Should Printers Have Gold Membership Cards?
I love Starbucks. I love the coffee in particular…but it goes deeper than that.
I love that they’re everywhere. I love my neighborhood Starbucks, where the baristas know my name. I love to see the other regulars there.
As much as anything, I love how they treat me. You see, I’m a Gold-Card-carrying customer, and so help me, I know I sound shallow, but it makes me feel special. I load the card with cash every few weeks (I drink coffee like it’s water), and it comes with some nifty perks. (Or is it “percs”?)
Every so often, I get a black-and-gold postcard in the mail, telling me I’ve earned a free tall drink of my choice.
I also get a complimentary tall drink of my choice whenever I buy a pound of Starbucks coffee. I like that, too.
Come September, I get another black-and gold postcard. It’s my Happy-Birthday-Margie-get-a-complimentary-tall-drink-of-your-choice card.
I’m hooked on this Gold Card rewards program. So I wondered: could printers come up with something similar?
I know you can’t stay in business by giving away free printing. And comparing a $2 cup of coffee with a $1,200 print order isn’t exactly apples to apples.
Still, a feel-good loyalty program that comes with benefits attached works so well in retail, I think we should come up with something comparable in the printing sector.
What could you afford to give away in a loyalty program?
- Personalized note cards and matching envelopes?
- Complimentary upgrade in paper worth $XXX?
- Extra special discount on a special promotion?
- Invitation to bi-annual lunch with the CEO?
Maybe the answer is to make every customer feel special. That would still require a plan and a procedure that’s written down, shared with every sales, service and production person on your staff, and posted on your website.