Tag Archives: customer retention

Coupons Combined With Considerate Customer Services Adds Customers – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Wild Garden Accents!

A friend and I were driving past a garden center; it looked more like decorations and we weren’t in a rush, so we stopped. This place was packed with goodies to make a garden unique to you. Wild Garden Accents had many employees that greeted us and asked if we needed help. The customer service was spot on, but that’s not the main reason they are getting this Smart Marketing Move.

 

We made our way around the entire store, the display outside is where we found something we were considering. We came inside and were approached by yet another employee. She asked if we received the 20% off coupon. We hadn’t; so she gave us one to use only for that day. That sealed the deal. We got the item, which wasn’t a high ticket purchase, but we might not have bought it otherwise.

 

Lesson Learned: This was very smart of the employee, I’m sure she saw us taking our time looking around. Maybe we had a specific person in mind for a gift, or something for ourselves. Either way, we might not have made a purchase without that the extra nudge. This sale was already happening, so why not make sure that all of your customers receive a little perk?

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Personalized Attention Makes for Happy Consumers – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to PetSmart.

PetSmart is huge and overwhelming if you’re looking for one specific item, as I was this one day. I was looking for a urinary tract infection paste product for my cat. I have never bought it before so I must have been looking really confused in the maintenance section.

There were two employees on the next aisle over that could see me. The one that was stocking the shelves closest to me simply asked, “Do you need any help?” This was one of the few times that I actually did when someone asked me.

She came over and helped me find what I needed with my vague description and then she said, “Hang on a second, I think we have something over here too.” They were changing out brands they were using for all of the over-the-counter medication and she brought over the same exact thing for $3 instead of $9.

I was shocked. First off, this is a big chain and I don’t expect good customer service. Second, she went way above and beyond, saving me $6. It adds up! I wish I got her name, she deserves praise because I’m sure that I’m not the only person that she helps that much.

Lesson Learned: Going above and beyond is not just a personality trait, it can be taught. A little bit of kindness can go a long way and bring customers back to your store. Make sure you say hello to customers, treat everyone the same, and if someone is looking confused like I was they definitely need help…so help them. You’ll have a happy customer and they’ll tell others. Word of Mouth Marketing – use it to your advantage.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between

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Changing Your Image Can Revive Old Loyalties – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to V8 Juice.

V8 has always been one of my family’s products, and in the past they have created some memorable ads and here they’ve done it again.

Their recent commercial caused me to laugh out loud for a number of reasons:

1.   Jackie Chan, a well-known actor because of his martial arts skills, was used for this commercial and they incorporated it in the commercial in a funny and in your face way.

2.  It had very little dialogue, but used an action oriented approach to make a strong point.

3.  It had a clear and concise message that the juices and smoothies people were drinking did not compare to the health benefits of V8.

The commercial is short and utilizes a relatively familiar environment — someone eating breakfast or walking down the street to make the V8 pop and stand out, because of the brightness of the V8 bottles and with the use of martial arts movements.

This is a great way to grab the audience’s attention in a cluttered communications landscape as well as send two messages; a push for healthier living and a push for a better product.

Lesson Learned: When marketing a product one has to look at what’s being done by others and “think-outside-the-box” in order to not only stand out and be remembered. The promotion possibilities here are unlimited and hopefully they company took advantage of that scenario.

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Getting a Deal on New Shoes Brings You Back for More – Smart Marketing Move

This Smart Marketing Move goes to Famous Footwear.

In my search for new sneakers, I noticed that Famous Footwear was having an end of year sale.  I went in and found shoes that I needed for running. This was right after the holiday rush and before New Year’s, so they were entering a slower time of year for sales.

After I paid for everything, the sales associate handed me a something that said “Famous 5 Bucks” with my receipt. As he was handing it to me, he explained that I can get another pair of shoes but for $5 off after the New Year. I was pretty excited because I just got a fantastic deal on this pair of shoes, now I have a chance to save more at a later date.

What did they do here? They gave me a reason to come back in, with an expiration date. They are building trust and loyalty, plus it just made me happier. Honestly, I don’t think I ever bought from Famous Footwear before this purchase; so I had no idea about these “Famous Bucks”.

Here’s what part of the back says: “Customers receive $5 in Famous Bucks for every $50 spent.” Then there are directions on how to use them, but the back reveals that this is an ongoing campaign for them. I thought it was just because we were entering a shopping slump in the retail industry, but it wasn’t. They continue this throughout the year, bringing people back into the store and helping them save a few bucks.

Lesson Learned: Once you complete a transaction – online or brick and mortar store, what are you doing to keep the customers you already have? It costs 50% more to get new customers than to keep one. Learn from what others are doing like Famous Footwear, especially during the holiday season since everyone is hustling around in stores. Offer a discount on their next order, give them a referral card so that they can refer their friends and they both get a gift or discount. Just don’t forget an expiration date! Think creatively and you’ll gain something money can’t buy, loyalty.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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VIP Services Means Loyal Customers – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to: BANANA REPUBLIC.

              

Black Friday is known for its great deals, but also its long lines and mad rushes into stores. I figured I’d try to take advantage of the midnight opening for various stores at my closest mall on Black Friday. As expected, the stores were as packed as a regular business day, with the few exceptions that weren’t participating in the sales rush.

                The first store we went to, Banana Republic was surprisingly neat and still relatively calm. We walked in and right away, one of the employees came up to us and asked if we needed any help and if we wanted a dressing room.  We immediately took her up on the offer for the dressing room and it was a smart choice, because they quickly filled up.

                The employee came back a few times, to ask if we needed her help, but didn’t hassle us, and proceeded to get different sizes and colors of the different pieces we were trying on. We had tailored service even in a chaotic setting. It was nice to feel like more than just a consumer. I’m not sure if the people were getting time and a half or working on a commission, but the fact that the people working took the time to make sure that each person was helped made my willingness to continue to patronage their store a huge plus.

                Lesson Learned: Making your customers feel like VIPs is a crucial part of keeping them coming back for more. Plus, fantastic Black Friday deals don’t hurt the inflow of people. When you offer tailored service and accommodation to customers, people feel seen and like the attention. Good work Banana Republic on making Black Friday a memorable and successful event. 

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Gift Certificate Marketing, Don’t Forget the Follow Through – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Mango Moon.

There’s a new craze for half off gift certificates for local companies. As a marketer, I think it is great because these small companies, whether they are a restaurant, a gym, or a retail store, can gain some major exposure by partnering up with websites like Groupon.com, and HalfOffDepot.com.

So why am I awarding Mango Moon Restaurant this award if they used one of these websites to gain exposure? It was in their follow through. Gift certificates are a way to get people in the door, but you can not forget the follow through.

I had friends of mine go to their restaurant and use all of the gift certificate except $4. And they didn’t give them the balance for a return visit, not $4 in cash; it should have been $4 to use at their restaurant for another visit. It could have been in the form of a business card someone fills out, or even just printed on their receipt. Sure, $4 might seem like they shouldn’t honor it, and plus they already ate for ½ price with the purchase of this gift certificate. But the kicker, Mango Moon could have had return customers with that $4, and they would have spent much more than that! As soon as my friends told me this last night, that’s when I realized I needed to tell everyone out there with a business. (Note: Have you had this experience? Tell us about it below!!)

They blew their chance! Since I wasn’t there, I don’t know if it was just a server that made this decision, but it should have been communicated to everyone on the staff to honor anything leftover on these certificates. The first step with Groupon, or Half Off Depot, is to gain a customer. They accomplished this. The second step, get them to come back! Isn’t that what you want with all of your customers? So, now did their ½ off gift certificate work to gain them business? I have to say NO, because they didn’t follow through on something small and seemingly insignificant.

Lesson Learned: The small stuff counts! Even though your customers are getting an amazing deal the first time around, and might be cutting into your costs, you have to think about the future. How much will your customers be worth the next time they visit, and the next time and the next time? Your customers, and potentially loyal customers, are sitting at a table in your restaurant. They are already there, waiting to be reeled in! Don’t let them get away.

And remember, as an owner you need to communicate to your staff what you are doing marketing wise, so that they will be able to follow through for you. Make them feel part of the team, and part of the life of the business.

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How to Lose a Customer – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Award goes to GoToWebinar

Just when I think I have to find another example of a dumb marketing move, there it is happening to me. This week we are searching for a webinar software for a new webinar series, “Smart Marketing for Small Business”™. In our search, we decided to go with GoToWebinar (GoToMeeting’s sister company).

I call and give my information to the person who answered, that’s a good move, a person answering the phone. Then she told me that she is going to transfer me to a sales person who can answer my questions about features. She transfers me and I get voicemail. Odd, but I thought, maybe this isn’t too bad. They called me back within 30 minutes.

I have a good talk with the rep, he answers all of my questions and he says that he’ll email his contact info and the set up instructions. Perfect! An hour later, there’s no email so I call back and the phone just rings and rings. Eventually, I get a recording to leave a message, so I did.

I waited another hour and half and still no email or no call back from our first call. So I called back and someone answered! I explained the situation, told them the reps name so he would get the sale, and I was put on hold for 15 minutes. The receptionist didn’t tell me why I was on hold for so long, or that the rep was on the other line with a customer. Nothing. So I just hung up.

So, we call back again since we were still waiting on the sign up email or a phone call back, and this time we left a very disappointed voicemail regarding their service, since no one answered again. We explained that their lack of attention to our phone calls and our interest in PURCHASING made us question their product.
All of this happened over two days ago, we never received a phone call or the promised email, so we don’t think this is just human error. We think it is lack of organization and management. This all boils down to that they lost a sale.

So now, we’re searching for another company.

Lesson Learned: Even though you have good rapport with a customer and they said they want to buy your product, follow through and attention to details is a very important quality. Just look at GoToWebinar. They lost a customer and now we’re telling others about it. “Take care of your customers or your competition will.” – Anonymous

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