Is Your Reward Program Rewarding?

“Do you have a rewards card?” The cashier asked.

I hesitated. I hadn’t quite figured out just what I was being rewarded for—or how.

“I don’t think I’m going to use it,” I said.

“You know, you get points each time you use it? You can use the points to get money off your purchase.”

I used the card and beep, the cost didn’t budge.

“You acquire points,” she said as she sensed my confusion. “You have 800 points to use towards your next purchase.”

Each time I shop there, cashiers tell me how many points I’ve earned towards my next hypothetical purchase. Finally, after talking to a customer service representative I learned how to translate my points into savings. Once I knew what I was looking for I found the information on the store’s website. Using the points for online shopping required going to another website, registering my card, setting up an account, requesting to use my points for a coupon, then copying and pasting the code from the site to my online “trolley”.

It was almost as if someone wanted me to continue to shop and acquire points but not to use them.

“Do you have a rewards card?” A cashier asked on my next visit.

“Yes, I’d like to use my points,” I said.

My total lowered.

Customers can only benefit from rewards programs they can actually use.

As a BusinesSuites client, the rewards don’t come from having a membership card or entering into a raffle, simply being a client makes you eligible for all the perks and rewards. Each of our locations prides itself on offering catered lunches, Client Appreciation Weeks and holiday celebrations! BusinesSuites Gateway has found a great little spot, Abby’s Gourmet, that they enjoyed for catered lunches and as a recommendation for guests and clients.

You don’t always have to rely on a rewards card for rewards.

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Doing Business in Nashville

The city of Nashville is well-know for many things: music, banking, healthcare, transportation and education to name a few. As BusinesSuites prepares to open a new location in the West End area, we are honored to be joining such reputable businesses that already call Nashville home.

Mayor Karl Dean works to acknowledge these exceptional businesses by hosting a competition called the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge. In this competition, Mr. Dean asks businesses throughout Nashville to, “step up and show how big an impact they can make on the livability of the city…. [T]o show that they can move Nashville toward a greener, healthier and more involved future.”

Businesses enter into three different categories: Involved, Green and Healthy. This year, the 2014 overall winner for the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge is Hands On Nashville – an organization that connects volunteers with critical issues around the city. You can see individual and runner-up awards on the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge website.

BusinesSuites is proud to be joining these outstanding companies and to offer our own positive impact as we open our 26th location, BusinesSuites West End, in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Connecting the Dots Between Your Degree and Your Career

Last week I attended a campus career talk. The presenters were alumni who were using their degrees in seemingly unrelated career areas. They were there to draw connections; to show students how to eventually use their degrees to acquire jobs in careers they may not have considered.

The talk was held in a large lecture theater capable of holding at least three times the amount of students who attended. The 17 students, 6 presenters, 2 coordinators and host made the audience look minimal.

There was a disconnect. They had chosen this theater based on the number of students who had RSVP’d for this event. Sometimes students who reserve seats don’t show up for a number of different reasons.

That is a problem between career services’ expectations and students’ expectations. On-campus career services has to compete with off-campus services, and has found it difficult. Without understanding each others’ expectations, there’s no way for the two groups to connect. There’s a disconnect.

Just as the alumni demonstrated how their seemingly disconnected career paths actually do relate to their degree; career services needs to demonstrate what they have to offer that is valuable and connects with students.

At BusinesSuites, many team member positions do not have defined prerequisites; there is no requirement for previous experience in the executive suite industry. A positive attitude, the ability to work as part of a small team and a willingness to face challenges are the only requirements. If you’d like to see how your background and qualifications might connect with available positions at BusinesSuites, check out our careers page and take the first steps.

BusinesSuites has seven locations in Maryland and four currently open positions in the region. Whether you’re closer to Annapolis, Gaithersburg or Towson, Maryland, BusinesSuites may have a position waiting for you!

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Laignappe – Bringing a Little Bit of Mark Twain to BusinesSuites

At BusinesSuites Uptown, we always try to do a little bit more than is required. Sometimes that comes in the form of helping a client carry heavy boxes to their car, or buying a snack for a client who was disappointed that the vending machine had run out of his favorite snack the previous day. We also remember our clients’ birthdays and greet them with a ‘Happy Birthday’ and a smile when they come into the office.

While we at BusinesSuites consider this part of our standard daily client experience, some may consider this as an example of Laignappe, the unique New Orleans term that Mark Twain called “a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get”.

Mark Twain writes about the word in a chapter on New Orleans in Life on the Mississippi (1883).

“We picked up one excellent word — a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word — “lagniappe.” They pronounce it lanny-yap. It is Spanish — so they said. It has a restricted meaning, but I think the people spread it out a little when they choose. It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a “baker’s dozen”, it is something thrown in, gratis, for good measure. “

While we may not use the term Laignappe at BusinesSuites Uptown we certainly know its meaning. We feel ”it is a word worth travelling to Houston to get”!  Mark Twain would be proud!

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Balancing Feedback Strategically

I can’t seem to open an email, finish a transaction or complete a phone call without being given the opportunity to complete a survey about it. As a consumer, I appreciate that my experience is valuable and that my feedback offers companies insight into increasing the possibilities we will do business again.

The other day I went into the library and a supplier had set up multiple furniture displays to fit a multitude of tastes, work groups and locations.  There were curved cubicles for privacy, large bar-like spaces with tall bar stools for socializing, and large desks for group work. There were also couches and chairs for those who preferred that. There seemed to be something for everyone.

Whichever style gets the most votes wins. That means there will be losers; a lot of losers. What happens to them?

It’s the library. Consumers will adjust to the atmosphere and will either spend more or less time there, but will still go. Institutions have a bit more leeway because their services are necessary. Not all companies enjoy that same benefit.

When your business asks for customer feedback, how do you use it? Some things are obvious: complaints about long wait times, poor customer service or faulty products require actions that are straightforward. But when personal preference is involved, the decision can be more difficult.

Depending on how you use feedback, someone is going to lose out. How does your company balance feedback strategically?

At BusinesSuites we value our customer feedback. We invite our clients to review us in order to pinpoint service, facility and product failures. The reviews are also posted on our website to help prospects – people who search for our services but don’t necessarily know our company or culture – learn about what we have to offer and what we stand for.

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