Whether you are located inside a shopping mall, strip center, downtown or off the beaten path, there is one vitally important aspect of your business that should never be forgotten...your store front. As a business owner, you wear quite a few hats each and every day and one of them should be to create a regularly-scheduled walk through with the perspective of your highly-valued customers you work so hard to reach.
If you're like most brick and mortar businesses, the ability to attract your target customer involves a great deal of time and in many cases, financial support. As we travel throughout our region, we observe quite a few best practices executed extremely well, while we also see a number of instances where just a little more attention to detail could convert that passerby into another tick on the traffic counter. Here are a few questions to ask that should always be top of mind when it comes to making that first impression:
We're all guilty of walking right by those little projects that gradually worsen over time or just need a little attention, but from a potential or loyal customer's perspective, these are all variables that factor into whether they will give you their business. We vividly remember driving by a restaurant that opened pre-holiday, but their store front was set back from the sidewalk and their only sign was blocked by the landlord's holiday icicle lights that still adorned the building in late January. This is a simple fix, but it's one of those areas that needs to be reviewed regularly from the customer's point of view...in this case, those month-long holiday tourists scanning the restaurant landscape may have just passed right by.
Here in Santa Cruz County, 41st Avenue serves as a hurdle for many business owners who are eager to expand their customer base. While many locals on either side of town make quarterly or semi-annual journeys beyond this invisible barrier, there are strategic ways in which to increase the geographic radius of your target audience. For many businesses, it’s a matter of cracking the code of reaching tight knit communities, combating traffic patterns or possibly debunking the popular myths that accompany a popular tourism area. All of these can be a tough challenge to overcome. Chipping away at changing shoppers’ habits can be very fruitful for your business. Here are some suggestions to get you started!
Bottom Line: If you’re going to begin thinking about any of these tactics, be sure to go big, thinking small just won’t convince folks to get in their car.
It’s unfortunately become a reality, but many shoppers are now very accustomed to terrible customer service. Being placed on hold, waiting for employees to finish their text, and having to ask for help are just some of the frustrations that many consumers are faced with. Not only do these types of practices make your shoppers think of other alternatives, but it also places your reputation you’ve worked so hard to create in peril as customers are now accustomed to voicing their frustrations both offline and online.
We’ve learned over the years that the key to great word of mouth is placing a little positive “shock” into the customer experience.
Here are three ways to make your customers say “WOW!”
Random Acts of Kindness – Whether it’s a completely happy customer or one that is beginning to get a little hot under the collar, a “RAK” can do wonders to make their day. We’ve surprised our customers with gift cards, tickets, food and much more. It’s that huge smile that comes about when you surprise your customers that provides that little piece of winning something that gets them talking. So if your customers need to wait for 10 unexpected minutes or you want to promote an upcoming product launch or event, the “RAK” is guaranteed to get them talking, sharing and spreading the word that your business treats their customers like royalty.
Live Help – When someone is in need of immediate assistance, do you think being transferred, being placed on hold or forcing them to leave a message is the best way to treat them? If you’re a local business, the customer is potentially going to physically arrive at your doorstep and you’ll now hear from them in person as fellow shoppers listen in. Make sure that your team is well-versed in helping phone calls under pressure. The other day, I called a prominent accounting software company and after three rings, a live person answered and I started laughing as this just doesn’t happen anymore. That right there and the fact that they were informed and found answers to all my questions went a very long way.
Chat It Up! – We’re big fans of answering online inquiries ASAP. In fact, on Facebook, you’re rated as a business page with how long it takes you to respond to comments and messages you receive. Your first step should be to make sure your social media app settings are set to notify you with sounds, alerts and push notifications as soon as they occur…it can mean the difference between making an immediate sale and possibly losing that sale. You also need to keep in mind that as customers search online for solutions to their problems, they typically want quick answers. And many times, they have questions that a phone call or email would take too much effort to perform, so adding a chat function to your website is a very good best practice. Using a free service like purechat.com and their mobile app can give you the ability to answer questions while on the go.
[3 Minute Read]
If you’re like most business owners, you’ve been burned by marketing tactics like direct mail, Facebook ads, and producing your own events. Here are 20 tips in areas ranging from advertising to PR and social media to help make your life easier and your business more successful.
Customer Experience Audit
Go BIG: If you'd like to dive deeper into the opportunity to develop your own customized, marketing strategy, we have a variety of options to help you develop what you need to make it all happen. We're here to help you go BIG, click here to learn how!
Whether you’re a start up or a seasoned business, marketing is typically the first thing that’s cut when trying to trim the fat on spending. We highly recommend that you shy away from this practice, but if you need to slash your marketing budget, it is possible to promote your business for as low as one dollar per day. You may not believe it, but just like anything in life, you typically pay for convenience so you don’t have to work harder, which in this instance means that with just a little extra effort you can make a huge impression without spending very much at all.
Here’s how to do it in five steps:
If you'd like to dive deeper into the opportunity to develop your own customized, marketing strategy, we have a variety of options to help you develop what you need to make it all happen. We're here to help you go BIG, click here to learn how!
As founder of The Root Group, Bryce Root has a sincere passion for helping small business owners via his 20+ years of diverse marketing experience.
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