Ting-Ting is a member of our first official summer intern class. She will be a sophomore at Harvard next fall where she is studying biomedical engineering. We asked her to write about her experience working at FiveStars so far:
In one short month, FiveStars has changed my way of life. Since starting work, I’ve made over 15 trips to FiveStars locations, signed up three friends, and updated my Facebook work status and cover photo (That’s when you know it’s actually official). And keep in mind, that’s not even part of my job requirement, nor am I doing it for intern Kudos. I just feel the uncontrollable urge to share my FiveStars excitement with others, because I honestly believe we’ve got something special going on.
When I first came here, I wanted to prove to myself that loyalty really is the next hot topic – I didn’t want to blindly believe the FiveStars bosses without making my own observations. So I started paying a lot more attention to loyalty in general, and keeping an eye out for proof that we could succeed.
And sure enough, as soon as I started looking for signs, I realized exactly how large of a market we can capture, and the huge potential FiveStars has. Here’s why:
Everybody seems to be pursuing loyalty these days. Groupon Rewards just launched, and Living Social’s trying to go for loyalty, too. We have the Starbucks Gold Club, the Safeway card, Square’s program, all kinds of individual punchcards, etc, etc, rewards, rewards, points, points, points EVERYwhere! The other day, I was out shopping with my grandma of all things, when I noticed Bloomingdale’s had signs all over the place reminding me that “Points are your best friend.” And from all the sales calls last month, I’ve realized almost all stores are interested in or already have their own rewards program.
So this confirms the fact that everyone wants loyalty.
Now the question remains, is FiveStars pursuing the best way to capture this loyalty? That’s the part that takes more thought. Once I started paying attention, I realized how annoying it is to have multiple rewards programs. Nobody wants to join another program, and take on another account, so whoever can capture the niche of universal loyalty will definitely take off.
Are we the ones to do it? Yes! Everyone I’ve talked to likes how convenient the FiveStars card is, with the simple key chain card linked to a phone number. No need to fuss with a phone app or frantically search your wallet. And because FiveStars already works at so many locations, it creates a frenzy to go around to different places and gather points…at least that’s how I feel. And from a storeowner’s point of view, the POS integration and all that data will really set us apart.
We’ll see how it goes! And no worries, we’ll keep you posted.