Getting to know the vendors (office supplies, computers, cameras, bookstore, etc.) who supply your business will pay unexpected dividends. I make the effort to connect with the owners and or managers at all the places I spend money. I’ve been able to finesse my people skills and it has paid dividends…..
I received an unexpected gift yesterday. Upon reflection the setup for this unexpected gift happened last month. I believe in rewards programs and I’m picky about which ones I participate in. (frankly some have so many rules and exceptions, they’re not worth the effort.) I find the Staples Rewards program efficient and easy to use. Staples pays $3.00 per recycled inkjet cartridge, up to ten at a time. They also have a number of cash back, instant rebate, coupons and other promotions that put money back in my pocket. I like that a lot.
I pay compliments to business people who provide good purchasing experiences. I treat my clients the way I want to be treated and when I get the opportunity to recognize an outstanding example, I do my part and participate by letting that person or business know how they’re doing. The Staples store in Pasadena is run by a very friendly manager and when I was in the store last December (turning in 10 cartridges), she happened to be working at one of the cash registers. As she was taking in my spent cartridges I mentioned what a great recycling program they were running and it was the key reason I was a Staples customer.
She was pleased and flattered. She then went on to mention their December promotion was a 2 for 1 and that I qualified to get a coupon worth $60.00 instead of $30.00. Great! The coupon arrives and it’s for $30.00. I sent an inquiry to Staples corporate and their answer states the promotion was for a competing brand of ink and that a purchase of $50.00 worth of that same ink had to occur to qualify for the 2 for 1. I was disappointed. I figured the next time I’m there, I’ll let her know there was a miscommunication. I wasn’t mad but in the interest of helping her I thought I’d tell her what happened.
I’m in the store yesterday and I tell her. We hug and exchange a few pleasantries (small talk to loosen things up first) and then I tell her. Her eyes widen a bit. She asks for my rewards card and proceeds to ring up an additional $30.00 coupon. I said that wasn’t necessary, that I wasn’t looking for anything from her. She said she remembered telling me about the promotion and that she would honor her word. I am very appreciative of her professionalism and commitment to service.
Like I said an unexpected gift.