A friend had a Best Buy reward certificate that was near the expiration date, so he decided to use it on line to purchase an iTunes card. Unlike transactions at the iTunes store where all business is done electronically, Best Buy sent the card in the mail.
The $15 gift card came in a padded envelope, with a printed/personalized invoice and one little piece of promotional material. Instead of being instantaneous, it took a week to complete. And then my friend took one look at the card, punched the number into the iTunes store for credit, and threw the card and whole package away.
I have ranted about gift cards before*, but now in addition to just environmental waste, think about the time and money that could have been saved if Best Buy had chosen another process to use for gift card fulfillment.
Do you have a similar practice in your organization — something that could be modified to save time and money (not to mention make your customers happier)? Do you have manual transactions that could be put on-line? Or two stages of the process that could be combined into one? Or steps that could be eliminated without negative impact?
Look at your organization through the eyes of your customer and see if you can make your rewards actually rewarding.
— beth triplett and Brian Gardner
*see #190, December 8, 2012