Today’s Question: How are you rewarding customer loyalty?

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Chipotle is yummyChipotle is my Friday ritual. Ask anyone who follows me on Facebook and Twitter and they’ll be able to tell you about the Friday check-ins. I’m not sure what it is about the place. Sure it’s delicious, its health values are questionable, wait times are fairly quick, the burritos are heavy, and their hot sauce brings tears to my eyes. Every week I make the 10 minute trip with a friend of mine from the office and always leave saying the same thing – “That was delicious.”

On a recent visit, my friend and I were at the front of the line getting ready to pay. I had done some computer work recently for him and he was picking up the lunch tab. As the final bill was tallied, the manager slipped over to the cashier and said something to her in Spanish. He looked up at us and said: “You guys come in here all the time, this one’s on us.” We were floored. Free lunch? Seriously? Who does that? Then I realized something else was at play here… this was clearly something Chipotle “encouraged”. Coming from someone who loves going, I felt compelled to blog about it, to tweet it and Facebook status it. For me, this was a grand slam. They paid attention, they recognized, and they acted on it. Sweet.

Can your employees make the call?

Corporate Chipotle can’t determine that I should be given a free lunch. They don’t know me, they don’t see that I am there every week. Bravo to Chipotle for allowing their employees to pay attention and most importantly to do something about it.

Customer Service #FAILWalk into a random leasing office and you’ll see move in specials posted on a board. Overhear an agent chatting with a prospect and you’ll hear details about their rent discount. Sure we reward residents for recruiting other residents but how often are we buying them lunch?

Here’s something else that Chipotle does right and that you should. They are consistent. I expect and get the same level of service every time. Without that, rewarding customer loyalty won’t help you one bit. If your product sucks you really have to fix it.

So the question today is…What are you doing to reward customer loyalty? Are you just giving rewards to new customers or do you reward those that keep coming back? I’d love to hear about it… let’s chat.

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