I recently visited a local food establishment (I will let it remain nameless), which has been a consistent leader in its genre for many years. It has been a stalwart, rarely have I had anything negative to say about it. The restaurant industry is far from perfect, and I usually let minor issues go.
But this time, they pinched a nerve that has been tough for me to get over.
Loyalty is based upon the trust between a business and customer. Businesses know that their loyal customers will be there, time and time again, with the customer expecting to receive their accustomed experience. This time, my loyalty was questioned by an employee. This had me feeling a lack of trust, and that’s not what customer loyalty is about.
To sum up my story, this restaurant has a tablet located at the cashier, that customers simply type in their phone number to receive free items, and other rewards. I was asked by the employee if I was a loyalty program member (which I was). I replied “Yes”, and continued to head to the tablet to get credit for my visit. The employee then came out from behind the register, stood with my at the tablet and said “Well, let me just make sure about that”. His tone suggested that I was either a. lying, b. incapable of knowing my own phone number, or c. trying to somehow cheat the system. Either way, I took offense to this and have not gone back since.
Loyal customers should not leave a store feeling uncomfortable in any situations. When boasting your loyalty program, have trust that your customers tell you the truth. In the fact that they deceive you, that proves they aren’t loyal at all and not worthy of your business.
End note: People with killer mustaches can be trusted. #movember