Using Data to Ad Value for Your Customers and Drive More Business

Shoppers CardsHave you ever been asked at a grocery store for your club card or your shoppers card? That card that lets you in on their weekly deals? Of course you have. I have to be honest though, I never seem to have them in my pocket come checkout time! In addition, As a data geek I tend to look at these with a critical eye, The companies isuuing cards are trading me the ability to track my purchase habits and in turn give me a better price on milk and eggs when they should be doing that anyway. Right? So how can these cards be used better? In ways that can not only drive value for the brand but improve the customer experience as well? 

The Wrong Customer Experience

Just recently I went to a large sporting goods store and I didn’t have my card. I was actually fearing the runaround when I got to the checkout without my card. Here is how it went:

Sports Store: Do you have a card with us?
Me: Yes, but I don’t have it with me.
Sports Store: Ok, what’s your phone number?
Me: 716.123.4567
Sports Store: That’s not the right number, could it be another?
Me: I’m not sure, try 716.111.1111
Sports Store: Nope, not the right one. Hmmmmm, Could it be another?
Me: Naaa, don’t worry about it. Not a big deal.
Sports Store: Yea, but are you sure, I could try another number.
Me: Seriously, I just want to check out this sleeve of golf balls friction free.
Sports Store: Ok, Would you like to donate a dollar today to blah, blah, blah?
Me: No thank you.
Sports Store: You sure? It’s just a dollar and you get to write your name on this paper we’re going to hang on the wall.
Me: No thanks. May I just check out? (Person behind me is saying, “What a jerk, can’t the guy afford a buck?”

First off, this is a bad customer experience. Don’t pressure me and don’t make me burt out my phone number to everyone in line so they can prank me when I don’t give you a dollar for your so called charity. Second off, what the hell am I getting out of giving you my card? I’ve never gotten a thing, not a deal, not a freebie and no points of any kind that I know of. That question though is what I’d like to explore here.

Value Adds to the Consumer and Improving the Customer Experience

OK, now to the point. Let’s say you are at one of the big box DIY stores. You give out these same shoppers club cards so people can take advantage of weekly deals and you can track their purchase habits. Again I ask, What’s really in it for me???

The Big Ideas

The shoppers club card opts you into a community on the web. The community will offer tips and tricks specific to the things you are buying. The website will also give you a suggested list of items as well. Yep, I’ve been in the situation where I’ve had to return to these stores four times in a day because I didn’t know I needed a certain something to properly perform a specific DIY task. This makes me mad!  Then for the biggest idea, ‘Big Box DIY stores’ will store your purchases for you in your profile. Need to touch up some paint that you bought a year ago? It’s right there. Need to match a finish on the kitchen sink you just purchased? It’s right there…. not just on your computer but on your mobile phone. Need to make a list of items you need to purchase? Your mobile app will create a shopping list and provide you aisle numbers to help you locate the items in the store.

All very doable. Betters my customer experience which makes me happier and in turn makes me purchase more, and more frequently in that store. Allows me to get information when I need it on relevant topics to me. Finally remembers for me my paint colors, finishes and more…….

So why aren’t brands doing this now or rather why in such a limited way? Why do brands always think its about them? We get the data, you get nothing. I speak about this all the time but if we as business owners, executives and marketers begin to truly look through the glasses of the customer we can find win-win solutions. Rob Perkins calls it “Finding the Unmet Need” Don’t think I’m right? Test it? Test the concepts. Find out what your customers will use before you build it! We can help you with that!

What do you think? How could your company use technology better or leverage current tools to drive more value to your customers and constituant groups?

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