Protect and preserve your core Customers – “The cost of losing your core Customers and trying to get them backwill be much greater than the cost of investing in them and trying to keep them,” says Howard Schultz president of Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks Gold card program is one of the best VIP/loyalty programs I have seen and it has had amazing results at Starbucks. Schultz explains, “They enhance the brand, becoming part of the Starbucks Experience via the actual Customer-barista transaction and, because the card lives in wallets, part of people’s lives. The cards also bring us closer to Customers.”
Love the benefits – The Customer gets many perks that can be used, like a free drink after every 12 purchases, and discounts or freebies on little amenities such as no extra cost for Soymilk. However, think what Starbucks gets. They get to build a database on their Customers, see who spends how much on what, have hard data on their top Customers all over the world, and they get prepaid millions of dollars. People have to pre-load these cards to use them. I, for example, have my Starbucks Gold card set to automatically reload to $100 from my American Express, once my Gold card goes under $10.00. This is brilliant! Many times they get their Customers’ money two or four weeks prior to redemption. To receive rewards, a person registers online by providing his or her e-mail address. As a result, Starbucks builds a rich database that they can use to better understand their Customers’ behaviors and reward them accordingly. The database also allows them to reach out to Customers in meaningful, cost-effective ways.