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Lisbeth Calandrino
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Please Macy’s, Don’t Forget Me!

22February13

I  must admit I love the clothes and shoes in Macy’s. In the 70’s, I had a Macy’s credit card and used to receive offers from them. It seemed like once I stopped using the card I never heard from them. Every time I would purchase at Macy’s the clerk would ask if I had a credit card. I would tell her yes, but they could never find it. I just paid cash, purchased less and wondered how they lost me. Did I forget to pay a bill? How could Macy’s lose me?

Yesterday I was in Macy’s Shoe Department and found the most unforgettable pair of shoes. Of course the clerk asked if I had a credit card. This time I decided to say I didn’t have one. “Let’s get you one, she said, there’s a 20% discount today if you get a new card.” After 10 minutes of questioning back and forth,  she finally said, “They want to talk with you.” Now I’m nervous. Are they going to announce over the loud speaker that Lisbeth Calandrino is a deadbeat? I thought they would tell me I had an unpaid balance of $10.00, and they’d crossed me off their list. Instead they asked my name, address and phone number and then said they wanted to talk to the clerk.

“You have a card she said, how come you haven’t used it?” “They won’t let me,” I replied. She laughed and said, “That’s strange.” It may be strange to her, but every time I told the clerk I thought I had a credit card, my purchase was denied.

The clerk announced that Macy’s has decided to send me a new card. (By the way, no 20% discount for me. The 20% discount is only for new card holders.) I guess they’re trying to tell me I can’t put one over on them.

So how do businesses lose customers? Do they decide some customers are better than others? What criteria do they use? Frankly, in this case, I just think it’s a case of not paying attention. I should be receiving offers and discounts automatically from them.

Great customer service is remembering your customers and staying in touch with them.

White House/Black Market never loses me. Cachet knows where to find me. As a result of their coupons, discounts and special offers, I’m at both at least twice a year when the seasons change. There have been many times I wanted to charge something in Macy’s and pay it off in two payments but passed on my purchase.

Your most valuable customer is one who has purchased from you. Why would you forget them? They didn’t spend enough?

I’ve told a lot of people over the years about my Macy’s credit card problem and have avoided shopping there with my friends. The only reason I was there yesterday was because I was doing a SodaStream demonstration. (By the way, you must see the SodaStream commercial they wouldn’t air on television.)

Consider your past customer is your connection to your next new customer. When my friends want to go shopping, I always say, let’s not go to Macy’s.

When you don’t keep in touch with your customers, they make friends with your competitors. Not going to Macy’s has forced me to check out new stores, and get new credit cards. Oh well, I guess I’m not that important to Macys.

I read a statistic that the average business loses 10% of their customers yearly. I found some other statistics that might be important to you if you own a business.

  1. 73% of marketing managers of various large companies credit “Repeat purchase behavior” as integral to the definition of successful customer engagement –Forbes Magazine
  2. A survey asking which is the most important marketing objectives, shows that 29.9% think that it should be customer acquisition, and 26.6% think that it is customer retention.
  3. However 62.2% admit that they concentrate on customer acquisition, with only 20.6% focusing on customer acquisition. –Emarketer
I guess Macy’s isn’t the only offender.

Do you want more information on repeat and referral business? Check out my Surfaces Blog from 2012.


Filed under: Business Practices

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