Your Customers Are Not Idiots

Today’s post is a continuation on making your customers feel special.  Another way  of making their experience better is by letting them decide how much and how often they want to deal with you and to decide how to reward you for that experience.

I was vacationing at South Beach, Miami with my family over the Christmas weekend. The weather was good, the people were friendly, the beach was awesome. It was a perfect weekend; well almost! 

I say almost, because twice a day for every day I was there,  I was robbed! I dont mean robbed at gun point, but it made me feel the same.  Whenever we stepped into a restaurant to eat, we felt like we were being robbed. Here is why!

Every restaurant in South Beach seems to have developed a sense of entitlement, and a thick skin to boot. As soon as you are done with the overpriced and often bland fare, you are presented with the check. And here’s where the real robbery starts.

They calculate your tip at over 18% to 30% and then add it to your tab. You are then presented with a check with the overly exhorbitant tip already added in. 

 Its as if their customers dont have the ability to calculate the tips themselves.  They dont realize that us customers  are not idiots. We do have the freedom and ability to judge the quality of your service and your food; then decide if you deserve a tip!

[There were times I’ve been treated poorly in restaurants! We all have. The service was non-existent and the food was poor. But still, I’ve never come out of a restaurant without paying a tip! ]

 So, when you force me to pay you a tip, no matter what, I feel imposed upon.   And when you spring it upon me; at the end of my meal, I feel trapped. You never want your customer to feel trapped. ( Just look up the forums for any telecom company and you will know what I mean. )

On top of this, they provide you with space to put in an additional tip. I can’t imagine why anyone want to do that after being treated so cavalierly.

So, if you were considering doing this; be warned! It may seem that you make more money by forcing your customers to pay a certain percentage as tips. But it is not making them feel special.  Its not making their experience great.

A few companies that have learnt this secret are active in the publication industry. They offer to send you the product with ” Don’t send money now”. They make you feel completely in control of whether you want to keep the product or return it.

And like every multi-billion dollar publisher knows, this tactic is a winner! Every time you put your customer in charge, you come out a winner!

Happy marketing,

Towards Greater Profits Every Day,

Deep J.

How to Make your Customer Feel Special

If there is one thing that puts some marketers head and shoulders above others , is that  they know how to treat their customers right. All other factors being equal, a customer not only remembers you, but also feels inclined to give you more business if you have made him or her feel special.

Unfortunately, making your customer feeling special is not as simple as it sounds for most people. A lot of small businesses give up the fight because they never know how to treat a customer.

The number one thing to remember is that your customer does not come to you for your product or a service. He comes to you with the expectation of being treated fairly; while he satisfies his need.

So your job is to not only make sure you treat her fairly, but also to make sure that she goes away feeling special. But its not so easy to do this. What makes you feel special is different from the next guy. So you need to find ways of dealing with each customer in his own way.

Having said that, there are ways you could make your customers feel special.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Make sure your establishment is always neat and clean.
  2. Make it easy for me to find what I am looking for. I dont want to spend half a day trying to learn your sorting system.
  3. Have some light music playing at your retail establishment. If your customers are into rock music, then rock is apt too.
  4. Always have enough help available to serve your customers.
  5. Rearranging the shelves is secondary to serving your customer. Don’t make me wait at the counter while your other staff member does inventory.
  6. Get that mess in Isle 2 cleaned up immediately. I dont want to slip and break a leg.
  7. Send me a thank you note once in a while. You can send me an offer, but be subtle about it. Dont send me another offer and call it a Thank you letter.
  8. If you want me to feel really special, send me a personalized offer; and let me know that its personalized just for me.
  9.  Use humor. Make fun of yourselves. People like those who dont act all stuck up.  I like to deal with someone  who is fun.
  10. Show clearly that you are a mom and pop; not a nameless corporation.  I like to deal with someone like you. In fact, I prefer to work with smaller businesses if you can treat me right.
  11.   For Goodness sake, Put Up A Website! I dont want to drive half way across town to your shop, only to learn that you dont open Mondays!

 

An Awesome Article re Google+ on Mashable.com

An awesome article re Google+ on mashable.com

Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook.

In the Internet world, nothing is constant. Even Facebook will go out of fashion some day or the other. And when it does, you and I will be chatting up with friends and customers on Google+.

Might as well start laying the groundwork now! Here is a very detailed guide on getting started.

Enjoy.

Deep Janardhanan

Get Your Customers Talkin – With Google Talkbin

Google Talkbin is a new service from Google aimed at business owners to receive feedback from your cusotmers. Its priced just right for you to be able to utilize it as part of your marketing arsenal.

Google Talkbin allows your customers to send anonymous messages to you regarding your service or product. The old adage/ new marketing wisdom says that the customer who complains is your best customer. This customer wants you to know he would like to stick around if you can fix your act.  Anyone who does not complain will run at the first opportunity.

So how do we get the customer to talk to you without causing negative feelings? Most customers have the attitude – “I don’t want to be the bad guy here!” – which dissuades them from talking to you.

When you sign up for Google Talkbin, your customers are assured of anonymity and you can get honest feedback! Win – Win.

Cost : $25/- a month. No contract.

Need more info? Go to Google Talkbinhttp://www.talkbin.com/about/ )