Your Job Isn’t to Keep the Store. Your Job is to Keep Customers.

Yesterday I was in Muskogee, Oklahoma for a football game that my daughter was cheering for. She had to be at the game an hour early. So, I dropped her off and drove to downtown Muskogee just to see if I could find something interesting to photograph while I waited for the game to start. It didn’t take me long to discover that something “interesting.” I found this S&H Green Stamps sign hanging over what used to be a grocery store.

I immediately thought of my mother when I saw the S & H Green Stamps sign. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom specifically chose to shop at retailers that offered Green Stamps, and she loved redeeming the stamps for gifts. S&H (Sperry & Hutchinson) introduced the world to customer loyalty programs back in the 1930s with Green Stamps.

Next, I thought about the purpose of S & H Green Stamps. The purpose was customer loyalty. There actually was a time when retailers truly understood the importance of customer loyalty. Consider this 1962 S & H Green Stamps commercial where the grocery store owner explains that his job “Is not to keep the store; his job is to keep customers.”

We need to get back to a true focus on customer loyalty. Customer loyalty can’t be a push of the month, a buzz phrase, or just fluff. The essence of business actually needs to be about keeping customers. S & H Green Stamps was created to help retailers keep customers. The program worked because business owners understood the importance and critical need of keeping customers. Does your business truly “get” customer loyalty? Seriously, does your business get it?

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