One of my favorite books is How To Win Friends and Influence People. Lesson number one is know the name of the person you are talking with, and use it. People love to hear their names. When I shop at Nordstroms, the sales person recognizes my face and he acts like he knows me, which he does. That makes me feel good. When I hand him my credit card he calls me by my first name. That makes me feel good. Sometimes they ask me if they can send the receipt to my email. And then they ask me for my email address. That does not make me feel good. I want the stores I shop at to recognize me, and treat me like they know me. That includes my knowing my email. It should be easy and automatic.

What I don’t like is going to a retailer, you know which ones, and when I am checking out they ask me to join the rewards program, every time, even though I am already a member. I won’t carry another card, so the store links my reward info with my phone number. Then the annoyance really starts. The cashier asks for my phone number (I have three) that is linked to the reward program. I never know which one to give him, or if it is under my wife’s phone number. And when we finally hit on a match, nothing happens. There is nothing reflecting points earned printed on the receipt. There is no email or text thank you. No real acknowledgment that the store knows me or appreciates my “loyal” business. And I never know where I am on my reward path, or how to even redeem my reward.

When creating a loyalty program, we want to make the member feel special. That means not forcing our valued customer to work hard to enroll, earn points, and redeem rewards. It must be easy, and give the impression that the store knows who you are, and is appreciative that you are shopping there. This means act like you know your customer and don’t ask him to join the program if he is already a member. And if he is a member, then send a “thank you” email or text, without your customer having to provide his mobile or email address every time. It should be easy and automatic, as if the store actually knows who you are and values you as a customer, so as not to annoy you with questions it should not have to ask.

Technology exists today to act like you know your loyal customers. I know because we are doing it today at vPromos.


Today vPromos technology. . .

  1. Links customers credit cards with the merchant’s reward program at the POS;
  2. Recognizes reward members simply when they pay with an enrolled credit or debit card;
  3. Thanks the customer with an email or text triggered by the purchase transaction and informs the member how many points he just earned, and
  4. Lets the Loyal Member redeem rewards simply by paying with the same credit card he always use.

In effect, the key is to make the customer’s existing credit card his reward card. [/sws_grey_box]

Now that makes me feel good.