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.
Since so much of printing looks equally good these days, customer retention is somewhat dependent on how your customers are treated and how their business is valued.
What do you do to make your customers feel like royalty? What’s your Gold Card offer?
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com