Word to the RetailWise X

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Make sure your efforts, to attract new business, don’t offend your loyal customers.

Sometimes, we go all out for new business. Sometimes, that means we offer new customers something special, right? And that’s really nice for those prospective customers. 

But what happens when your current…maybe even loyal…customers hear about it? 

Here’s an example…

I received a brochure in the mail recently. A company was offering their services at a whopping 50% off to all new customers. If I was already one of their customers, I wouldn’t be thrilled about being excluded. I’d be thinking “what about me?” 

To make matters worse…to really drive the negative message home to their loyal customers …these brilliant folks added a large, colorful, attention getting box on the front page of the brochure which said, in bold print …

“You are only allowed to participate in this offer if you have NEVER bought from us before. This offer is for NEW customers ONLY.” 

So, loyal customers are not allowed to participate? Loyal customers do not deserve to get something special? Hmmm. Something’s just not right about this.

Don’t you agree that there has to be a better way to do this? 

Some executives will say “Well, that’s the way it’s done. You have to offer incentives to attract new customers. And, anyway, we give our loyal customers incentives at other times, in other ways.” 

And all of that might be true…but what is the perception? What is the message being sent to the loyal customer?

Think about who is really paying for the incentive anyway. Your loyal customers are paying for it, that’s who. Loyal customers are your most profitable customers and the advertising expense and discounts are being paid for out of the profit generated by them…by the business that they give you.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t do special things to attract new business. Indeed, you should. But every time you, or your marketing department personnel, come up with one of these special incentives, take the time to think about the impact on your loyal customers and adjust accordingly.

Retail Business Academy

Address performance issues…now.

There really is no time like the present to handle staff performance issues

Many of us tend to put off dealing with problems…particularly when it is uncomfortable. But, if you have a staff member, or members, who are not performing up to the expected standard, then every moment you defer dealing with it you are losing sales. 

If you are not dealing with performance issues then you’re basically saying “I’m ok with a lack of performance. I’m ok with results that are less than what they could, and should, be.”

People who are dragging your business down should not be allowed to continue doing so. But who is really responsible for that? 

Perhaps you don’t like confrontation. Or, maybe you don’t have confidence in your ability to attract better people, so you don’t want to rock the boat with the ones you have. Or, maybe you are not measuring performance well enough to be certain who is and who is not performing.

Maybe you think that a particular situation is complicated or somewhat ‘muddy’. Those are all excuses for not taking appropriate action. 

We often hear Managers complain about their people. But, when a Manager is completely in control of hiring and firing,  it’s kind of silly to complain, isn’t it? 

If you aren’t willing to do anything about it…if you’re not willing to take action to correct the situation… then why complain? In that case, you should just be content with your results – however bad they may be.

Of course, we don’t recommend that. And we know that most of you have the best intentions when it comes to performance management. So, stay focused on what’s important… monitor, measure and take action based on the results.

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