Tracking customers by requiring a name, address, and phone number for every coupon given out.
You spend an hour talking about the benefits of your product line, and then the customer walks out before you have a chance to get his or her name and phone number. Barry Fribush, founder of Bubbling Bath Spa & Tub Works, in Rockville, Md., says with his system, that'll never happen again.
"While we are making our sales pitch," explains Fribush, "we hand the customer a coupon that entitles him to $125 worth of merchandise if he buys from us. We tell him that because this is a special offer, we need to track every coupon, so we need his name, address, and phone number."
If the customer balks, "We say that's perfectly OK, but we need the coupon back." Fribush says in the seven years he has been giving out coupons -- which are redeemable for a chemical kit, pillows, and extra filter cartridges -- "maybe a handful have given it back. Once we have their names, we follow up forever."