Nice, but VERY naughty.
Last month a pub taught me a lesson.
Their new customer loyalty program is inspired.
Unfortunately, it’s also illegal.
That aside, this story flags a wellspring of ideas from which we can draw.
It was a cold, huddle-at-home night that required just a couple more beers.
I braved the rain to the only place open – a hotel I use maybe once a quarter.
The owner, always chatty, asked if I wanted to borrow one of his movies – gratis.
I was so surprised by this offer that I gratefully chose ‘Doubt’ with Meryl Streep.
The street was even darker than the bar, so it wasn’t till I returned home that I saw a burnt DVD in a convincing photocopy cover.
As an artist, I vehemently decry piracy.
And yet, bored and tipsy, my inner demon took over and I watched the film.
It was OK.
The next day, I realised the elegance of this nefarious device.
The pub owner had done me a ‘favour’: it behoved me to return his contraband.
And since it was a borrowed DVD, I was conditioned to do this in seven days or less.
Were I to keep the disc or call the cops, I’d sever a late-night supply line.
And of course, back in the bottle shop, need or courtesy would ensure my repeat custom.
Not wishing to compound my viewing crime, I returned the DVD without further purchase.
Though not a ‘dobber’, I felt this tale worth telling.
It got me thinking about the rich history of hotel initiatives* to attract and retain customers (and maximise their spend).
In roughly chronological order, I can recall:
- Pool competitions.
- Football tipping.
- Darts leagues.
- Lucky scratch tickets.
- Juke (and now video) boxes.
- Beer gardens.
- Big-screen sport events.
- Poker machines.
- Kids’ playgrounds.
- Free party hosting.
- Membership cards.
- Emailed birthday deals.
That’s 13 bizgen ideas from the vendors of a costly carcinogen.
Many of which have nothing to do with the product!
Maybe you can think of more.
Glass Half Full
I took a critical look at my business and realised I don’t offer nearly the number or variety of ‘goodies’.
My best freebie is to coach ambitious clients to better English by flagging errors in their emails.
(And you can believe not everyone values that service!)
I think I need to lift my game.
How about you?
In delighting your clients, how do (or could) you think outside the cardboard box?
Get into the spirit.
Your valuable content will elicit
* Not the pub in question.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire