Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Every Little Helps

Laugh? Cry? Or, run all the way home, dive under the duvet and give up the will to live?

Ministers want to know how to emulate the high level of customer satisfaction enjoyed by companies such as Tesco.

It's a toss-up which I hate the most. Tesco or the government? It's a close call. I'm wondering how customer satisfaction is measured here. Speaking from personal experience people return to the supermarket as they have little other choice.

Saturday, I wondered on which planet Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his mate Tom were living cooking “a whole dinner party menu” from ingredients bought “from the corner shop.” I didn't even get past the starter. Kippers? Cider vinegar? Lemon? These cannot be bought from my local shop. I fear these would be considered posh.

Tesco's ClubCard succeeds by openness, telling customers precisely what will be done – and not done – with information.

Err, Tesco ClubCard succeeds because people think they're getting something for nothing - which is an absolute nonsense - and because they do not question what is done with the information.

I suddenly had visions of a loyalty card for the NHS. Each hour you wait in A&E earns you 10 points. If you come out without catching MRSA / salmonella bonus points. 100 perhaps?

The icing on the cake was my post at home. I opened the rent account statement this evening to find a leaflet informing me of Barking and Dagenham's new Tenant Reward Card.

To thank those of you who pay your rent on time and in full, we are launching a new discount card which you will be able to use in a wide range of shops and websites.

It's our way of thanking you all.

I want one just to see where you can use it. There isn't much in the way of shops in Barking. I'm intrigued but alas I seem to have owed 38p since October. That's me in the excluded group.


Anonymous said...

We have membership cards for everything over here. I emptied my wallet recently and discovered that I have three deli cards -- buy 9 sandwiches, get one free; a pantyhose card from a dept. store (buy 9 stockings, get one pair free); a smoothie card (fourteen smoothies = a free smoothie); coffee club card (buy 5, get one free); vitamin club card for the Whole Foods market (same set up) -- there are also the membership cards for discounts at almost every retailer in my city.

That's a lot of crap shoved in my wallet!

Anonymous said...

Remember the days when there were no club cards and all that was in your wallet was your driver's licence, credit card, and insurance informatin (oh, and a couple of dollars if you were so lucky)? Now, mine is bursting at the seems, threatening to explode it's contents all over the sidewalk and it's not because it's full of cash.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, we're swiftly heading the way of the USA. I visited America for the first time last year and loved it, had the time of my life. The only thing that I perhaps, did not like were the giant bill posters. Fortunately Americans have a more sober outlook on life than us Brits (including meself) - There I go again with my generalisations. Let's see how we cope with mass capitalisation, the new paradigm of global thinking in the UK. I don't have any cards apart from my bank card and seem to live a normal life bar getting some funny looks when I try paying in cash.

Anonymous said...

I hate these cards with a passion. Please do not send me cards, invite me to partake in cards or ask me to use these cards. Just lower your price or give me a little discount. That would make me happy.

Anonymous said...

I asked my local greengrocer if she had kiwis. "No." Aubergines? "No." Asparagus (though by now I knew I was sounding like a ridiculous ponce to her)? "No."

What they do have is apples, potatoes and bird seeds (literally bird seeds, not in the "Gerard Depardieu in Green Card" way). Sometimes broccoli make an appearance. I would dearly love to shop locally, but with a selection like that I would get scurvy within a week.

pat said...

ooh someone has had their cynicism pills....

tescos is better than sainsburys - if only because they have stock on the shelf.

as long as my corner shop does chocolate and fizzy pop i am fine.