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A Real Customer Bonus

Yesterday I attended one of the Spring Shred Days event hosted by Royal Credit Union, the financial institution with which I do business. During the hour and a half time frame of a Shred Day at a designated branch, each Royal Credit Union member and member of the general public has the opportunity to bring up to two file-size boxes of papers to shred. The papers are taken from the person and immediately placed in one of the trucks of a local shredding company to be professionally shredded.

Royal Credit Union does an excellent job promoting, preparing, and executing the event. Arriving forty-five minutes into yesterday’s event, I found a long line that kept increasing. Despite that, I moved through the process in ten minutes. The event was well-staffed, and those working were quick and knew precisely what to do. As the guy who helped me closed my car door I complimented, “You guys are doing an excellent job!”

“Thanks,” he replied. “We’re trying.”

As I drove away, I thought about how businesses are constantly searching for “extras” to give customers. In doing so, the business’s goals are to differentiate itself to the customer and strengthen its relationship with the customer by giving something customers do not receive at other businesses. Whether management knows it or not, many businesses offer expertise that their customers value. Some businesses give away items or food to achieve these goals. Most businesses end up giving a reduced price, thinking that means the most to their customers.

While customers want to save money, that’s not what strengthens a relationship with a business or differentiates a business in their minds. After all, price is something that any business can affect. However, not all businesses can give expert advice. Not all businesses take the time to be certain their customers are satisfied and had their problems solved. Not all businesses offer Shred Days.

Shred Days is a unique event because identity theft is a major concern these days. Shredding papers that contain identity information is a step in avoiding identity theft. For most people, taking the time to shred these papers or contact a professional shredding service is likely not going to happen. Just having to show up with your papers to be shredded is much easier. Royal Credit Union adds to that ease by offering Shred Days five different days at five different branch locations. In order not to interfere with normal business, the times are either before or after the day’s business hours.

The event strengthens Royal Credit Union’s relationship with its customers because its shows concern for customers’ identity through Shred Days. The organization makes it easy for customers to shred sensitive papers. Its staff handles the documents and hires the professional company to do the shredding. The business does something that no other business is offering, shredding, and it gives all of this for free.

That’s a real customer bonus.

This week’s marketing trivia challenge is What real customer bonus have you encountered?  

E-mail me your answer.

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