Making money during this financial crisis

4 12 2008

Start by taking everything you  know about business and throw it out. you need to start letting you customer desires dictate your success. Now I’m going to be sharing quite a few insane ideas but they bring the customer BACK into your store. Yes you need insanity because the sanity of the current financial meltdown is keeping people from spending money and not shopping.

#1 — No more set business hours — use Flex traffic hours. What the heck is that Tom? I got this out of my own frustration of being in work at the same time I that they place i want to shop was open. So Monday night i ran over their to check the place out and the closer to 6pm the more customers came in. So he was trying to close when other people wanted to or could shop. now I worked if retail for several years I for the most part people aren’t standing at the gate at 10am. So why not open an hour later to close an hour later? Ask you customer what time works BEST for them to shop. Here is the insane payoff of shift that hour. I work at Clock Tower Place in Maynard Ma which houses thousands of employees with all the businesses here. It’s so big the Monster.com (yes the job site ) is headquartered there. Now if this guy advertised a 6pm-7pm special to employees of Clock Tower Place he would probably be turning the customers away and make his whole week in that hour. The problem is that people are just getting out of work when he is currently closing his shop. He needs that hour to allow people to see what he has to offer.

#2 Reach out and touch someone— You should be going through the database of all you customers and giving then a courtesy call no high pressure sales or marketing but a consideration call. Just present your and your company and ask them how they are doing let them use you to vent. One of the biggest problems with this crisis is that everyone feels that its only happening to them and those they care about. You reaching out show them that somebody outside their daily sphere of influence is willing to give to them whan everybody else seems to be taking. If you do the opposite of what is causing these people pain you will be bringing them pleasure. Now you might not see it that way because you are not solving their problems but people are just as frustrated because nobody is willing to just listen to what they are going through that your ear is really saving them the heart attack of feeling as though they are alone during this crisis. the goodwill that you build in these conversation will probably go further than any amount of marketing money you ever spend. Remember this ONE rule– your customers really don’t care how much you know but when they know how much you care about their well being they want to reciprocate by giving you business.

#3 Creating outlandish customer interaction opportunities — They best thing about this crisis is that people are REALLY searching for that which is going to help them and the completely unique  message. People are EXTREMELY confused about what ANY financial term means now and since your in business your paying for others greed , misrepresentations and lies so you need to position yourself completely outside the box so people have NO WAY OF COMPARING you to anybody else. Everybody is so ridden with fear right now it is easier for them to protect themselves from the possibility of making a mistake than to consider that you might be the one will to give them exactly what  they want or need. Maybe you can find out what your customer do and offer to trade instead of using cash. Tell them your will to lend based on their longevity as a customer you know that they will get you back when they are able to. give away free stuff if they introduce you to their best friend. Each business  is unique so create a crazy idea that is specific to your customers attention.

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The Most amazing Customer Appreciation event EVER!!!

15 09 2008

As I was driving home on Sunday night from my brothers I had the most incredible experience. I live right outside Boston in Concord Mass (Henry David Thoreau) and I stopped to take a walk through the town. It is one of the most beautiful places regardless but I love walking the streets at night much like Mr. Thoreau did to sort out my thoughts in complete peace and silence. Tonight when I got my car expecting silence I heard what I though was music in the distance. I thought I was hearing things I followed but it anyway a block and half away I hear this crisp voice that was covering music of the sixties. The closer I got the more I found that it wasn’t just one person was a whole gallery jammed to the hilt with several people. I look and see that this is a customer appreciation event. Here was an great singer literally jamming out with this stores customers. Now considering that they are closed on Sundays it was probably  an invitation only for the best customers. Now the crazy part everybody there was following right along, dancing, singing and hitting the tambourine. I snuck by and stood the next store over in absolute amazement at how much fun everybody was having. This wasn’t a customer appreciation event this was much more this was life celebration with friends that happen to be customers. I walked across the street completely blown away and I just enjoyed the moment. The next event will really bring home the magnitude of this.  

There were two young women walking past this gallery a  just like I was and they stopped in the doorway just to see what was going on they literally got pulled in. The people inside invited them to be a part of this party. They couldn’t  just sit back and watch they were completely jamming, singing, and dancing just like everybody else. Nobody that was part of this experience will forget Montague Gallery 10 Walden Street Concord Ma. They sell fine art sculptures go to www.montaguegallery.com The Do you think that everybody will taking about how it was on of the most unique events they have ever been to? Do you think that little event will drive more sales? Absolutely it will. Turning a customer appreciation event into a life celebration event that is PRICELESS in building customer loyalty I guarantee it.





Imagine customer loyalty like this

11 09 2008

Did you know that every 4 out of 5 Apple customers that own one Apple computer will ONLY buy an apple as their next? As I wrote in about yesterdays post–It what you do after the customer owns your product that makes the most difference. Apple does EVERYTHING I mean EVERYTHING right after the sale. They love your problems so much  that the center focus in EVERY store is the genius bar. They have monitor devoted to the next appoint that everybody that is shopping sees. There is no other store that I have EVER been in that doesn’t do whatever it can to separate out its complaints FROM the people wanting to buy stuff. The reasoning is simple they don’t want to run the risk of ones persons negative emotions creating doubt in the mind of a shopper that wants to give them money. So talk about doing things from the customer point of view. Answer one question please!!! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU EVER PUT ALL THE CHALLENGES AT THE CENTER OF EVERYBODYS ATTENTION — SO THAT IF YOU SCREWED UP OR DIDN’T GIVE A CUSTOMER WHAT THEY EXPECTED ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY IN THE WHOLE STORE WOULD KNOW ABOUT IT? This move in any other business would be suicide.

 

So here is the real question– “How in the world do they  do it?” Those people that are at that genius bar are being treated better then everybody else in that store.

THIS IS EXACTLY HOW YOU BUILD MASSIVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY–FOCUS ON WHAT HAPPENS after THE CUSTOMER OWNS YOUR PRODUCTS. You can do these same exact methods to build your business. Just write me and I will show you how. 

Its like apple went to a Lamborghini dealership and modeled how to treat your customers after that. If you have ever been to the genius bar you know what I mean. It the place where people tend to hang out. If you ask me its not a genius bar because of the people behind it. NOPE (even though they are amazing) Rather it is the people in front of it. WHAT ARE YOU NUTS Tom? NOPE. By far the best and greatest tool they have to build loyalty they never use– customers issues. True Customer Loyalty is built on how you treat your FAILURES not your successes.