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Local Loyalty

Posted by Ian Hubbard on Dec 17, 2013 10:06:44 AM

Loyalty in the Lower East Side Photo: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao

The neighborhood I live in, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is known for having a diverse set of social destinations. It’s a reflection of the citizens ranging from life-long inhabitants and an eclectic group of dream-chasing new inhabitants: young professionals, artists, and musicians. With a myriad of choices within walking distance, how do you choose that perfect combination of atmosphere and affordability when looking for a place to spend the evening?

Do you want to dance without being able to hear the person next to you speak? Head just below Houston Street. How about a friendly competition with your friends in billiards, darts, or skee-ball while listening to the latest, greatest indie band? The 'hood has that covered in Alphabet City. How about the best happy hour deals in the city? I think you get the picture.

Me? I usually want to go to a low key place where I can sit down, have a good conversation with staff and fellow patrons, and know my presence will be appreciated right from the start. My ideal experience includes a greeting, and at the very least, an attempt at small talk. I don’t ask for much, but if the person behind the counter pulls it off, I’ll reward both the individual and the business with loyalty and recommendations.

I frequent a few bars and restaurants in the city whose employees not only pull this off, but go the extra mile by remembering my name, shaking my hand, and engaging me in conversation. In the end, I know that my loyalty, friendliness and business is appreciated by knocking a few bucks off of my bill every once in a while.

Unfortunately, it’s not happily ever after for us after this mutual gift-giving. In the back of my mind, I know the service industry has high turnover, and many of these employees think of their current employment as temporary. I’ll be thrilled for them when they take a huge step towards what will make them happy, whether it's catching a big break as a stand-up comedian or something incredibly exotic like living on a commune farm in Hawaii, as I consider them to be friends. That said, I can’t help but to think what’s going to happen to my relationships with these businesses when these employees leave. My relationships are not with the businesses; it’s with their employees.

Even if they’re replaced by similar employees, loyal relationships with frequent customers like me have to be re-built. This is where LoyalBlocks comes in. A digital punch card builds loyalty that outlasts the turnover of any single employee. I know that the next employee will be fully primed, understand exactly where I stand as a patron, and continue the relationship right where it left off.

Topics: Customer Loyalty Program

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