I recently visited a JC Penney store to do some holiday shopping and learned about their pin promotion. When I made a purchase, I was given a couple of pins. I was instructed to go home, enter the codes online and see if I was an instant winner. I was also given a small card that included the URL and instructions.
While this is a spin off of traditional promotions to keep customers returning to the store, similar to the Kohl’s promotion where you get a $10 voucher for a future purchase, it got me thinking of a way to incorporate “in the moment” customer feedback with promotions – a good way to get feedback while consumers are in your store while creating promotion excitement and possibly getting more sales.
Now, I do realize that the delayed promotion tactic is often used to get people to return to the store at a later date, and, for people like myself, to offer a promotion that may never be redeemed. I will admit that I can be awful about remembering to return to Kohl’s to redeem my $10 card. That’s my own fault, but I know I’m not alone.
However, studies continually show that customer feedback response rates have dropped over time, and encouraging consumers to provide feedback is getting more difficult through the traditional means. Incorporating feedback & promotions may be something worth trying.
In a previous post I discussed the “in the moment” real time feedback services that are now becoming available. Essentially, it offers consumers the ability to answer a simple question or two about their experience while it’s fresh in their minds and they’re in that moment of time. With the technology behind this, it is possible to incorporate a way for these consoles to be set up within stores during promotions such as JC Penney’s so that a consumer can get the best of both worlds. Imagine this…
1. A customer makes a purchase and receives their pins. They can be instructed to enter the code on the Penney’s site OR they can be directed to the in-store option that lets them find out if they’re a winner right away. True, some will check the codes on their phone or may just leave and check in later, but I imagine some will think, “I could win a gift card right now. I was thinking about buying that sweater – if I win, maybe I will get it after all.”
2. The customer goes to the feedback console and answers two questions about the experience they’ve had so far. Once they answer those questions, they are taken to the code redemption site so they can enter their code and find out if they’ve won.
3. If they did win a prize, they could redeem it right then and there, and it would allow the customer to use it immediately, without a delay.
So what just happened here? There are a few positive takeaways, even if only a percentage of customers actually go through this process and don’t leave the store right away:
1. You’ve created excitement about the promotion, and answering one or two quick questions won’t be bothersome to most customers.
2. You’ve gotten feedback from people you may not have. Of course, if a customer has a bad experience, they may not be so excited to see if they’ve won a gift card to do more shopping, but you never know. If the employee mentions that they can leave feedback and check the code, they may wander over to the feedback console simply to leave feedback.
3. You’re giving customers the chance to win instantly and redeem right away. In my case, my phone battery was low so I didn’t want to go online with it to drain the battery just to see if I won. If I had a way to check my codes and found I was a winner, I would have likely browsed a bit longer, just because I was in the store, it’s not close to my house, and I wasn’t sure when I’d have the chance to go back. It would possibly get another sale out of me, and this could be true of other customers.
With all of the technology that is readily available, it’s wise for companies to start thinking of how they can combine their efforts to make the most of the experience. Think of it from the company and consumer standpoint, and be creative. We have the tools at our disposal – thinking a bit outside the box may pay off in the long run.