Saturday, April 19, 2008

Costco - Operational BI and Muffins


There is lots of talk about operational BI and how to make information actionable in order to focus on the customer. I saw it in action today at Costco. Shortly after scanning our card while checking out, a supervisor came up and took it from the check clerk. After we completed our transaction, we were informed we needed to go the service counter for an offer and special gift.

When we arrived at the service counter we were told that Costco recommended we upgrade to the Executive membership in order to save money. Based our purchase history and today's transaction we were told that by spending $50 to upgrade we would get 2% back on all purchases for the year, be able to get into Costco early every day, and we would be guaranteed a refund for the differences if our purchase rebates did not amount to more than the $50 in year. Most interestingly, the clerk indicated that based on our recent purchase history, we would have no issue coming out ahead on this deal.

As we completed the transaction a supervisor was escorting a mother and daughter up for the same offer. Her comment was, "sure I am interested, assuming you can do this fast." Bottom line is that the offer was good, it was based on actual information, and they were prepared to process it fast. Better information leads to a better experience. Sounds like operational BI in action. At to top it off, they gave us a box of muffins to say thanks. My daughter did not care about the BI stuff, but she loves muffins. Who does not love muffins?

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