Thursday, April 16, 2020

Microstory 1344: Reward

Marketer: Thank you for driving all the way out here to see us. You are one of our best clients—
Customer: Whoa, when did I become your client?
Marketer: Well, we generally refer to our customers as clients, but I can use the former term, if you prefer.
Customer: I prefer.
Marketer: Okay, that’s fine. So as I was saying, you’re a valued customer, and we would really love to hear what excites you about our company. We wanna know what kinds of things you would be looking forward to in the future.
Customer: I was to understand I would be receiving a twenty-five dollar gift card that’s good at any of the shops at Hillside Mall?
Marketer: It’s actually a prepaid card, so you can use it anywhere that Charta is accepted, which excludes Hillside Mall, because it shut down three years ago.
Customer: Really? Well, nobody told me.
Marketer: I’m sorry to hear that. So, like I said, you are one of our best customers. We’re actually thinking about designing a rewards program based on customer engagement. How would you feel about that?
Customer: You said I would be getting the rewards card as long as I completed the survey.
Marketer: It’s a prepaid card, and you will. After. This is something different. I’m asking for your thoughts on a new program. It would be like this survey, but for everyone. We chose you specifically because you live in the area, and you’ve been so loyal to us. I’m talking about a nationwide system that allows our best customers to provide feedback on a regular basis, in exchange for some compensation.
Customer: I guess that would be okay. So you would be setting up new locations like this one?
Marketer: No, it would all be online.
Customer: If you can do it online, why did you have me drive out here?
Marketer: We do not yet have the new program implemented. We have the capabilities to make the online survey system but we’re waiting until we hear from people like you.
Customer: I don’t really like doing surveys online. I can’t ever tell if it’s going through. I need to speak to someone in person, so even if it’s secretly a waste of time, at least I’m not the only one who wasted his time.
Marketer: Okay, that’s good information. You like to talk to people face-to-face. What would you have to say about a video chat feature? We would still let our elite customers answer surveys online, but they would be speaking to a real person, right here in our headquarters.
Customer: I would hate that too. I mean, the government has access to webcam streams, so that would be a terrible idea. Every time I buy a new laptop, I jam a letter opener into the camera, so no one can spy on me. I also put medical tape over it, just in case it doesn’t break.
Marketer: Yes, I am aware that you buy one of our laptops about every six months. Is it important to you to have the latest technology?
Customer: I don’t care about technology. I have to buy a new one because it takes the government six months to hack into them, so I have to cycle them out that often.
Marketer: Uh, really? I’ve never heard that theory.
Customer: It’s not a theory, that’s just how it works. It doesn’t literally take that much time. But, ya know, they have to get approval, and go through all the bureaucracy. It’s this whole thing. I used to work for a satellite dish manufacturing company, so I know how all this works.
Marketer: I see. Well, I think that’s all the questions we have for you today. We appreciate you taking the time to visit with us.
Customer: That seems short considering how far I had to drive.
Marketer: You’ve given us a lot to think about already. Here is your gift card.
Customer: I thought it wasn’t a gift card.
Marketer: Right, my mistake. You can, uh, leave through the same door you came in. Thanks again.

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