What have you done for me lately?

Its a selfish world… all our actions are dictated by this little balance sheet in our brains… we tick off the favors done for us and we act upon requests that are made for favor from us… In some cases its about past favors and some are about expected favors… And I am not for a moment saying that it is absolutely wrong… after all barter system is how the economy functioned in ancient times… but how many times have we gone ahead and done something for someone… without a thought for past or future favors?

While it is true for our behaviour in our relationships…. I expect that soon we would start noticing this trend in how we consume brands too…

Specially in service sector or where the price tag is kind of high…

It won’t be very long that we get tired of the accumulating reward points and free flights or upgrading to a gold or platinum status… Or for that matter a customary thank you call or e-mail for buying a car..

And when this whole program gets palmed off to an outside agency, it really shows how important the customer is for the brand. ICICI outsources its reward program to imint and I can tell you from my experience that imint sucks…

And of course there is a flip side of the reward program… Jet Airways would downgrade you if you have not been travelling enough in the given status range… Hmmm ‘what have you done for me lately?’ Not flown enough so off you go!

But imagine a scenario… out of the blue… airlines sends you two tickets… as a gentle reminder that t hey have been missing you! or to say thank you! it probably go further in building the loyalty than convoluted reward programs

Or instead of giving reward points on card usage… bank sends a mail that the last purchase you made, you don’t have to pay for it… bank is taking care of it… a gesture for being such a valued customer…

Or lets take an extreme situation… bank gets to know that the customer has been laid off and is struggling to keep up with the scheduled payments… Now instead of breathing down his neck or telling him HE GOTTA PAY OR ELSE… bank calls the customer and wants to know how can they help… when the things turn around for the customer… he is never going to forget that one simple act…. and will become the evangelist for that brand…

Sometime back I had seen a movie “Pay It Forward”… and I wondered what a wonderful world it would be if all of us did something where the favor is not to be returned to us… but paid forward…

So much for day dreaming! I need to get back to my balance sheet… I need to call in a few favors…


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