This week I did business with two new places I’d never been before. One was a restaurant; the other a veterinarian. Both of these new businesses seem to be doing most everything right from a start up marketing perspective – good locations; clear street signage (that’s how I found them); appropriate pricing; and the like.
However, both sorely disappointed me. Neither place of business greeted me when I walked in; in fact I stood there for a good two or three minutes in both cases without any eye contact or even a cursory ‘be right with you’ (not that either place was busy).
Worst of all was that neither said Thank You upon receiving payment. Neither! When will business owners understand that those two words are the most powerful Retention tool there is? Why is “You’re all set,” or worse, “Here you go” acceptable to say to someone who has just given you their hard-earned money?
The small business world is doing its part. Small Business Saturday is in its 6th year now carving out a space for small businesses to tell their stories and jump on to the marketing bandwagon that is making permanent and lasting change in consumers’ minds. Now, it’s the small businesses turn to show their appreciation for this national effort.
Studies show that:
-Service experience is a top factor when customers make a purchasing choice – not price
-1 of 3 consumers say they’d pay more for personalized service or help
-Service is the #1 way to avoid being show roomed during this most lucrative time of year
-Giant retailers don’t know the names of their customers walking in the door, but YOU do (or should) – say Hello to them using their name with meaning & intention
-Customers who have a negative experience tell 12 people, those people go on to tell a total of 72 more. That’s 84 folks who won’t give you their money – make EVERY customer interaction count
-Hire then train the very best Brand Ambassadors you can. Reinforcing good service habits on a regular basis keeps your employees happy; therefore your customers.
So, I will still continue to seek out and do business with locally-owned businesses and I do strongly believe in #ShopSmall #ShopLocal, I just wish the business owners and their employees did their part to show appreciation for us that show them love when everyone else is at the mall.
Remember, a Thank You is the best free marketing I know of.
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