I’ve written before about using customer loyalty to your advantage. Often, we see “newbie” customers getting rewarded when they sign up for a service or purchase a product. This kinda irks me.
I realize that companies need to continually add new users/purchasers to their roster. It’s just part of the market economy and (if they are publicly traded), an important aspect to increasing “shareholder value”.
Sometimes in that pursuit to more and more profits, they forget about one of their biggest asset: the existing, loyal customer.
If you have been using a product/service for any length of time – use that to your advantage.
Here’s a few ways you can use your loyalty to score discounts that will help you save more money.
- Ask. My best advice for you is quite simple. Often when I’m on the phone with Comcast negotiating rates or AT&T (both of whom we’ve been customers of for many years), I will bring up the fact that we’ve been using their services for a long time. When the representative I’m speaking with asks the oft quoted closing line, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”answer with, “Yes, there is. Since we’ve been your loyal customer for X-many years, can you give us a credit to our account?” I rarely get a no with this request.
- Leave. If you can afford to do so OR it won’t affect your daily life too much – quit the product/service and then wait. You’ll likely be rewarded with an offer to return. This Hulu user from Reddit, got 2 months free after he went to cancel his service. And as I’m sure you are well aware, magazines are notorious for rewarding customers who don’t renew their subscriptions.
- Rave. If you genuinely enjoy the product/service and have good things to say about it, don’t neglect to tell the company. There are so many different avenues to do this today: social media, contact forms, letters, etc. I recall sending a tweet about one of my favorite restaurants and they soon responded with an offer for a free side dish. Also, try shooting an email to customer service telling them about how happy you are with the company. It just may be rewarded with a coupon/discount.
- Sign-up. Companies are spending lots of money to retain customers. One of these ways is through reward programs. Be sure you are signed up if they offer them. I save quite a bit of money by being in Qdoba‘s Reward Program. After you’ve accumulated 1000 pts (generally, 10 burritos), they give you a free meal.
- Tell your friends. I often overlook the fact that many companies offer affiliate programs and/or rewards for getting a friend or family member to sign-on or purchase their product. Right now, Comcast is giving up to $500 in Vias prepaid cards if you can get others to join. Others do the same.
I’d be interested to hear how you’ve used customer loyalty to save a few more bucks.