One of my favorite clothing stores in South Africa currently is Stuttafords, especially the one in Cavendish. As a regular customer I have been using them for about 2 years for a variety of my clothing desires, and they have yet to offer me any incentives or loyalty programmes that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. This all changed today however – they now have a loyalty programme and an app!!
I found this out in two different ways whilst titillating my clothing desires.
- I got the quickest pitch ever known to man – pitch vomit much?
- I got asked if I wanted the app at the counter (I dare say the promise of 5% off was intriguing)
The pitch vomit was an interesting one. I get it the staff went on a training session or two and got told how amazing the loyalty programme and app is, but man oh man get to know me first before vomiting out why I should go onto your programme.
As much as I like Stuttafords, get to know me first, treat me like that beautiful girl at the bar; say hello first, find out how I’m doing and maybe see if I need any style guidance (don’t judge me I like it when I get tips) first before we take the plunge together and exchange details. It’s a relationship, so lets not rush things otherwise the children suffer down the line.
So okay I am now aware that there is a new loyalty programme whilst I try on the new clothes (under the beady eye of the security lady who I swear thinks I’m going to rob the place) I think will look great on New Years Eve (new year, new clothes, new me bullshit right?).
I get to the counter to purchase my overly priced items that have been marked down by a few Rands each (Sales are crazy right!), and my favourite lady assistant tells me about their new app which entitles me to a further 5% discount! Now I’m excited again!
Our exchange went pretty much like this:
“An app with a further discount you say?” I ask.
“Absolutely!” says the lovely lady assistant (she just gets me), “You can get an extra 5% off and if you spend more than R12 000 per year you get a further discount of 10%,” she says. “All you have to do is download the app and sign up.”
“Great stuff, I’m keen. Lets do this.” I said. “Do you have any wifi so that I can download it?”
Enter the cool manager, stage left; **He’s the reason why I still shop there; story below.
“No, sorry Sir”, says the Manager, “The wifi is only for our computers.”
The he adds the worst part:
“And by the way the app can take up to 24hrs to register you on the system before you are eligible for the discount…”
Awkward silence whilst I let this sink in. So I think to myself, (I lie I said it out loud) hang on here for a minute, you want me to download the app your top management thought was a great idea, and I agree I’ve been wanting this for some time, but in order for me to receive the benefits of being a loyal customer I must first:
- Download the app using my data (haha nope)
- Register for the discount, but it can take up to 24hrs before I get any reward (so sorry for your current purchase right)
So now I’m pretty sad. I want the app even after the pitch vomit and because I love shopping there, yet I must use my data (aka my money) in order to download it so that you can send me offers.
I understand the value exchange going on here: you give me a discount and I give you my details so that you can communicate directly with me. Sure it saves you money on advertising and I get info on specials etc but what is apparently misunderstood is that EVERYTHING should be in my favour, not yours. You want my money and details – I can shop anywhere so I win.
So here are my four friendly tips to help you speed your app downloads along and make me happy again:
- Get free customer wifi in store (it’s 2016 now that shit is available)
- Make registration immediate (Tell me this can’t become a reality – I got a new iPhone in 3hrs on contract)
- Allow your staff to use the app too – as much as I love to be told what it is about, I would love the staff to actually know what the benefits are having experienced it first hand. Training and regurgitating info does not come across as authentic. How valuable is it really when they don’t ‘get it’ from experience.
- Train your staff that instead of pitching to me in vomit form, let’s get to know each other first. I’m a prude and I like to get to know someone before I take things further.
So in conclusion we need to look at the facts here. Although the app is a good start to getting closer to their regular customers, the execution of said idea is somewhat lacking. Having an app means nothing if people are not going to download it – and I am sure many have already done so, so well done and pat yourselves on the back – however by vomiting their pitch at me, not making it absolutely the easiest thing to download by offering free Wifi and in taking up to 24 hours to register me, Stuttafords in Cavendish has failed in its execution – at least only on me for now.
Anyway I still like them because of the service I received a while ago where the aforementioned cool manager got my newly purchased jacket cleaned for me at no extra charge. I won’t of course say that it took a bit of persuasion on my part (this is South Africa after all and getting great service is not a requirement over here) but he relented and hooked me up with a clean jacket after a few days. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have returned if he didn’t do me that service, but I am suggesting it strongly.
Thus big ups to Stuttafords in Cavendish for sometimes nailing their service, I look forward to continue using them in the future so long as they get their security staff to understand that smiling and being helpful at the change rooms instead of looking at me like I’m going to rob the place is a great way to get me to come back 🙂
PS: I downloaded the app anyway because I wanted to see what it was like but unfortunately the registration page kinda sucks on an iPhone 6s (UI anyone?). After trying to register I got an error and when I tried again it said I am registered… but when I try resetting my password it says I am not registered. Ahhhh — I think this relationship was not meant to be.
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