Friday, September 25, 2009

Work your butt off

"I hate loyalty schemes. Why not just work your butt off and do extra for your customer?"

Last night I attended a Big Fish networking event and listened to the guest speaker Sinclair Beecham, co-founder of Pret a Manger, share his experience and his thoughts on business. Inviting questions from the audience throughout his presentation, Sinclair was asked by one self-confessed 'loyal customer' why they didn't operate a loyalty scheme as many of their competitors do. Sinclair's response, as repeated above, was interesting as was the reaction of the audience.

The person who originally asked the question felt strongly that he wanted a loyalty scheme and wasn't interested just in extra service. Sinclair turned the question to the audience, the majority of whom admitted to being customers of Pret a Manger. It came as some surprise perhaps to everyone present when a very large majority said they didn't want a loyalty scheme.

I've written before, in this post, about companies relying too much on incentive schemes to generate referrals instead of focusing on enhanced customer service. Sinclair's comments are in a similar vein. Although they are looking to sell more to the same customers rather than get recommendations or referrals, he is clear in his mind that exceptional service is far more powerful than incentive schemes.

It looks as though most of his customers may well agree with him.

1 comment:

  1. I share the same views. Liked your blog very much.