What Does My Oily Skin Have to do with my new Lawn Mower?

The following post was originally published in September 2009.

Have you ever completed one of those Warranty Registration cards?  You get these cards when you buy a television or a clock radio or a basic kitchen appliance.  Recently, I purchased a lawn and garden tool that had the longest Warranty Registration form I’d ever seen.  Considering we do extensive work in the warranty field, it was shocking to me that these Registration Cards still exist, let alone that retailers ignore the irritation factor it puts on their customers.

Why would a Warranty Registration want to know whether I had been to a doctor in the past 3 months and, if so, why? Why am I being asked if my skin is dry or oily when I am buying a lawn mower?  The answer, as we all know, is that the companies behind these Cards are ‘list farms’, harvesting the fertile soil of the concerned new product buyer for all it can produce, only to pass that information on to a broad range of third party clients who target the customer based, in part, on this information.   The product manufacturers (presumably) are paid by the database marketing companies to help them collect this data.   But I am somehow left with a bitter taste in my mouth toward both the manufacturer of the lawn mower and, frankly, the retailer who sold it to me. 

The Bottom Line

Retailers have the power to demand a better customer experience from their product suppliers.   By putting a high value on a relationship with their customer that extends beyond the cash lane, through the opening of the box, and through the life of the product, retailers can open up more potential for repeat business and enhanced customer value.  To capitalize on strategies for growth beyond the single transaction, please contact us.