A few weeks ago, I needed two items that a quick search on the Internet showed me should be available at Best Buy. I'm rabid about buying from store fronts since most of our business comes from local sources, and, though Best Buy isn't local, they do have a store I can walk into, see and touch the merchandise, and have someone to answer questions. But, I spoke too quickly. Yes, I could walk in, but I never found what I was looking for, nor was there anyone available to assist me. So, I walked out, money still in my wallet. I returned home and ordered the two items off the Internet. Amazon got my money.
What hit me as I drove away is that businesses today must be VERY good at turning foot traffic into sales. If they don't capture the potential consumer, the consumer will go elsewhere.
It is too easy today to sit in your bed in your PJ's and order whatever you wish. It will show up at your door in a day or so. Local businesses must engender loyalty and over-the-top customer service to remain competitive. Sadly, it is rare to find that type of service.
Which brings me to the good news. I was sweating away at my Jazzercise class when the instructor shared a story with us about her experience at Einstein Bagels. She was taking her daughter back-to-school shopping and had gone through the drive through to get a bagel with cream cheese and a water. Total $2.08. As she got her wallet to pay, no wallet! She was mortified (three cars behind her in line), apologized profusely and told the window clerk she had forgotten her wallet and would need to go home and get it. Before she drove away, the clerk gave her the bagel. "It's on us."
My instructor did go home, did get her wallet and did return to Einstein Bagels to pay. They refused her money!
The moral to this story is this: This story was told in front of 40 women, many of whom will now view Einstein Bagels in a positive light. They will probably make a point of going there because female consumers want to support "white hat" businesses. They will go out of their way to do so.
You can't buy the type of advertising and good will that the gift of a $2.08 order engendered.
Please remind your clients that going the extra mile with consumers will pay off. Not doing so can be lethal. And, we should remember this when dealing with our clients..We need to find ways to please our clients to the extent that they will refer us to other business owners they know.
There are many ways to advertise today. We must become the "source" of marketing knowledge for our clients and the purveyors of exceptional service.