The other day while in the car together, my wife commented to me how she hasn’t seen a movie “in forever,” and I should take her to see one. I said, “You watch movies ALL the time,” to which she replied, “I mean GO to the movies… You know, a new release, movie theater, popcorn!?”
What she was really saying – I want the movie EXPERIENCE, not just to watch one. The crazy carpet patterns, the red velvet ropes, the popcorn & candy, larger than life screen and sound… You know, a movie.
People pay 3x as much for a cup of coffee because of the experience, a restaurant with great food closes because the service and atmosphere was bad, you like your bank because they have “Free Ice Cream Fridays” during the summer, and you shop an online retailer because of a simplified check-out process, free shipping, and easy returns.
If a gas station went back to full-service… Pumping gas, cleaning windows, checking oil & wiper fluid… would you go there? Would you be willing to pay more, say, in the form of a tip? I know I would, and so would many others, because consumers are looking, and willing to pay more, for a “better experience.”
In marketing, providing your customers a quality purchasing experience has multiple benefits. You can use these little extras to differentiate your business in your marketing, adding “experiential items” is relatively easy and low-cost, and a better experience provides a way to nurture lasting and loyal customers. In turn, loyal customers are more likely to recommend you to others, and we all know that word-of-mouth recommendations are the best advertising possible – Free and trusted. Revisit the type of experience you’re offering your customers and determine if there are ways you could improve. Small things can make a big difference.
Even when these men realize their limitations and ask for help, they are often tripped up by one simple question “Well, what does your wife like? What is she into?” Blank stares and worried faces often follow. The problem for these men? They love and appreciate their wives, but they don’t really know their wives.
As a business owner, I’m sure you love and appreciate your customers, but how well do you know them? Who are your best customers? Who spends the most? Who are your most regular customers? What type of promotions do they enjoy best? Why do they buy from you? Where else do they shop?
The more you really know about your customers, the more opportunities you have to help them, and by help, I mean offer them additional products or services. Engage your customers through conversation, surveys, a suggestions box, sales staff, referral programs… Anything to initiate dialogue. The more you know about your customers, the better it will be for your business.
Just as it is my duty as a “thoughtful and caring husband” to know and understand my wife, it is your duty as a “thoughtful and caring business owner” to know and understand your customers.
Read. Learn. Laugh.
Random thoughts, comments & opinions.