6 Ways to Miss Treat Customers


It’s that time of year: when people in Elvis, Angry Birds, and other popular Halloween costumes show up.

In just about two weeks, Halloween ghosts and goblins start ringing doorbells. Let me ask a personal question: How do you treat at Halloween?

As you’re getting ready for Halloween and the last two months of 2011 think about what kind of customer experience you’re creating. Is it one that will spread on its own and have people lining up to meet you? OR . . . will they run away in search of something sweeter and more gratifying?

Do you give out peanut butter cups, sweet-tarts, fun-size candy bars?

One year I got the brilliant idea to pass out French fries and frosty coupons.

Totally confused by getting a piece of paper and not candy, kids reacted in all kinds of ways. The general tone: disappointment.

Even my own kids complained about it. “Kids don’t want coupons! They want CANDY!!!”

Yes, it’s true.

Rather than apologizing – or running out to fix things – I decided to explain the coupons to older kids and the parents of the younger kids.

Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn’t. A few kids gave their coupons to their friends and a couple dropped them on our sidewalk.

Kids don’t want coupons. They want: candy.

What went wrong here?

  1. the giveaway wasn’t desirable
  2. the offer needed an explanation
  3. transaction time was too brief
  4. attention was fixed on a goal
  5. reputation got damaged
  6. treats got transferred or discarded, not consumed

But . . .

On Halloween in our town, one or two houses are destination locations. Every year, every kid gets a full-sized candy bar. Lines form on the parkway. Kids give away the addresses and then compare notes at school.

Every. Single. Time. We. Drive. By. The. House. My. Kids. Talk. About. Full. Size. Candy. Bars. All. Year. Long.

Would you rather be the one handing out paper or king size candy bars?

Image: In between Elvis from the BlogWorld 2009 collection. Thanks to Andi for the video inspiration and all of her zombi-ness. 🙂 Content originally published as a member  newsletter article in October 2009 and updated for 2011.

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