I showed up at the gym yesterday morning and realized, in the locker room, that I didn't bring gym shorts.
Working out in the morning really makes my whole day, because, for as much as I don't like to get up early, I like the way it makes me feel.
So I decided I'd bite the bullet and buy a pair of New York Sports Club shorts. I figured I'd get ripped off, but I really wanted to work out and I'd probably need another pair of shorts eventually.
When I went up to the counter and asked how much the cheapest shorts were, the women at the desk made a face.
Even they knew it was a ripoff, but I was stuck. Then, one of the women told her colleague that I could use her employee discount code, because I was so nice to them. It rang up $16.50... not so bad.
There are two lessons here.
One of them is just to be nice to all the people who work behind counters.
The other is that, sometimes, gauging your customers when they're most desperate isn't a good strategy.
Had I actually been charged the $22.50, I would have felt totally ripped off. Not only that, but I've been a NYSC member for almost 5 years now, and I've never gotten a free anything. Not even a damn t-shirt.
Those NYSC shorts are an advertisement for them... they should be paying me to run around in them. (Or at least subsidizing them...)
Creating this kind of anamosity in your customer base--a customer base that pays you about $80 a month--just doesn't seem like good business.
Instead, by giving me her employee discount, that woman at the front desk totally made my day and made me feel good about NYSC. Wasn't that worth the $6 for the company?
In fact, if they really wanted to create a more customer centric strategy with their swag, they should have t-shirt giveaway days with the location of your NYSC club printed on the back. New York City is full of attractive people... we're in pretty good shape, because we're out there walking, biking, hurrying around. Put some free t-shirts on these people and let everyone know where to find them.
I'd be happy to wear a NYSC t-shirt that said 23rd and Park on the back... not that I'd drum up any new business, but I'm pretty sure there are a couple of people who work out at that club that could.