You could launch a system tomorrow for the price of a stack of index cards and file box.

A coffee shop we used to frequent in Jacksonville, Florida would store customer “buy-5-get-one-free” punch cards in a 3″ x 5″ index card file box. They would also make notes about customers on their 3″ x 5″ cards. With so much technology available, this manual system sounds archaic. But, it achieved its purpose! It was super inexpensive, never crashed, quick, and allowed any employee to access information in moments. Organized by first name, they also learned our names much faster, making it a more personal experience.

At Talbots in Alexandria, Virginia, one of the store’s keys to success is a low-tech system of connecting with important clients. The Manager (and each person on her team) has a key client list they call on a regular basis to update them on things they know will be meaningful to the customer, not what’s important to Talbots’ latest sale.

They also have a Birthday Binder. Another personal phone call is made to each client in advance of their birthday to say Happy Birthday and to invite them in for shopping, and to take advantage of their birthday discount.

Did you hear that? Phone calls! Not emails. Good old-fashion one on one connecting.

Let’s check out Swipely.