Sunday, July 18, 2010

Customer Loyalty is like a love affair:Don't hard sell it !

Over the weekend, I had planned to buy a blazer.Though I have multiple options in T.Nagar, Chennai the place where I stay , I opted for Shoppers Stop . Shoppers , has been a pioneer in Indian Retail market and I have always admired their retail practices.After my purchase, in the billing section the Customer Care Associate( that is how Shoppers call their staff) requested me to join their Loyalty Program (for the great benefits it delivers!)I was not keen for that ; Soon the request started to become a hard sell. Customer Care Associate started pitching for the loyalty program and was literally forcing me to enrol in it . With sales pitch going overboard I was forced to move away from a polite refusal to give a stern ‘NO’ as response. Seeing the situation the Supervisor came in and asked the associate not to push hard. Finally, I got my bill and was greeted with a Thank you which defintely cannot be qualified to be courteous!
While on one side I understand the Associate’s interest to make me sign for the Loyalty program ,trying/forcing to build Customer Loyalty through such hard selling could turn counter productive . And for me it was surprising it came from Shoppers! Nevertheless , this incident does not dilute my respect and loyalty to Shoppers . I hope this would be addressed in their Sales training .
I feel some of the key drivers that helps in understanding Customer Loyalty are :

And my refusal came from the judgement of my buying pattern and personal preferences.

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