What if you didn’t need to use coupons to get customers?
Coupons are the lazy man’s way of growing a business. New customers are critical to keeping your doors open and I am not saying you don’t need to entice them in. I am, however, saying that you don’t need to focus on new customers to get new customers. You just need to change the way you operate. Think about your existing customers and what they mean to growing your base. What if repeat customers did your marketing for you?
Having repeat customers is like being married. The more often they are around you the less you actually notice them. You don’t look at them like you do a new customer. You don’t spend time talking with them to get to know them. You take them for granted. (Can you tell I have thought A LOT about my marriage and how to be a better husband?) Existing customers expect the same service and you expect that they will always be your loyal customer. That is the point at which you lose. Good service and attention is what any business can offer. But, what if you spent the time to look at them, notice them, talk with them and find out more about them?
If you changed the way you treated existing customers you would fundamentally change the way your marketing worked. How so??? The power of a customer who is awestruck with exceptional customer service is all the marketing you need to drive more customers in the front doors than any coupon you can create – including a free offer. Paying attention to customers, remembering the details of, and acting on the information from your customers will create a well worn path to your store. Everyone knows word-of-mouth marketing. Almost no one uses it.
Stop for a second!! Did I say that a free offer is not as powerful as insanely customer -focused service? Yes, I did say that and I mean it 100%. There is a value to your service. By discounting it to nothing, you offer nothing – no expectations, no memory, no impression other than your business is cheap. Giveaways are not a horrible idea, but they aren’t good either. Keep your value and have your employees entice customers to use their senses. If a waiter talks about a new dessert with descriptive words in a slow, intentional way, you will sell more than just giving the dessert away. People want to know they are buying something of value.
Do you still want to use coupons? Yes. There is a segment of your customers who want coupons and they pay attention to coupons. What you need to know is that you can get them to come back without a coupon if you focus on these customers and who they are. Quit trying to get money out of them. They came in to spend money. Spend your time getting them to talk about your business once they leave. If you keep doing this the time between coupon offers will grow and so will your customer counts.
Train your employees to know how to ask questions and listen to the answers and customers will bring customers and that is a great reason to forget the coupon.