Members not welcome


I don’t have a Starbucks loyalty card, but I noticed an interesting sign directed towards Starbucks cardholders. The sign was located in one of Starbucks’ airport locations, and basically said that they couldn’t accept the Starbucks card or provide any related benefits at that particular store. I’m pretty sure that all the Starbucks in airports and hotels are franchised, so it sort of makes sense that they don’t use the same loyalty system.

Even though the technological disconnect makes providing the regular loyalty benefits impossible, I would like to see Starbucks make some effort to compensate the loyal customers who get a reduced experience at the franchised sites. For instance, they could offer a free upgrade to a larger size or a flat-rate discount to anyone who presents the loyalty card. Even without access to the loyalty backend, surely these stores could assign a standard coupon code of some sort and use that for the loyalty discount.

Regardless of the approach you choose, it’s important to recognize and reward those customers who think enough of your brand to carry a loyalty card with them. While the benefits might vary from store to store, giving these customers some type of discount or bonus is a lot better than saying their relationship with you doesn’t count if they happen to choose the wrong location.