John Doe: The Victim

You can’t change process without changing people…

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Post 1 of 3: Randy launched Coffee Accounts for his local coffee shop customers. Coffee Accounts were essentially a customer convenience of registering their credit card with the shop so they could run a tab off their ‘secret code’ until their card expired or until they cancelled their account.

Most of the shop’s loyal customers immediately opened accounts and enjoyed the personal touch and convenience.

From a business perspective, the accounts encouraged customers to come regularly, decreased the wait with shortened processing time, and moved more customers through the shop during peak walk-through and drive-through hours. Randy and his partners felt great about this program!

About 3 months after introducing the Coffee Accounts, the shop ran a great financial savings deal for customers who set up a Coffee Account for the very first time.

This seemed like the next logical marketing step to take! But the daily customers who had already opened accounts felt the store was being disloyal to them, since they had been given no financial benefit to set up their accounts. After all, they were spending lots more money on a regular basis than some of the sporadic patrons who were now capitalizing on the special. They felt like the victims; several of them even adjusted their daily habits to try other shops.

With the distraction of processing all the new Coffee Accounts, it took about three weeks – and a couple of snarky social media posts – for Randy to realize that regular customers had reacted so negatively.   It took another week to turn things around by offering a ‘bring-a-friend-who-opens-an-account-&-get-a-XX discount’ offer.

Randy sat down at the next partner meeting, put his head in his hands, and sighed. “This cannot keep happening! We could have increased loyalty and Coffee Accounts by considering the perspectives of our loyal customers during our original planning.”

Reality: Never turn customers, vendors or employees into victims by failing to consider the total impact of business changes: perceptions of betrayal are as real as actual loss to most people.  

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog:  Why is Randy so upset? What has happened before to make people feel like the victims of his changes?

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