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Gift voucher are a great way of getting new customers and renewing contacts with old ones. But not much thought is put into how to track how they are being used. Clients are prepaying for a product or service, and expect you to deliver even if they lose the voucher in the meantime. You want to track how the vouchers are being used, what are the common spend amounts, how long it takes for them to be used, when the best time to promote them, etc. To do all of this you need some form of tracking for them, and we will be looking at the different ways you can do it, and what I feel is the most effective one.
No tracking at all
It may very well be that you don’t make much use of gift vouchers in your business at all. Firstly, if people are asking for them, then you should be carrying them and I give you seven good reasons why [[link to lead article here]]. Secondly what happens if a customer for whatever reason loses the voucher but still wants to spend it? Wouldn’t it make you look like the best business in the world if you were able to find the details of the old voucher, cancel it and issue a new one, which you can’t do if you aren’t tracking the voucher.
If you want a low tech method of keeping track of things, keeping everything in a notebook will work. Draw a few lines down the page, and copy the information that you record the information there. You would also have to have the notebook where you keep the vouchers, and you may not have time copy the information over while the customer is waiting. What happens if you lose the notebook too?
This refers to the traditional form of vouchers where they are put into a checkbook with a tear off section you give to the client and stub which is retained in the book and is where the details are recorded. Now you don’t just have to have check style vouchers to do that, with some planning you can make greeting card format ones that work the same way. The only real downside is that again what happens if you lost the book with the vouchers for any reason.
Moving up from the notebook is spreadsheets. It’s main advantage is that you can make copies of the file and even setup some automation of the process using simple macro programming. You can also search the sheet for a voucher from customer details, and use it get analysis on what products/services the vouchers are being used for. What happens though if you can’t access the computer when the customer is there, making it not quite as practical. Having an onlive version like Google Sheets is a great way to manage the lost file risk.
Many modern till systems support printing of gift vouchers. How advanced they are depends on what the manufacturer decides to install as part of the package. They can look quite cheap as they are printed out using the receipt printer. You might also find that backtracking information in the till for printing out a replacement voucher or searching for one by customer details quite limited.
The solution: Check Stub With Spreadsheet
This represents the best solution to deal with every issue that can come up with gift voucher tracking. Using the check stub means that you can get all the details right there and then. It also becomes the backup copy of the details should something go wrong with your computer system. Then on a regular basis, you can then copy the information into the spreadsheet which is far easier to search for information and give you feedback on what the vouchers are being used for.