Gatlinburg Museum Robot Display

Loyalty and Rewards

Yesterday, I tried to pick up my prescription refills at Walgreens and a few miscellaneous items including index cards and nail polish remover. I’ve been going to this location of Walgreens for so long, and at such expense, that I ought to have bought stock in the company long ago. I’ve invested, and how.

Gatlinburg Museum Robot Display
Customer service & robots don’t mix.

Two hours later, I’d been reminded 7 times to fill out a “loyalty card,” but not one person of the 5 I interacted with said “hello, thanks, have a good day,” or “kiss my foot.” Not that I expected anyone to say “kiss my foot,” but at least it would have been entertaining. I was so frustrated by the time I left, I had to remind myself 1. I’m lucky to have money to buy the meds my family needs 2. I’m lucky to have insurance to help with the cost and 3. the point of a lot of ridiculous data entry/reentry and hunting and typing and poking a computer–is supposed to make my purchases more efficient and give me incentive to shop there again, right? Am I crazy? If these transactions are all going to be pre-scripted, automated, well–give me a shiny robot to interact with then, dammit.

I did get to thinking, after fantasizing about cool robots for a while, if I had a Lora Loyalty & Rewards Program, what would that look like?

1. If I have to fill out a form, longhand. Or wait in a line while someone buying a pack of gum has to fill out a form longhand, to get a .05 cent discount: -1 point.

2. If you take my home address, phone number, or email address and barrage me with contact without my permission: -1

3. If you take any of the info above and sell it to 3rd parties or “partners:” -1

4. If a member of your staff insists on presentation of a loyalty/rewards card for a purchase less than $5.00, which will give me a “reward” of .00003 cents, and takes an extra 25 minutes of my life for standing in lines… -1

5. If your “customer service reps” are being timed on each interaction with me (I can tell, Panera): -1 point.

6. If I find myself saying “thank you,” at the end of checkout, because I feel an awkward pause, having been the cause of your employee’s severe eye strain from looking at computer screen and scanner while grumbling and mumbling, but never making eye contact with the human, me, ah the customer: -1

7. If I put my one item on the counter, and you ask “is that all,” and I reply, “yes, just this,” but you offer a pack of cookies, a trip for 10 to Zimbabwe, a CD by some artist I never heard of, a discount on a case of Kool-aid: -1

Okay, I’m getting distracted by the need to make a taxonomy for my points. And how would I “reward” a company I’m already giving money to? Perhaps I could keep going and going, but it might not be good for my blood pressure. So, I’ll leave you with this lovely story of outstanding customer experience. It makes me feel SO much better. Special thanks to @RavenCourtney over at Raven Tools for sharing. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll go back to dreaming about cool robots. Aaaaah.