We have the standard buy 10 get one free punch card incentive and once a week we have double stamp day totaling about an average of 400 free drink cards a month between both our coffee shops that means we are losing a rough estimate of $1600 in this time. Our daily sales aren't much different than other days of the week, so I have pondered taking away the double stamp incentive but keeping the buy 10 deal, I do worry that customers will shiver and squeak at the idea so I was wondering if anyone else has taken away such a thing and how it might have turned out??
Recognizing the tough economic situation, we have actually been adding customer incentives to keep our current customers and hopefully bring in more. I think that people are somewhat skiddish about their money right now, so taking away incentives could lose customers. I could be wrong though.
What's the slowest 2 hour time period of your day? Maybe instead of simply taking away the all day double punch change it to a daily time frame to correspond to your slow time every day, be it a one or two or three hour time frame you know your business. That way it may actually give incentive to boost slower time sales and keep customers from feeling like a current benefit has just been taken away. I can't speak directly to taking away a double punch day since I've never implemented one.
I like Mike's idea... figuring out a way of changing the benefit will probably be better-received than taking it away all together.
Something else you may consider is changing your card design and changing the number of drinks required for the freebie from 10 to 12. We did this a year ago and it went over ok. I'm sure people noticed, but nobody seemed to mind.
Do you have the same customers on double-punch day, or are there some that come in only on that day? If its just your regulars, they'd probably be understanding if you got rid of the double-punch. If you have some that only come in on that day you may get some complaints.
yeah, these cards are the devil. We went through a few huge changes over the year in shop, we stop serving 20 oz drinks, we increased prices (twice) we started brewing every cup to order, and a bunch of other little things. The change that single most rankled everyone was when we got rid of those cards. I'm glad we did it for a bunch of various reasons but it was still the thing that everyone complained about the most. I think you could get rid of 2x punch day but be ready to be extra nice and smiley to people (your staff as well) In watching it happen hundreds of time I could see that some members of my staff were much better able to deliver the news than others.
We have just gotten rid of our punch cards in the last few weeks, they were costing us an absurd amount of money daily and we decided to look for other ways to promote loyalty. We timed this with beginning an online mailing list, if they sign up for the mailing list, their coffee is on us and they'll be updated with special offers, discount days, birthday coffee, stuff like that. This also gives us an opportunity to educate them about things like special coffee offerings, competitions, trade shows, all the newsletter stuff. Our posters say "Change is Good," Make sure you're framing it as a change in offerings rather than as you taking something away.
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