Teaching Your Customers to be Disloyal?

Imagine having this conversation with a customer:

You: Thank you so much for dropping in, Jen! Enjoy your latte!

Jen: See you soon!

You: Wait! Why don’t you check out the place down the street sometime? They pull some incredible shots. Let me know what you think!

While it might be considered unconscionable to send a customer to a competitor, this conversation and others like it are taking place in a few independent cafes in the United States and abroad. Disloyalty cards are being distributed in cities like London, Seattle and Atlanta with more coffee communities embracing the idea every month.

The concept is attributed to former World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies and the idea behind it is relatively simple: If you purchase a drink at 8 – 10 quality-focused, independent cafes in a specific area, you receive a free drink of your choice at any of the participating businesses. The card itself has the name of the cafes that have partnered with each other listed on the back, along with a space to stamp confirmation of a visit.

If you’re in a community struggling to fight against bigger competition, trying something like this could help pull back some lost customers. Do you think this would work in your area?

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.