By now you’ve undoubtedly heard that Starbucks is going to be changing their rewards program in April. And you have also heard that this change has caused an uproar with some Starbucks customers because they feel like they’re going to have to spend a lot more now.
In case you’re not one of the proud (okay, that’s just me), card-carrying Rewards members (me again!), the program currently rewards you a free item of your choice after making 12 trips in for purchases. Each purchase gains you a star (and that means each trip - not one star for every item per trip), and 12 stars = a freebie. So you could buy 12 black coffees on 12 separate occasions and you’d get a freebie of whatever you wanted. A grande latte, a chocolate croissant, a lunch. It’s pretty nice. Well, in April, we won’t count stars based on each purchase. Instead, we’ll be getting two stars for each dollar we spend. When we get to 125 stars, we get a freebie.
As I said, many customers are up in arms. I’ve seen plenty of articles that show people ranting about how the program is awful because people who just drink coffee will take forever to get a reward. Good. That’s how it should be.
I think this change is a good thing, and it’s not because I love Starbucks (I do) and it’s not because Starbucks sponsors anything in my life (it doesn’t, but hey Starbucks - I’m willing to talk!). They are aligning their program like plenty of other rewards programs are. So why is that a bad thing?
Ask yourself this. Is it fair that someone who goes into a store and buys a $1 candy bar should get the same rewards as someone who goes into that same store and buys $100 in groceries? If you said yes, then ask yourself this. If your business offered rewards, wouldn’t those people that spent more money get more rewards? Of course they would. They are your star customers, and you want to make them feel that they are special. They are different. The person that shops in your store every week deserves more than a person that comes in once a year.
And I think that’s where Starbucks is headed with this. It’s an equitable solution to truly reward those who are spending more while still allowing the casual customer to eventually earn their freebie. It just might take a little more effort.
You need to think about this if you offer services. The person that buys our eBook , the person that purchases our Caffeinated Coaching services and the person that will fly us to their private island (hey, it could happen) will all receive our best care, knowledge and experience. However as a reward for spending all of that extra money - and let’s face it, that’s what we’re talking about - they’ll end up getting some extra special rewards.
It sounds devious, but it is what rewards are about. Credit cards do it. Travel websites do it. The grocery store even does it now. Spend more money, get more rewards. It’s not a bad thing. Just be considerate as to how you reward your own customers.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.