So I had a firey conversation with a business proprietor tonight about loyalty programs and I am still trying to digest it in my head.
Here’s my point of view:
If I eat somewhere regularly, I love the ability to be rewarded, for my regular chowing down on some sort of fast food, with some sort of freebie or discount on an 8th or 10th time.
It’s a common thing with coffee shops and many take-away restaurants. I remember when I used to work near Woden Plaza, I would have about 4 or 5 different loyalty cards from the the plethora of options available in the food court. I would love the ability to check out how many stamps I had left to get before a free one and it would often determine where I was going to eat that day (I used to spend way too much money on take-away lunch in those days).
Sometimes I would buy 2 kebabs, or sandwiches or whatever if I was with a friend (or feeling particularly piggish) and then I would also get 2 stamps instead of 1. This was expected and seemed fair. One item, one stamp. Two items, two stamps.
And His Point of View:
A customer is visiting a store and may buy 1 or many items, depending on whether they are hungry or with friends or family. They might pay for it all together and if they have a loyalty card they would get 1 stamp for the visit no matter how many items they bought.
This would reward the customer for the visit and would encourage the customer to return more often (8 or 10 times) to be rewarded for their loyalty.
The theory being that they have to visit more often to fill up their card and get their freebie, not just buy multiples at once.
So, the theory being that ultimately you would give away less free items in his model, but would still reward visitors who make multiple visits.
I disagree with his idea because it doesn’t make the customer feel like they are getting a fair deal and the sour taste in their mouth from the ‘un-fairness’ would be enough to discourage that person from returning, assuming they have a choice of other places to go that might offer multiple stamps for multiple items.
At the end of the day I don’t think that either option will result in a huge difference in the amount of freebies being given out, but my option would increase the chances of the person feeling good about using the loyalty card and giving favourable opinions to friends and family.
So, what do you think? Yay or Nay on the multiple stamping?