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6 The Tesco Clubcard programme has captured the imagination of the British public. Tesco also rewards green consumer behaviour such as bringing your own shopping bags, recycling mobiles and printer cartridges with green Clubcard points. One British couple recycled enough old cans, plastic carrier bags, mobile phones and ink- jet printer cartridges to save hundreds of points to pay for their honeymoon. Inevitably, there are some Tesco customers who get a little carried away... There was The Great Roast Beef Stampede when one Tesco customer bought 10,148 Birds Eye Beef Dinner frozen meals. Or the Banana Man of Worcester, scientist, Phil Calcott, who spotted an opportunity to buy half a tonne of Tesco bananas in return for extra Clubcard points. He told The Times: " I've always fancied standing on the street and seeing people's reactions when you give them something for free. Children in the street now shout Banana Man when they see me... I am waiting for Tesco to do a special offer on pineapples because I am rather partial to them." A contract of loyalty Customers today enter into a contract with businesses. Most don't mind exchanging necessary information providing they get something in return. If it means you're using the data to listen and then continually improve and refine your service, personalising it for them, then that's fine. Clive believes there is nothing more frustrating for customers than companies who collect data but do nothing with it. " With data comes social responsibility. The worst thing a business can do is collect data and not use it." We've all been there. You call your bank's call centre. Following instructions from a robotic, automated service you carefully type in your account number and sort code, you listen to a myriad of options before pressing a number to connect you to a human being. By this point you may have been on the phone for ages. And what's the first thing the customer service representative asks when you're finally connected? For your account number, your sort code - and you're forced to list your details all over again. Clive continues: " I think we resent it when the computer systems aren't joined up. We forgive anyone for not knowing us, but if any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like With data comes social responsibility

7 someone makes the effort to know us by collecting our data, and it remains irrelevant, we resent it more. I don't mind a business not knowing me when I'm totally anonymous to them, but if they have a loyalty card I expect them to know the things I buy. If I hadn't told them, there would be no contract between us." Our biggest achievement is convincing some really big companies that putting the customer at the heart of their thinking is the best way to proceed. It's a major achievement; most companies secretly believe pesky customers get in the way of their number one priority - making money. Yet our experience shows that focusing on a greater understanding of customers is a valid and profitable strategy. It's a better way of marketing, spelling the end of junk mail and all other poor ' marketing' practices designed purely for the benefit of business rather than customers. As the rest of this book will show, place customers first and the rest will follow. secret weapon