Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Locking customers (loyalty prison)

Joel have written a very interesting article where he describes and interprets one novel approach in the business handling customers.

A short introduction into the article located below:
A typical situation for customers of one café is a long line occurring each morning. Once at the morning customers suddenly discovered a new person working for this cafe, who was walking along the line and was collecting orders and transferring them by the phone to the service (and pay) desk.

At the first glance the primary idea of introducing such position is to optimise orders input flow and so optimise service (production of what will be ordered). In reality, here we dealt with a type of product that cannot be really produced in advance in batch and therefore such pre-ordering doesn’t really make sense especially if it is collected from the end of a long line.

Joel states that the only reason of this was to lock customers into this place – earlier it was rather easy to walk out if you see the long line r you waited a bit and then decided to go into other place (may be less suitable for you, but without such lines). Now, a lot of people will rather stay in the line after their order was picked as see it as an ethical obligation to pay for it as it is already in the production (and so they will wait nearly independently of the line size).

In the summary the author offers to think where else such method can be applied to lock the customer into this company service primary in your personal business or even ordinal life.

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