Feeding the Connection

When retailers hear that we capture over 90% of customer transactions on our Club Dave card, one of two things usually occurs. I am either told I am obviously confused because that’s impossible or I am elevated to almost hero status because we are doing the impossible…at which point that person whispers to the next person I must be confused because that is impossible.

It’s true, we do capture that many transactions. Why, because we make it worthwhile to become a member. This isn’t rocket science folks — it’s just trying to be relevant to my customers. We have a rewards program which can only be calculated if you are a member. After you spend x dollars, you get a postcard with a rewards certificate. We also tailor offers to what customers use or may be likely to use. The really cool part is since we have contact info we can notify customers if there is a problem with something they use, or if what they use is on sale, or if we have something in the store we think they should know about.

To hear first-hand how Dave Ratner has implemented some of his game-changing ideas join him at the NRF Big Show 2016 where he will headline a breakout session in the Small Business Experience Track. The "Lessons for the Retail Titans" session will be held Sunday January 17, 2016 in the Level 1 Expo Hall, Expo Stage at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC.

We just started converting our Club Dave cards to the “LOC” card which is an aggregator of points and rewards programs. My customers love it and how cool is it that an indie retailer is leading the charge to get larger retailers to join up. No question about it, customers hate having a gazillion loyalty cards in their wallets. The LOC card eliminates the need for all those cards. You use the LOC card in all the stores that belong and your points, rewards, etc. are viewable on a website.

I have seven stores and lots of completion with more on the way. It is imperative I keep the personal, emotional connection with my customers. Everything we do revolves around making consumers love us. I even call customers to tell them when the product they use is on sale. I use a service that makes the calls — but I record the message. I know what you are thinking, we only call the folks that use the product that is on sale — nobody else gets the call. My customers know it’s Dave calling even though it is a pre-recorded message and they love those calls.

We just upgraded our POS system which has been, I probably don’t have to tell you, a stressful time. One of the way cool things we will be able to do is e-mail receipts to customers. We are going the super duper route, not just static e-mails but we will be able to put targeted coupons on the receipts, plus put links or give advice on purchases. For example, let’s say you buy a fish. We will have a link to my fish expert telling you how to acclimate the fish in your aquarium. Or if you buy a cat food that is low carb we can send a link to how to avoid feline diabetes. The range of ideas is endless. As an industry we just need to stay focused on giving information — no matter what kind — that is relevant to the customer.  RIS

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