Column: Fat wallets and a benefit of customer loyalty

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Paring down the contents of one’s wallet can yield unexpected rewards.

I expect the same goes for purses, cardholders or whatever it is you use to carry around your ID and similarly sized pieces of important plastic and paper.

Once in a while, when my wallet becomes so wide that while walking with it in my back pocket I begin to veer left, I’ll take a minute or two to remove its contents and see what I no longer need. In that process, sometimes I’ll be surprised to find, say, a folded $5 bill. Or that I’ve earned a free coffee or what have you with one of the several customer rewards cards I’ve collected from local businesses (you know the kind – buy 10, get one free).

And back into the wallet those cards go. Even if they may, at times, be a literal pain (or at least mild irritation) on the behind, I rather appreciate those little rewards of being a repeat customer, be it for buying pet food or the occasional fancy coffee.

Read more: Letter: Good reason to shop local

Read more: Best in business: North-Okanagan Shuswap companies named top 10 semi-finalists

And no, you don’t have to be a latte sipping urbanite to enjoy the rewards a complementary beverage. Even Tim Hortons has gotten onboard with rewarding customer loyalty. A recent news story suggests the popularity of the Tims Rewards program has exceeded the company’s expectations. In fact, a private organization, the Alliance of Canadian Franchisees, is suggesting the program, in which you buy seven items (worth .50 cents or more) and get one free, may be detrimental to Timmies franchises without the benefit of boosting sales.

While businesses don’t want to put themselves in the red, it’s well known in the food-service industry that new customers are important but repeat customers are invaluable. And a little reward for those repeat visits can be a pretty sweet incentive. Even more so when you unexpectedly find it buried in your wallet, and suddenly a trip to the local coffee shop is in the cards.

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