them to watch a movie at a Nu Metro movie house. They were really galled that I would even go there. Want to know why?
They charge an extra R2 for salt on your popcorn! Ster Kinekor do not charge extra for salt – it is inclusive of the price for popcorn and so it should be in my view! I had not noticed that my children only frequent Ster Kinekor movie houses.
I wonder how many kids out there feel the same as mine if it comes out of their allotted pocket monies? R2 for salt? How many “bums in seats” have they lost for just R2? Who thought this one through? Is that R2 really worth it in the long run?
After we had watched the movie, my children then also explained that if we had gone to the competitor’s movie house – our 3D glasses were also for free! We had to pay R5 a pair.
Another thing happened to me on a Bp site recently in Cape Town. I am in the habit of checking with the forecourt attendant that they do in fact take my debit card before I fill up my tank as I hate having to go into the shop to pay for my fuel.
On this occasion I did check and the answer was “we take all debit cards”. Great on that basis I asked him to fill up my tank.
I handed him my debit card to pay for the transaction and was told that type of debit card needed to be swiped at the shop terminal. So I was annoyed to say the least. Anyway once I got to the shop terminal the manager was called who explained to me that yes they take debit cards – but not one like mine!
Mine was a cheque debit card and that was not acceptable as a form of payment for fuel! Now I was really getting fed up! Look I am just a mere customer here – what the heck is the difference? I refused to back down as I had asked if they took debit cards and the answer was yes.
Guess what the manager did – he added 5% to the overall cost of the fuel transaction to cover the costs of swiping my debit card! Really customer friendly indeed!
I wonder how many clients are lost due to these stupid decisions.
I ask you; R2 for salt, advertise that you take debit cards – only to be told that your one is not acceptable – and make the customer pay an additional 5% on the transaction! Is this good customer relationship building?
No these are not endearing to the most resolute of customers, even for me who was an avid Wild Bean coffee purchaser! Will I go there again? Absolutely not!
Ok so here is the message for this week – look at the little things – the details that the customer sees in each transaction. Is it encouraging – does it entice me to come back time and time again?
Are we building customer relationships or protecting our potential losses and costs? Our business is service, who keeps our door open?
Take care out there